PROJECTS

WELCOME OFFICE

In Mytilini, capital of the island  our Welcome Office assists with bureaucratic steps into the Greek society (how to get a tax number, social insurance and unemployment card). Further we have an open consultation space and through networking with other actors we try to find solution for every individual – where to find a lawyer, how to get into public schools, how to rent a flat, how to find a job etc. With our Welcome Office we wish to be a central point for refugees and locals to connect and support each other with dignity and respect. We provide:

  • Low level – easy access support for refugees – daily open office(mondays to fridays)
  • Support for integration (assist with getting a tax number, social insurance number, unemployment card etc), copies of documents, filling in forms – all the bureaucratic paperwork besides the asylum case
  • Referring to other actors of the integration services ( Language classes – CV Writing)
  • Supporting with specific needs of the beneficiaries ( e.g. school enrolment of children or finding a football club to play etc.)
  • Provide a safe space in the city center for creative use in the afternoons 
Our space offers as well rooms for other initiatives especially self-organized grass-root projects to have a safe “harbour” to dock on. Currently we cooperate with a refugee woman cooperative, a human rights defender organization and several refugee support group for special vulnerable groups
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Housing and family support

We provide housing φορ vulnerable families with children and single women. Currently we are able to offer 10 appartments to refugee families with small children or/and medical cases that needed to move out of the camp immediatly. The living conditions there are not suitable for children, especially the small ones. For more information please contact us. Our support involves as well to pay for bustickets for mobility and organizing food provisions currently managed through other organisations. We have a social worker that tries to stay as much as she can in touch with the families. 

Most of our families have been here longer than 6 months. Especially pregnant women and new born children are being prioritized to enter our houses. Our waiting list is continiously growing. We also run a safe shelter for single women with or without children in cooperation with Safe Shelter Lesvos (SSL) – starting January 2024 – as well as other cooperations (3 more appartments for shared living for self organized refugee projects).  Unfortunatly there is no space for everyone. We demand the EU to provide proper shelters for refugees, camps are not the solution, they are the problem, people are isolated and being banned from basic service provision ( currently as of January 2024 50% of the camp population has no access to heating, or electricity ( only lightning, hot water is not available and toilets and showers are away from living units). 

Advocacy and Partners

Especially within the new changes and the ongoing trend of a “Fortress Europe” that doesn’t respect the human rights. We need to keep informing what is happening at the borders. Transparency and education – facts and stories of migrants and refugees will show that we need to build bridges instead of walls.

  • We report about the things we see, via mail or via phone but also in person, we make “tours” for visitors in Lesbos that want to learn about the situation of refugees, locals and the many projects
  • We are available for researchers, journalists, politicians, supporters and all kind of visitors
  • We provide other initiatives and projects with support in Greek burocracy, finding local solutions, connecting to local networks etc.
  • We try to negiotiate with authorities or other actors if we find a problem
  • We refer cases to other actors in and outside Greece to try to find solutions
  • We currently support several self organized smaller iniatives, such as a women collective, a free radio station, several independet actors that support refugees on the island with our infrastructure. We would like to focus more on including refugees into the decision making of the humanitarian sector and give as much voice to the ones that are refugees themselves rather than to organisation just working “for them”. 

Contact

Alice@welcomeofficelesvos.org

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Opening hours

mondays to thursdays: 
9:00 to 15:30 o clock

Location

Komninaki 20, 81100
Mytilini, 
Lesbos, Greece