| May 25, 2022
2022 first quarter developments
Better Days team during an outreach activity
"I just woke up. I am in the shelter. I am very thankful. The first night in the shelter went well. Now I can rest. I love you all" - says ‘B’, an unaccompanied 16 y.o girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We feel empowered by the words of ‘B’ and many other participants. Despite the ongoing changes occurring in the migration context in Greece, the development of THEMIDA GREECE program, implemented in collaboration with DCI Greece, has caused a significant impact on the lives of another 28 children during this reporting period.
During the first quarter of 2022, our program was situated in a hostile environment for refugee children which was characterized by:
- The limited capacity of the National Tracing and Protection Mechanism to onboard and identify new homeless unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
- Overstretching of asylum services resulting in difficulties to register children. Some UASC are waiting for over 8 months without a registration appointment.
- The Joint Ministerial Decision added an extra admissibility interview for asylum seekers incl., UASC.
- The burden of proving kinship in family reunification cases relies on UASC and their relatives and adds to the long delays.
Besides these impediments, we remain committed to fulfilling the requirements of our participants and helping them exercise their rights for protection and legal representation. During this reporting period the Themida team focused on:
- Supporting 13 children with their asylum process and 12 children with open family reunification cases who needed additional aid from our program.
- Registering a newborn and working on his guardianship with his underage unaccompanied mother and Themida participant.
- 12 outreach activities which involved escorting, NFI delivery and PSS sessions.
- A successfully completed age assessment with a positive decision from the doctors.
Simultaneously, at the beginning of a new year, Better Days performs an impact and a context analysis. Therefore in February 2022, we launched two parallel assessments on Lesvos and in Athens to perform and submit a comprehensive field needs assessment to help inform decision-making on THEMIDA GREECE for the coming year and other Better Days programming for 2022-2023. During this time, Themida Greece and other BD programs paused the acceptance of new cases. The results of the assessments have highlighted a critical gap in quality education for children and youth in Athens and the development of a closer relationship with the National Tracing and Protection Mechanism which runs under the Special Secretariat for the Protection of the Unaccompanied Minors since April 2021. Although the program's efficacy has been challenged over the past year, we are interested in determining means of support for this initiative and compliment national efforts in developing a comprehensive and holistic approach to protecting the rights of lone children in Greece.
We will be getting back in touch with you shortly to inform you about our next steps. Remember to stay tuned to our social media to get first-hand information about our operational updates!
Playing with children during streetwork activities
Analysing the data from our Needs-assessment