In 2019, in Greece, a total of 74’613 new refugees and asylum seekers arrived, mainly from Afghanistan, Syria, DRC, Iraq, Palestine and Iran. Of these, 36.5% are children, the highest number of minors’ arrivals since the signing of the EU-Turkey agreement on March 18th, 2016. The city of Ioannina (Epirus) recorded the highest number of arrivals since 2015, hosting 3’500 people, located in urban reception centers managed by the UNHCR, and in temporary reception centers for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC). In response to this dramatic emergency, since April 2017, Terre des hommes manages the Community Center Mikri Polis, a community center for migrants and refugees which provides protection and legal assistance, builds bridges of dialogue with the local community, and fosters integration of “newcomers” and young Greek citizens in economic and social distress, through the development of diverse social, cultural, linguistic and professional integration programs, including the “You Create” project. During the first semester of the project implementation (July-December 2019), 20 young people, aged 14-24, were selected and trained, and accompanied by 11 local operators, child protection professionals, and Tdh Staff, then developed 5 youth-led artistic projects engaging a total of 88 young peers. The projects, presented to the local community during an Open Day (held at the Community Center Mikri Polis on February 18th, 2020), in addition to intercept, through arts, the main challenges of the youngest related to their confinement, such as language barriers and lack of communication, have also raised awareness among the local community about the mutual benefits of integration and the importance of the “You Create” project as Best Practice of empowerment of young people and as a tool to promote tolerance and coexistence.
Read more about the PROJECT.