‘Philoxenia’ is a word used by Greek people, which translated means:
‘A sense of duty towards their fellow humans’ (Bond, 2016)
Statistics show that there are approximately 54 000 refugees currently in Greece and almost 40 percent of these are children. Most refugees have risked their lives crossing the dangerous Mediterranean Sea to escape the horrors of war present in their home countries. Many of the families seeking refuge, do so in the hope of providing their children with a safer, more promising future.
Refugee people have basic needs such as shelter, food, clean water, clothes, household and hygiene supplies. They also need access to services such as healthcare, wifi, psychological support, legal advice, translators and education.
The Save the Children foundation have reported that ‘1 in 5 children in Greek refugee camps have never been to school. The rest of them have been out of school for an average of 1.5 years’ (2016).
Project Philoxenia emanates from both the current refugee crisis in Greece and the Greek meaning of the word ‘philoxenia’ and strongly believes that: It is our humanitarian duty, to provide all refugees with a safe and supportive environment where they can begin to rebuild their lives for a better future.
Inspiration for Project Philoxenia
Project Philoxenia has been inspired by the tragic plight faced by vulnerable refugee families with young children, such as Nisrine Shiko, 34. Nisrine and her five children left their home in Aleppo, Syria, three years ago, after her husband and father of her children, was killed by a bomb. After the treacherous journey to Greece, Nisrine and her family took refuge in Idomeni. A makeshift camp for refugees.
The conditions at the camp were so hard for vulnerable women and children like Nisrine and her family, they transferred to the Lagkadikia site. The Lagkadikia site is a newly built site in Northern Greece, managed by UNHCR. This site provides support and resources in the hope that refugees such as Nisrine and her family, can begin to rebuild their lives with dignity in a safe environment.
UNHCR have future plans to build a school and to also integrate the refugee people, at this site, into the local community of Lagkadikia. By accessing the link below, you can find out more about the Lagkadikia site, as well as Nisrine, her family and their experiences.
‘Given the length of time children and their families are likely to be displaced it’s essential that they gain access to quality basic services, including education, as soon as possible’ (Thorning-Schmidt, 2016)
My dream for the vulnerable families and children of Lagkadikia, like Nisrine and her children, is a future where they can regain hope, fulfil their dreams, feel safe and happy and smile again. Insert a powerful image of refugees