The recent surge of refugees fleeing war and persecution into Europe has led to a great humanitarian tragedy in the world, including Greece, which received over 850,000 asylum seekers in 2015. True to its priority to assist the most vulnerable and weakened, the SNF’s emergency relief grants aim to address the extensive repercussions of the unprecedented refugee influx in Greece, as well as the significant humanitarian challenges for those remaining in the country’s facilities. The Foundation witnesses the situation on the ground and holds discussions with NGOs that provide critical support on a continuing basis.
Since the surge of the crisis in 2015, the SNF has made grants totaling $6,250,000 to provide relief to asylum seekers through support to organizations and civil society efforts in Greece. Recognizing the importance of the complementarity in the impact of both large scale experience and small scale flexibility of organizations in the response to this crisis, the Foundation collaborates with various grantees in its effort to provide infrastructure assistance and critical support. From grassroots volunteer-based organizations, such as Starfish, Organization Earth and Lifeguards Hellas, to established leaders of international aid efforts, such as Doctors Without Borders and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and to important Greek actors in the field, such as Metadrasi and the Greek Council for Refugees, the Foundation is proud to have partnered with NGOs making an immediate and substantial impact. For relevant press releases, please see here and here.
Fully understanding the extensive global dimension of this crisis, the SNF has additionally proceeded with a $15 million grant over five years to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to support its global emergency response efforts (including its programs in Greece) and organizational infrastructure systems.
The SNF also supports Barça Foundation’s FutbolNet programs, which aim to help refugee children and teenagers by preventing and solving conflicts and encouraging social inclusion and integration in host communities. The FutbolNet methodology uses sports as a neutral platform to tackle social problems and provide education on values and reflection tools to stimulate children and young people. More than 3,000 children in refugee sites in Greece, Italy, Lebanon will directly benefit from the program through the SNF’s support.
Last but not least, the SNF has a long tradition of partnering with organizations providing medical, psychological, legal and consulting support to the vulnerable refugee and immigrant communities in Greece. See here for more information.