ATHENS The life of a refugee is not an easy one. More often than not, refugees and their families are stuck, simply waiting to be processed or to move on… During this time, refugees are usually left with no jobs as well as inadequate living accommodations. Some families find themselves stuck in terrible situations for over three years, and this can lead to serious issues. Because these refugees are unable to work legally, they have trouble providing basic necessities like food and clothing for their families. It also leaves them with nothing to do. All of this can take a toll on their mental strength, leaving them battling with depression and low self-worth. These things can often impact a refugee family very deeply and make life for them much more difficult than it needs to be.
The goal is to start some programs for the refugees to have opportunity for work and stimulation. We will be starting a class where refugees can come and learn how to perform mechanical maintenance on vehicles. After they learn some of the maintenance basics, they will be able to go out on their own and perform oil changes and basic repairs to gain some basic income. In addition, we will provide assistance in finding work and advertising for them to get more business. This will enable them to provide for their families and help them keep their living space safe and maintained.We will also be starting up a program which offers martial arts classes for all the refugees. Taekwon-do specifically is a very versatile martial and and will have something to offer everyone. Kids’ classes will be more focused on being very active and teaching them good life skills like respect and discipline. Women’s classes will be more self-defence and knowledge-based training. For the men and youth, the focus will be more on exercise and technique which will create a good challenge for them.Our hope is that these projects will be utilized by many of the refugees in the greater Athens area. Through participating in these programs, we believe we will be able to boost their self-worth, maintain their health, and ensure that their morale and spirits are high, making their time in Greece the best that it can be.
Article & photos by: Christian Blazina
YOU can have a part in this project engaging refugees in transition… helping them through whatever circumstances they might be facing.