Innovative Housing Integration Project for Young Refugees

Refugee Week seems a fitting time to be able to announce our support of a new project with Velos Youth in Athens.  Having previously worked with Velos Youth, a project founded & run by the Refugee Youth Service (RYS), as well as having worked with RYS on some of their other projects in northern France, we are delighted to be supporting the education and training elements of Velos' new Housing Integration Project.

Velos Youth is a day centre in the heart of Athens, providing a safe space for displaced unaccompanied children and young people on the move. Applying a holistic approach to the individual's wellbeing, they support unaccompanied children and young people to re-start and rebuild their lives where they are.

The Housing Integration project is a natural extension to the current 'wrap-around' services Velos offer and will provide young people safe and permanent housing where, with a wider package of support, they can begin to rebuild their lives.

The project takes a community-based approach to integrating young refugees into their new life in Athens and into the community they now call home, and will focus on two key approaches:

Integration & Inclusion – providing secure accommodation and a fixed address means that young people start to feel part of the community, they can more readily begin to rebuild all aspects of their lives with the fundamental practical and emotional stability of having permanent housing.

Autonomy & Livelihoods – having to maintain a fixed living space or home, being part of a group dynamic, will be key to helping these young people develop the life skills they need as they move forward.  As well as helping them to find, and keep, employment, which is vital for young refugees if they are to fully integrate and sustainably restart their lives.

The overarching objective of the project is for the young people to reach a point where they can leave the 'house' and find their own secure, private accommodation, where they can live rewarding, autonomous and self-sufficient lives.

We are delighted to be supporting this innovative project with funding for an in-house Greek teacher to deliver a bespoke programme of daily Greek lessons, as well as providing the learning & tech resources to set up a dedicated learning space at the house.

For more information about Velos and the work they do with young refugees click here - www.velosyouth.org 

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