Adapting to address changing refugee needs in Athens

Author: Fabiola Villamor

This article is part of Changing the Narrative. Articles in this series are written by student or early career journalists who took part in The Local’s training course on solutions-focused migration reporting. Find out more about the project here.
When one arrives to Victoria Square in Athens, it seems as if you have left behind the Acropolis, ouzo and souvlakis, and entered another country, a place of reunion for many refugees. In Victoria, kids play cheerfully and the adults chat, sharing their stories and passing the time.

But on occasions, the square, unfortunately, becomes a place where refugees spend the night when they do not have any other place to go when the asylum system cannot handle the number of people who lack a place to sleep or it simply fails to connect the free spots with the people in need.

It was in Victoria square where Amin found out about the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)*. Amin, an Afghan refugee (26), had just arrived in Athens from Moria, the refugee camp in the Greek island of Lesbos, and he did not know much about the city.

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