Since March 2016, when thousands of refugees were left stranded at Idomeni, we began the transfer of refugees to apartments in Katerini giving priority to the most vulnerable groups. Each fully-equipped apartment accommodates one family. We began the project with 20 apartments and now manage 124 in Katerini, accommodating more than 600 beneficiaries of which 80 have relocated to or reunified with their families in Western Europe.
Apartments in Katerini
Thanks to generous funding from two German organisations «Brot für die Welt» and «Hilfe für Brüder», PERICHORESIS was able to run a full-time English language school from August 2017 to May 2018 for refugees in the NGO’s accommodation and integration programs in Katerini, Greece. Two local professional English teachers (with over 45 years of combined experience in the field) shared the role, each teaching 20 hours per week. Refugees enrolled in the school were divided between nine classes according to age and language level, with approximately 8-10 persons per class. What began as an education program to teach English blossomed into much more – the school became an educational community where students could learn and interact with peers in a safe, fun, and academic environment. The school helped families and individuals gain confidence by learning a new language, while also equipping them for whatever their future holds.
Thanks to generous funding from the Women’s World Day of Prayer (WWDP) German Committee, PERICHORESIS is able to run, since the beginning of 2018, a Sewing Club for refugees of the NGO’s accommodation and integration programs in Katerini, Greece and also for people from Roma community. The Sewing Club runs all five days of the week, with days divided between the women’s and the men’s sewing groups. Each group has its own instructor, a refugee from a PERICHORESIS project with a professional sewing background, who works closely with the students. Days are divided into multiple sewing sessions, each session with approximately 10-15 persons. In addition to being a valuable life skill to learn, the Sewing Club is also critical for the social development of our beneficiaries and may even turn into a business enterprise down the road!
On November 30, 2016 we took on the task to evacuate and transfer the remaining 71 refugees from the Petra camp on Mount Olympus. The conditions at the camp, situated in the mountains at an altitude of 600m, were tragic. The snow and subzero temperatures made the situation unbearable and dangerous for the refugees housed in tents. The evacuation was implemented with success and the refugees transferred to a safe environment within two hours, 13 in apartments and 58 in hotels.