Joint letter to the Greek Prime Minister Mr. Alexis Tsipras

Athens, October 23, 2017

Dear Prime Minister Tsipras,

We, undersigned human rights and humanitarian non-governmental organisations, are writing to express our deep concern at the deteriorating conditions for thousands of women, men and children, seeking asylum and trapped on the Aegean islands as winter sets in.

We urge you to put an end to the ongoing “containment policy” of trapping asylum seekers on the islands if they arrived after the entry into force of the EU-Turkey Statement of March 18, 2016, and to immediately transfer asylum seekers to the mainland and meet their protection needs, including by providing them with adequate and dignified protection, accommodation and access to services.

We acknowledge the efforts of the Greek Government and the solidarity of the Greek people towards asylum seekers and migrants in the past years. Many of our organisations have repeatedly called on the European Union and its member states to demonstrate genuine collective action and share fairly the responsibility towards asylum seekers and migrants arriving in Greece since 2015 in a way that is humane and respects their human rights. However, the disappointing lack of real solidarity and commitment to responsibility sharing by many EU member states is no justification for the current state of asylum seekers on the Greek islands.

“Emergency Support to Refugees and Migrants in Greece”

ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth, implements the project “Emergency Support to Refugees and Migrants in Greece” in collaboration with OXFAM Novib and with the financial support of the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection fund (ECHO). The implementation period of the project is from 1/6/2016 until 31/12/2017 and has as an aim the support of the refugees in Epirus region.

Arsis from June to December 2016 provided psychosocial support services to the entire refugee population, organized creative activities to empower and mobilize refugees in all refugee emergency reception sites of Epirus Region such as Katsika, Filippiada, Tsepelovo, Doliana and Konitsa.

Arsis continued to work in the region from December 2016 until June 2017, while its activities were more focused on the management, coordination and provision of daily care and psychosocial support to refugees hosted in 5 hotel units for 6 months in Epirus region. At the same time, Arsis continued the organization of creative activities for children in Child Friendly Space of Konitsa, as well as provision of psychosocial support to Filippiada and Konitsa and organization of activities aimed at the community engagement.

From June 2017 to December 2017, the organization provides creative activities to CFS, located in the Community Centre called “Mikri Poli” in Ioannina, supported by OXFAM and Terre des Hommes through of the ECHO Fund. In addition, Arsis coordinates the “Help Desk / Social Service” of the Community Centre in Ioannina, where social services are provided to support the refugees living in the city of Ioannina. As part of the “Help Desk / Social Service”, Arsis provides information, receives requests, sends and receives referrals, provides psychosocial support, mediation with public local bodies, organizes activities focusing on the socialization and integration of refugees and provides psychological counselling. Finally, in the framework of this project, Arsis organizes activities, aiming at the community engagement and active participation of refugees in emergency sites such as Filippiada, Doliana and Konitsa, while continuing the operation of the “Child Friendly Spaces” (CFS) “, by organizing creative and educational activities in Konitsa.Logo-Arsis_english


Award Organisation of the 2017 for the Protection of Children

The Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth (MSWY) (respectively the State Agency for the Protection of Children’s Rights, SAPCR)  and UNICEF- Albania on 31st of May in Tirana officially selected “the Organisation of the year 2017 for the Protection of Children”.
Τhis year, the team of ARSIS – Albania Branch was selected as the winning organisation for its commitment and outstanding achievements in  protection of children in Albania.
As per this award, a specialist of ARSIS will attend a set of regional training in a pool of child protection specialists.
The Chairperson of SAPCR Mrs. Ina Verzivolli and the Mayor of Tirana Mr. Erion Veliaj delivered this award to Mr. Zini Kore,  Country Representative of ARSIS – Albania Branch. 

PIER-Protection, Integration and Education for Refugees in Greece, Italy and Austria

ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth implements in cooperation with two partners, Caritas Austria and Caritas Italiana the program “PIER – Protection, Integration and Education for Refugees in Greece, Italy and Austria.

The PIER Program is funded by “The Coca-Cola Foundation” (TCCF) and it is implemented in two phases:
PIER 1: January 2017 – March 2018 in Athens and Thessaloniki
PIER 2: April 2018 – January 2019 in Thessaloniki
Caritas Austria is the program leader.

The aim of the program responds to immediate protection needs of refugees upon their arrival and subsequently supports their process to cultural and socio-economic integration, whereby children and youth are the priority.

PRESS RELEASE: Intercultural Adolescent Meeting in Edessa

The Youth Support Centre of ARSIS NGO visits today (27/4) the city of Edessa for an intercultural meeting of adolescents, in order to promote the collaboration and solidarity between people without discriminations.

More specifically, this year, 28 students from the 1st High School of Edessa, 21 students from the Insitut Can Puig of Sant Perede Ribes of Catalonia and 8 students from the Özel Gökçeada Rum Ortaokulve Lisesi of Imvros are implementing an innovative project on the eTwinning online learning platform entitled “Contemporary Odysseus”. The aim of the project is the students from Greece, Spain and Turkey to investigate, raise and answer questions regarding the immigration phenomenon and the refugee crisis in Europe. As part of this program, the Youth Support Centre sets up a Park with wooden toys and constructions in the city’s Environmental Park, aiming at the interaction and acquaintance of the teenagers participating in the “Contemporary Odysseys” project with the teenagers hosted in Shelters for Unaccompanied Minors of ARSIS. The event involves 70 teenagers from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Greece, Turkey and Spain, who dedicate four hours of playing in order to prove that communication is much more than a common language.