A place of hope and creativity

NetworkANTHROPIA supports refugee women and children in Lavrio, Greece, on their way to a life far from home. At the “Centre Anthropia” they experience an empowering togetherness, learn new languages and help shape a varied workshop programme.

Our partner organisation networkANTHROPIA works in the city of Lavrio with refugee women and children, mainly Kurds from Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Most of them have experienced a traumatic flight and their future is uncertain. This is where the project sets in: At the “Anthropia Centre”, a flat in the middle of the city, the women and children meet for language lessons and various joint activities. The centre offers them a protected space outside the difficult daily routine of the camp where they can find peace and stability in the group.

At the centre there are weekly lessons in Greek, English and German as well as a reading and writing classes for women without education. The new language skills promote self-confidence and enable communication in different places, such as at the local school and in the target country. The women’s resources are strengthened individually and in a purposeful way. They are encouraged to reflect on their skills and knowledge and they have the opportunity of sharing these with the group. This results in a varied workshop programme in arts and crafts, music and tailoring. For the children, there are creative activities in small groups where they can enjoy carefree moments. 

The holistic approach of networkANTHROPIA convinces us. The project thrives on the participation of the women and actively involves them in the planning and implementation of the programme. The project also consciously seeks incorporation in and networking between the local population and the refugees.

In addition to the humanitarian aid that networkANTHROPIA provides in this context, the work at the centre is about the sustainable empowerment of the people. The experience of encouragement and solidarity in their desperate situation and the practical knowledge they gain in the courses are what the women and children take with them on their further journey. From the joint activities and the good moments, the women draw strength and the courage to face future challenges. The time spent at the centre means not least a break with their own history of flight.

Renata Herger

Project Manager networkANTHROPIA, Greece

„What excites me about our centre is the opportunity of meeting people on a very personal level in different ways, of linking them with each other, of perceiving their resources and accompanying them on part of their journey. The women and children who find a place in the centre have very different, often terrible stories of flight. I want to hear them, share them, inspire confidence and hope in these people and seek and find perspectives together with them! These moments will accompany my memories in the future. This means happiness and confidence for me in my very personal task.“