The Unmentionables first began their work in Greece in response to the Middle East and North African refugee crisis in 2016.
Athens remains The Unmentionables’ hub in Greece. Its centralized location and the prevalence of local, like-minded organizations facilitate the meeting of refugees’ intimate health needs. In January 2018, we opened The Unmentionables Resource Center in the heart of Athens to support the displaced community’s sexual and reproductive health requirements, and to house UnExposed, our photography empowerment program. In Athens, we have also piloted our livelihood programs. We have identified strong migrant leaders who, with training and ongoing support, have been empowered to become Community Educators and assist in the day-to-day management of our Resource Center. In the future, we plan to expand our programs in Athens to reach even more forcibly displaced people.
The island of Chios, a mere 4 miles from Turkey, was The Unmentionables’ island hub.In 2017, however, Souda refugee camp was closed down by local authorities and its inhabitants moved to the government-operated Vial camp, reducing the capacity at which we can support the displaced communities there. While it is no longer feasible for us to maintain a significant physical presence there, we have and will continue to assist our partners on Chios with products and sexual and reproductive health education support. We hope to continue our work on Chios and surrounding islands, but our main focus at this time is in Athens.