Over the past two years, 1.3 million people fleeing conflict and persecution have traveled through Greece in search of safety and a better life in Europe. With the closure of the Balkan borders and the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement in March 2016, many refugees are left stranded in Greece - notably Athens and islands off the East coast. The majority of refugees who have traveled to Greece by sea come from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq– countries plagued by conflict. The legal path available to refugees in Greece, either asylum or relocation elsewhere, is long and tedious. As a result, refugees have been forced to wait in temporary camps, with limited access to crucial information and available services.
46,427 Current Refugees
39,986 Current Asylum Seekers
1,108,426 refugees have arrived into Greece by sea since 2014.
Primary Countries of Origin: Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq.
Our Health and Hygiene program in Greece was our original pilot project and remains a key focus of our work today. Our Health and Hygiene efforts have supported forcibly displaced people in Athens and on Chios throughout our history, but the majority of our work now is based at The Unmentionables Resource Center in Athens.
Since January 2018, The Unmentionables' Health and Hygiene work in Greece has expanded from simple product provision, into multi-dimensional programming. At The Unmentionables Resource Center, we host a free shop where individuals and families can access vital 'unmentionable' products-- including everything from undergarments and menstrual hygiene products to pregnancy tests and emergency contraceptive pills-- alongside comprehensive medical clinics, run by our partners at DocMobile, that focus on sexual and reproductive health. We also offer family planning counseling for individuals and couples through our Health & Hygiene program.
30,253* Items Provided
13,980 Local Beneficiaries
*based on tracked distribution model
In early 2018 we launched our comprehensive sexual health education programming at our Resource Center in Athens, Greece. Our Community Educators, who are refugee men and women themselves, provide ten classes a week in multiple languages on topics ranging from reproductive physiology, menstruation, sexual and reproductive rights, family planning and contraceptives, sexually transmitted infections, relationships, and sexual and gender based violence. Our classes are taught through an empowerment model with an overarching theme of healthy relationships and human rights built into each class.
In order to ensure our curriculum was best adapted to the beneficiary community residing in Greece, six weeks of intensive focus group discussions were undertaken with forcibly displaced men and women to understand the baselines of knowledge and the needs of the community to inform the curriculum adaptation. We continue to conduct quarterly monitoring and evaluation of the program to ensure learning objectives are being met and the curriculum structure is well-adapted.
180 Classes Provided
1,048 Local Beneficiaries
In Greece, all our programs are realized through The Unmentionables Resource Center. Beyond our Sexual and Reproductive Health Education program, which is run daily by our trained Community Educators, we offer forcibly displaced populations the opportunity to learn, play, create, and connect. Migrants and asylum seekers are encouraged to join our volunteers throughout the week for baking classes, computer workshops, soccer games, ping pong tournaments–or whatever it is that brings joy and develops confidence.
In the summer of 2017, we piloted our first youth empowerment program, UnExposed; an in-depth, six-week photography education and mentoring initiative that seeks to give a voice to young refugees through art and storytelling. UnExposed students explore their surroundings with their cameras and are taught theory, the basics of a camera, composition, technique, and how to capture their lives–and the lives of others around them–in images.
82 Empowerment Sessions
239 Local Beneficiaries
In 2018, we began piloting our Protection program in Athens, Greece. In addition to providing education and sensitization sessions regarding sexual and reproductive health rights through our education program, we are committed to a holistic and collaborative approach to protection from sexual and gender-based violence. This approach includes solutions for beneficiaries relating to emergency and long-term shelter, medical, and psychosocial support.
We have partnered with medical and psychosocial support organizations who are able to offer consultations and follow-up for those we serve. These partners help us provide the care needed when responding to cases of sexual and gender-based violence. Together, we promise confidentiality, respect, safety, and empowerment for any man, woman, or child who seeks support. Further, we are committed to ensuring emergency access to shelter within our Resource Center for those experiencing or at risk of sexual and gender-based violence, and work with our available resources and within our network to ensure long-term shelter arrangements are put in place for each of our emergency shelter beneficiaries.
38 Protection Cases
39 Local Beneficiaries
Our Sexual and Reproductive Health Education programs in Greece are facilitated by men and women from backgrounds of forcible displacement in exchange for a fair wage. Each individual who is identified as a potential candidate for our Livelihood program is required to complete and pass a 30 hour intensive training program on our in-house sexual and reproductive health curriculum, as well as demonstrate pedagogical competency. They are then employed by The Unmentionables to teach our full curriculum to members of their own communities, in their native languages.
935 Hours Worked
13 Local Beneficiaries
Greece serves as the base for many of the research and development initiatives we undertake. Due to our close ties with the displaced community and our partners, our research and development initiatives range from continual community consultation to major academic research projects. At present, The Unmentionables runs consistent focus group discussions with our educators and the communities we serve in order to consistently involve our beneficiaries in our learning and program improvement. Additionally, members of our research and development team are currently undertaking major academic research projects pertaining to the prevalence of sexual exploitation of young male migrants, as well as the utility of reparations schemes for addressing instances of sexual and gender based violence committed against migrants.
4 Research Projects Underway
30 Local Participants