In Kilkis, a small city in northern Greece, families uprooted by conflict in Syria have found peace and a place to call home. The families are accommodated in dignified conditions in apartments, managed by Omnes voluntary association. Gradually they become part of the local community that had once welcomed refugees of Greek origin.
In this new environment Greek neighbors stand by their side. Mr. Petros Damkalis, a local carpenter, helps musician Zeno Amar, to create new instruments he and his family use every day. Ms. Despoina Pertsinidou, has offered her help and her empty apartment to refugees that needed assistance even since the time when thousands of refugees would wait in Eidomeni, at the Greek-FYROM boredr. Now this apartment accommodates refugee families, beneficiaries of UNHCR accommodation scheme and Ms. Despoina enjoys to visit every day her new friends.
Omnes association is implementing the accommodation programme in the town of Kilkis, in collaboration with UNHCR’s partner Iliaktida. Interpreters, social workers and coordinators assist refugees to overcome the challenges of a new home in a new town and become members of this new community. The programme offers legal and medical assistance. At the same time refugees receive cash card assistance in order to cover basic everyday needs.
In Greece, UNHCR has helped more than 34,000 persons through cash card assistance so far.
Furthermore, there are more than 18,700 places created by UNHCR and other partners to provide dignified accommodations to vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees. More than 31,000 people have been assisted through this programme.
Housing and cash card assistance is funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.