The Greek organisation Velos Youth was awarded an EPIM grant for a project led in partnership with HumanRights360 and Babel Day Centre. Together with the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the granted project falls within EPIM’s “Never Alone” Fund and links to broader efforts for the protection and inclusion of children and youth on the move in Greece and across Europe more broadly.
Located in Athens, Velos Youth centre provides a safe space for children and youth on the move to access essential services and a varied program of participatory activities, centered around wellbeing, social development, and learning. Velos Youth’s approach to care aims at fostering feelings of belonging, self-worth and a sense of community that ultimately promotes well-being and sustainable long-term social integration.
Velos Youth’s new project
In Greece, achieving legal majority is a particularly sensitive time for migrant youth as it means losing access to essential protection rights and services and a sudden cut of social and emotional support. When turning 18 years old, they are automatically considered prepared to cope with everyday practical and emotional challenges. This, combined with a lack of access to the labour market and/or vocational training as well as inadequate mental health support often leads to social exclusion.
Through the granted project, Velos Youth and partner organisations will further support migrant youth, ranging from 16 to 21 years old, by enabling a smoother transition to adulthood and to an autonomous life. The organisations will test new approaches of access to housing and education and will replicate existing pilots that promote access to employment and psychological care, creating a support which is holistic and individualised. In parallel, the granted organisations will advocate to mitigate the challenges that migrant youth face in their transition to adulthood and to mainstream and replicate their holistic approach in order for more youth to reach autonomy and self-reliance in Greece.