Here is our latest news from our Empower residents affected by the fires in Greece project!
Six long months have passed since the terrible day of July 23rd 2018.
For those affected dramatically by the destructive fires. Greece has entered a pre-electoral period. Lots of promises, but little has been delivered.
As per the team of our social workers/scientists, there is very slow progress on the assessment of the house classification (completely destroyed, half destroyed, in need of major repairs, in need of minor repairs). The government mechanical and engineering teams are under enormous strain to complete the assessment process as most of the owners of the houses are still housed in army camps.
Life in the army camps is challenging. House conditions are basic.
What is mostly missing is being able to re-create a life from the past:
Being able to cook your own food. Being able to be independent and in control of your own destiny. The residents still have to get supplies from the municipal grocery stores, queue for essentials, receive food from the army soup kitchen, etc. They do not have essentials such as a mini cooking stove, oven etc.
Emfasis Foundation continues the support of the community in the following ways:
Our Emfasis social worker, fire affected victim herself, provides weekly guidance with regards to the processing of the paperwork, submissions, requests for benefits, coordination between social services and the community members. Finally a large number of significant documents, have been reissued, replaced etc, giving a sense of return to normality.
Our Emfasis sociologist, fire affected victim herself too, provides weekly guidance with regards to adjusting to the “temporary” way of life. We conduct visits, community workshops, where we discuss daily burdens and how to overcome depression caused by uncertainty. Families are “broken” in the sense that some members have moved towards the city center, in order to be closer to their work, hence they don’t live together. The relationships are tense, as they are consumed by worry and concern about the elders who chose to live in the army camp. As we go deeper and deeper in their stories, we focus on active hearing and continue to build relationships of trust and mutual respect.
Special initiatives: During the Christmas Festive period, we have organized special activities by the elderly fire affected members of the community to help and support the elderly homeless of Athens. This was highly therapeutic and empowering, giving them the opportunity to feel that they are fully fledged members of the civic society again and they are still in a position to help not only themselves but also others.