Elpida Home is an NGO we established in Thessaloniki Greece to protect vulnerable Syrian and Iraqi refugee families. The International Community has failed to provide the necessary protections for these innocent victims of war so we sought to build and operate our own residence based on the guiding principles of humanity and dignity. We created private studio apartments with communal kitchens and restrooms and many activities to get these innocent people who have been through many horrors back on their feet and feeling human again.
The majority of our population are children so one of our first efforts was to operate a school on site. One of many tragedies of the Syrian war has been the loss of childhood. Due to the war, many children have been out of school for 5 or more years and this can of course only lead to more difficulties. I contacted a close friend who began an educational NGO called ERCI EDU to initiate a pilot school program. The program has has been operating for nearly a year. The results have been tremendous. The children, many of whom, had never before attended school have thrived and progressed learning both English and Greek and some German among other subjects in a short amount of time. Knowing their passion for children’s education, I contacted my great friends at ABF to let them know what we were doing and they immediately asked how they could assist….
The reality of our world is that there are so many evil actors looking to take advantage of idle and uneducated children in desperate circumstances so we of good intentions must all come together to provide a better way. I thank ABF for being so responsive and effective.
I had previously managed refugee camps for the United Nation in Rwanda after the genocide so I was shocked to find how inhumane the conditions were for Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Greece particularly children. Old tents in the hot sun with no acces to toilets or running water. No security, and in addition the presence of human traffickers pushing drugs. We belived we could do better. We had to act to protect as many vulnerable people are we could.
founder of Elpida Home