A Letter from the Chairman
My greetings to you all in this holiday season! As we begin to look towards the New Year, we at Perichoresis have felt a call to share our work more widely with our partners. So many things have happened these last few years, and part of our continued growth has been thanks to the many organizations that have journeyed this road with us. It is my hope that these seasonal updates from Perichoresis will be able to share the highlights of our life together, and encourage you in your own ministry and work.
As Christians, and as descendants of people who have been refugees and have experienced the deprivations of war, we face the new challenges of our time head-on. You can read more about our history inside this newsletter, like how our NGO grew out of a single church outreach project started in 2012.
Our vision is to use all potential material and spiritual resources in order to offer our beleaguered fellow humans, both Greeks and foreigners, the dignity they merit, to help them gain prospects for the future, and to mediate for their smooth inclusion and integration in the local community.
Our actions as an organization are a response to the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ to love our neighbor and, as such, we are persuaded it will benefit the whole of Greek society. This is why we are so dedicated to our work.
As we go forward, we hope for a New Year filled with peace and brotherly love, bringing dignity and restoration to people in need!
May the Spirit of God bless you this Christmas season! With the love of Christ,
Dr. Paris Papageorgiou
Elder of the Greek Evangelical Church
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Perichoresis
Embracing the Spirit of Inclusion
In March 2016, when thousands of refugees were stranded at Idomeni, we began the transfer of refugees to apartments in Katerini and our work began. Since then, we have registered as an NGO, served more than 1600 refugees total, and currently manage 115 apartments in the city of Katerini where we accommodate approximately 600 refugees, meeting their practical and psychosocial needs. Our accommodation project is supported by the UNHCR and our integration program is supported by RefuAid and Help Refugees. Through these two projects, we offer assistance to all refugees regardless of descent, nationality and creed as we follow the biblical command to love and care for the foreigner among us.
Factors in Integration
Integration is a complex endeavor, and we at Perichoresis NGO provide a host of programs in order to help our families settle in to life in a European context. From English and Greek language lessons, to sewing workshops and food bank assistance, we strive to support our families in a variety of ways.
Program Spotlight: English School
Thanks to generous funding from 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. 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. Funding has been renewed for the coming year and classes began at the start of the month – over 80 people have signed up to learn English!
Perichoresis NGO Celebrates Two Years!
Organizational partners and supporters of Perichoresis NGO, Board Members, Staff members and volunteers gathered together on November 2, 2018 in the School Building of the Greek Evangelical Church of Katerini to mark the organization’s two-year anniversary. It was a joyous occasion filled with heartfelt speeches, laughter, connection, and a few tears. In-person speakers were mixed in with video messages from supporting organizations around the globe, in addition to two surprise Video calls with former beneficiaries now living in Germany & The Netherlands. All these words of kindness, service, and love had a profound impact on those at the event – even once the buffet opened, people stood in groups and discussed the speeches they had just heard with awe in their voices. It was truly a poignant evening celebrating the work done so far by Perichoresis NGO thanks to support from people and organizations both near and far.
How Can You Help?
In the field of refugee aid, the needs are many and varied. Perichoresis NGO welcomes a variety of forms of aid from partner organizations and individuals, as well as religious communities. In the summertime, we love to welcome volunteer groups who serve by running English camps for the children. We also have supporters around the world who fund our work in the wider community by donating to the food bank that we run, which serves native Greeks, migrants, refugees, and more. In addition, prayers and messages of support are always welcome! No matter where you are and how you support us, we are thankful!! If you would like to support our work, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.