During the third year of the refugee crisis in Greece, in 2017, the Youth Support Centres (YSC) of ARSIS were supported thousands of people who were found in need from Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Turkey, Iran and Palestine, also from Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania and Greece.
In total ARSIS supported 3,864 people – of whom 2,577 are minors – from about 30 ethnicities. In particular, it provided 26,794 educational, psychological and sporting services, support in search of work, housing, medical operations, distributed basic essentials and made home visits, while taking care of their participation in social events.
Youth Support Centres support children who are facing rejection from education system, neglect, immigration, refugee, homelessness or inadequate living conditions, abuse, exploitation and trafficking in human beings. At the same time, the action of the YSC is focused on the integration of children and their families into Greek society, with the registration of children in public schools, in finding work for the parents, but also in raising community awareness of the difficulties and prejudices that face some certain social groups.
Throughout 2017, about 280 refugee and migrant children enrolled in school institutions in the city of Thessaloniki, following by close cooperation with primary and secondary schools.
More than 1,500 children of various ages, inside and outside the YSC structures were supported by providing school materials and organizing interdisciplinary workshops (in total 10,617 educational services), such as “Multilingual cooking”, “Robotics”, “Discovering Montessori”, “Smart Citizen”, “Natural Experiments”, ‘Personal and Professional Development’, ‘knowledge of Computer’, ‘Welcome to Europe’, ‘Cartoon’, Mobile School, as well as sports workshops and cinema.
All the services were provided within the programme of YSC and through street work to locate and support homeless children and families or people at risk or working on the street (street work).
Also working groups on the road provide translation services, accompany, connection with schools and other agencies, as well help socialize refugees and migrants in a new city.
A large number of volunteers, donators, interns and other friends, amounting to 1.104, supported ARSIS programs through sponsorships, workshops where they participated as educators and trainers, also accompanied families in need in the city. Volunteers-educators take part systematically on monthly basis training programs, to enhance the presence of volunteering in Greek society in an effective way, enhancing informal and non-formal education.
ARSIS – Youth Support Social Organization founded the first Youth Support Center in Athens in 1992 and in Thessaloniki in 1998. Since early of 2017, ARSIS in Thessaloniki has acquired two YSC structures in two newly renovated places, Ptolemaion 40 in Sparta 9.
* For more information, please contact the Youth Support Centers:
– Ptolemaion Street 40, tel. 2310 228850
– Sparta Street 9, tel. 2310 227311
** The activities of the Youth Support Centers in Thessaloniki are supported by the following programs:
- PIER – Protection, Integration and Education for Refugees in Greece, Italy and Austria. http://www.pier-program.com, which is funded by the “Coca Cola Foundation”
- “Organizing the supporting network for social integration and empowerment of refugee minors and their families in Thessaloniki area” with the support of the ASB (Arbeiter – Samariter – Bund https://www.asb.de/en ) and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.