2022 Project Story: Athens

In 2019 the UNHCR reported a total of 70.8 million individuals had been displaced from their homes worldwide. Of those displaced, 25.9 million have traveled across borders and received asylum in other countries, officially changing their status to “refugees”. At this time, the largest population of refugees come from Syria where civil war has continued for almost a decade. Today 5.6 million Syrians now live as refugees in various parts of the world, and thousands have even made it as far as Greece.

Greece has become a melting pot of refugees from all over the Middle East and Africa. There are now 186,200 refugees and asylum seekers living in Greece, over 74,000 of which arrived last year alone. Though there are many camps set up throughout the country, Greece has struggled to house and support the high volume of refugees as it continues to climb— especially with such a broad range of ethnicities, languages, and cultural backgrounds. 

Camp Eleonas is a refugee camp located near the heart of Athens and currently hosts about 2200 refugees. Project Elea is an organization volunteering within this camp, providing programs to uplift, educate and create a sense of community and home for refugees living in Camp Eleonas.

This summer, HumanitarianXP Refuge Builders will partner with Project Elea and work alongside refugees of all ages to renovate a playground, paint living containers, build an outdoor area, teach sports and dance classes, run art workshops, and facilitate English conversation clubs. Participants will build lasting relationships with people from many different backgrounds as they work together to improve the current and future situation of those living in Camp Eleonas.

Sources: UNHCR, Greek Council for Refugees