The premises (buildings/grounds) of the Greek Evangelical Church of Katerini are able to accommodate many activities and events for the refugees. We strive to provide not only shelter and a safe environment, but a return to normalcy and a daily routine as well. Therefore, we have established the Family Education and Support Division which offers various services and activities to the refugees living in Katerini.
Educational and recreational activities are provided for preschoolers 3 times a week from 10am-1pm. Our intent is to assist children with the development of their social, linguistic and motor skills, their creativity, and the ability to be part of a team. Consequently, they learn discipline as well as how to become autonomous.
We assist in the registration of children aged 6-13 years old with the Public School System as well as their transfer to/from school. They are properly immunized and their progress overseen by our social workers. Some of these children have never attended school, while others have attended the first or second grade. School attendance plays a significant role in their educational progress and future, as well as enhancing their socialization and supporting their psychological adjustment.
Greek /English Lessons
In order to facilitate their integration, we offer afternoon Greek and English classes taught by qualified instructors for all the children that attend school as well as those that do not (13 years old and up).
Women’s Group Therapy
Group therapy sessions for women are held weekly and led by our social workers, where they are able to share their pain and experiences, the hardships and suffering as well as their hope and expectations for a brighter future.
Children’s Group Therapy
Group therapy sessions for children 6-12 years old are held weekly for 1 ½ hours and led by two certified professional therapists. These children, due to post traumatic stress, manifest psychopathological symptoms such as anxiety, fear, enuresis, physical reaction, sleep issues, and ADHD-like symptoms among others. Its purpose is to provide the children with the opportunity to express their feelings, develop healthier relational interactions, to set healthy boundaries, and to improve their self-image and self-esteem.
Structured sports activities are offered to children and teens weekly and organized by members of our staff through the active participation. The young ones take part in soccer games, basketball and ping-pong matches.
From time to time, groups of volunteers arrive from abroad to assist us in our work. Their talents are utilized to organize activities for both the children and the adults. This interaction allows the beneficiaries to become better acquainted with the Western world, its language(s) and customs by allowing them to gain intercultural understanding and competence not by osmosis alone, but by being exposed and actively involved. This process assists them in their preparation for relocation and acclimatization in their new host countries in Europe.
We also organize various social events, such as afternoon teas and dinners, thus allowing the local residents to be introduced to the beneficiaries and facilitating their integration into our local community. Lastly, a milestone for every beneficiary who is relocated is the “Farewell Party”. Mere words cannot describe the bittersweet feelings that engulf everyone present during such events.