The program “Supporting the Greek Authorities in Managing the National Reception System for Asylum Seekers and Vulnerable Migrants (SMS)” is implemented by ZEUXIS in cooperation with IOM and is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union (DG HOME). It aims to provide security and support services to 30 Unaccompanied Minors (UAMs) hosted in the Safe Zone of Malakasa Long Term Accommodation Center.
Τhe scientific team of ZEUXIS, consisting of a social worker, psychologist, educatοr, lawyer and interpreters, provided unaccompanied minors with a personalized treatment of their needs for food, health, education, information, psychological support, socialization and social inclusion, development of interests, entertainment, sports and creative activities, in the framework of an interdisciplinary approach.
The aim of the intervention is to empower unaccompanied minors and to best prepare them for living conditions and requirements that will arise for them in the near future. The intervention unfolds around 2 major axes: psychosocial support and non-formal education, through an interdisciplinary approach.
Psychosocial support includes:
⦁ psychosocial history intake to design a personalized intervention
⦁ individual sessions with the Social Worker/ the Psychologist: consultancy, therapy & joint planning of the Child’s Development Plan
⦁ psychosocial group sessions for the communication of important knowledge/information, strengthening group links and peaceful relations
Non-formal education aims at the UMCs’ development of physical, emotional and cognitive/ creative skills through:
⦁ teaching Greek and English to serve the daily communication needs of UMCs
⦁ experiential and participatory activities
⦁ recreational and sports activities
⦁ commitment to safety rules and ownership of procedures
In July ZEUXIS provided protection and assistance services to 31 Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMCs) hosted in the Safe Zone. In several cases, ZEUXIS’ scientific staff worked with UMCs on their traumas and negative coping like aggressive behavior and the use of alcohol and provided alternatives to cope with stress or anxiety, including creating routines and schedule for them to follow as a protective measure to maladaptive coping mechanisms. UMCs were called upon to engage in the formation of daily routines (e.g. programs, food, personal hygiene issues, prevention measures for Covid-19) and their feedback was sought through individual sessions and group meetings.
Case management included referrals / accompaniment to services mainly for health issues ranging from skin infections to teeth problems and psychiatric treatment. In terms of legal support, ZEUXIS’ lawyer followed up with the Asylum Service on the issuance of UMCs’ international protection applicant cards with priority to those reaching adulthood, on requests for family reunification and communicated with children’s relatives and legal representatives in European countries to provide guidance in terms of bureaucratic procedures.
UMCs also participated in recreational activities, which included wood carving (construction of a wooden ashtray), construction of clay works and painting with watercolors to create posters with days of the week and “good morning”, “good night” in all languages, music and dances from different countries, and activities with "traces" and "identities”.
The context as well as the quantitative outcomes during July is outlined below:
JULY 2020 – PROJECT RESULTS
⦁ 31 UMCs accommodated in the Safe Zone
⦁ 16 members of staff on the field (Coordinator, Interpreters, Social worker, Psychologist, Lawyer, Educator, Driver, Caregivers)
⦁ Basic support:
⦁ 24 h presence of caregivers
⦁ Interpretation in Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Pashto and French
⦁ Daily routines (hygiene and ground rules in the Safe Area)
⦁ Distribution of clothing and sneakers provided by ZEUXIS
⦁ Distribution of personal hygiene items provided by IOM
⦁ Distribution of 892 portions of food provided by IOM
⦁ Provision of monthly cash allowance
⦁ Psychosocial support:
⦁ 5 social history intakes
⦁ 30 needs’ / requests’ assessments
⦁ 16 consultancy sessions
⦁ 20 Individual sessions with the psychologist
⦁ 12 interventions in crisis
⦁ 44 referrals/ escorts for the provision of services
⦁ 31 individual sessions with the lawyer
⦁ 2 UMCs received their international protection applicant card
⦁ 1 UMC was successfully reunited with his family in the UK
⦁ Education, recreation and leisure:
⦁ 13 English lessons
⦁ 27 Greek lessons
⦁ 8 recreational activities (handicrafts & games)
⦁ 3 sport activities (sports & physical training)
⦁ Cleaning activities