From the first day of the war in Ukraine (February 24) and having the experience of Afghanistan and Syria, we decided to support the Ukrainian communities, formal and non-formal, in order to help create a positive atmosphere for the reception of refugees.
During all these months, the communities have been working tirelessly to support the newcomers from Ukraine providing them with items of first need, information and everything is needed by every person in such a difficult situation. All these months a useful experience has been formed for the problems and challenges faced by the refugees. Our aim is to highlight these and bring the in front of the State authorities, exerting institutional pressure for positive initiatives in the field of reception and integration of refugees, asylum seekers and of course, migrants.
In this context, we met with the community of “the Land of the Stork” at its offices in Athens, a regular member of the Local Council for the Integration of Migrants and Refugees. We discussed with the community the value of the civic participation of the Ukrainian communities, aiming at enhancing the interaction with the local community, but also empowering their presence in the decision – making processes.
At the same time, we met with an extremely active and effective group of female volunteers, the Ukrainian Women in Greece, in order to discuss the procedures and details needed for the formation of a formal community, with operating an statute, community members and a Board of Directors. In this endeavor, the most important of all is the very desire of women for strong public participation through activities that bring together refugees, migrants and the host society.
The Greek Forum of Refugees, as an association of refugee and migrant communities, always stands by the communities and their initiatives, strengthening their work and giving space for greater participation in public affairs.
The meetings with the two communities took place in the context of the program cooperation with Refugee.info with the funding of the International Rescue Committee and with partner the Mobile Info Team.