Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece

by Irida Women's Center
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Irida: Safe space for 650 women at risk in Greece
Masquerade Party for mothers and children!
Masquerade Party for mothers and children!

Dear Supporter of Irida,

On behalf of the Irida team, we hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound.

2023 has launched for good, finding us busy and with some developments that we would like to share with you.

  • Our services have been expanded and opened to local women living in Thessaloniki who face social and economic vulnerabilities. After reaching the social services of the city's municipalities and assessing the available provisions, we concluded that a high number of local women are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, and our services are much needed. We are happy that we were able to expand our scope of work in this direction and come a step closer to our vision for a world in which no woman is left behind.

  • Our team is growing!
    In February, we welcomed on board Ioanna, a skillful Psychologist; Ioanna is facilitating one-to-one sessions providing women with psychological support, helping them manage any symptoms of post-traumatic experiences, immense anxiety, and toxic stress, and initiating their healing process. Within her first month, Ioanna has already facilitated at least one session with 10 unique women. 

  • In the first 3 months of the year, we observe an increased need for requests for the purchase of medication. Hundreds of families appear to be unable to secure medicines and medication for emergencies or family members suffering from longer-term health conditions. The current increase in such requests often exceeds our capacity, forcing us to overstretch aiming to support them. At the moment, we are the sole actor in the city providing support with medication to every woman in need regardless of her legal status. 

  • Within April, Irida is planning to host 4 special community meals; every Friday afternoon, in April, we will be inviting 10 different women and their children to dinners with traditional recipes. The goal is to bring women closer, giving them the opportunity to socialize and develop bonds through joint joyful memories.

    Summing up, we would like to thank you for your continuous support of our work. Embracing our mission makes us inspired.

    Thank you so much.

    Stay tuned until our next report.

    With love,

    Lydia 



Arts & Crafts Activity
Arts & Crafts Activity
IWD 2023
IWD 2023
Happy Women's Day!
Happy Women's Day!
Psychosocial Support - Creating the Tree of Love
Psychosocial Support - Creating the Tree of Love

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Mother and Daughter
Mother and Daughter
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
1 in 3 women in Europe has experienced physical and sexual violence.

Violence impoverishes women, their families, communities, and nations. Costs of violence against women in the EU are estimated to be almost 256€ billion.

Today and every day, we work in-depth with more than 650 women at risk to ensure they will not be left behind. Through protection, legal, and psychosocial support, skill-building, and employability services, we help them reshape their lives in safety and build a sustainable future for themselves and their children.

November 29th, 2022 is #GivingTuesday, kicking off the holiday season, where you can be part of positive change!

Τhis #GivingTuesday and for the next 30 days, we need your help to raise 10.000$, allowing us to maintain the sole community center for more than 650 women and 800 children in Northern Greece, open.
Thank you for embracing our vision for a world in which no woman is left behind by donating to our cause, sharing it with loved ones, and helping us raise awareness. 

Your solidarity CAN MAKE the DIFFERENCE! 
With love, 
Ukrainian Community
Ukrainian Community
Mother and Daughter
Mother and Daughter
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Writing our wishes to a bottle
Writing our wishes to a bottle
Dear Friend and Supporter of the Irida community,
On behalf of the Irida family, we wish you had a nice, resting, and joyful summertime with your loved ones.
As you might have heard, things can be hectic in Greece during the summer months. However, the Irida Women's Center remained on top of it, working hard to protect, empower, and support our community.
Within the summer period:
  • We witnessed our community growing and flourishing - rising above 2021, we had 490 women registered to the center. In mid-2022, this number increased; we are currently supporting more than 660 women and their children with access to critical focused, and rigorous solutions. 

  • In addition, we welcomed 80 Ukrainian refugee women to the center who escaped their country to seek safety in Greece.
  • 55 refugee and asylum-seeking women received 76 different legal services. 

You are the only one that helped me these 2 years in Thessaloniki. Thanks to you now my 2 years old son has an asylum seeker card and is able to have public health care aid and receive cash assistance
A 31-year-old woman from Somalia.
  • 210  women accessed our protection services including access to medication, healthcare, food and non-food items, connections with actors in the city, and provision of information. 126 were single mothers, 7 were pregnant women, 5 were women with mental health issues, and 3 women were victims of GBV.

  • 25 women received psychosocial support through artistic and recreational activities to alleviate the trauma they have suffered. Among our psychosocial support sessions were two visits to the seaside:

“I came to the seaside to overcome my fear. I had faith that I could overcome my fear thanks to God. I had the willingness to rise above my fear. Everybody’s presence and support encouraged me to try to get into the water. I felt great joy, hope, and courage”  
An Arabic-speaking community member with a traumatic experience related to water that was caused during her journey. 
She was empowered to battle against her fear in the PSS sessions “Together we build the ship of hope”
She felt so good about herself that at the end of the trip she would not get out of the water.

Summing up, we would like to thank you for your continuous support to our work. Embracing our mission makes us inspired.

Thank you so much.

Stay tuned until our next report.

With love,

Lydia 

Women visiting the seaside during a PSS session
Women visiting the seaside during a PSS session
Celebrating Khatereh's Birthday
Celebrating Khatereh's Birthday
Greek lessons for the Ukrainian women
Greek lessons for the Ukrainian women
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Face Painting to this amazing young lady!
Face Painting to this amazing young lady!

Dear Supporter of Irida,

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy!

With pride and joy, we would like to share with you our Annual Report for 2021

2021 has been a year with a challenging start in terms of the unprecedented effects of the pandemic and the future of our community. However, it is proven that when we join forces, we are able to make a big difference.

We are beyond grateful for the extraordinary generosity and invaluable support of all our donors, allowing us to remain on the frontline of protecting, empowering, and supporting refugee, asylum-seeking, migrant, and local women and children. 

Thank you for embracing our mission and vision! Our community is thankful for your solidarity and generosity.

We appreciate and admire the determination and commitment of our partners, interns, volunteers, and supporters that helped us to deploy resources, contributing to our fight for establishing a more equal and inclusive society for socially and financially vulnerable women and children. 

Special thanks to everyone contributing to creating this report, including the unique women of the Irida community. Your courage, strength, and resilience have been sources of inspiration. 

Our team commits to continuing to work tirelessly and passionately to provide women and children with tailored, targeted, and timely solutions responding to their unique needs.

Apart from our Annual Report for 2021, we would love to share some further news about our project:

  • In case you missed it, Irida Women's Center has been selected to be among the four winning projects for the Ockenden International Prize. We are very thankful for the recognition that Irida received
  • Remaining loyal to our mission to protect, empower, and support the most vulnerable women and their children, we welcomed 55 Ukrainian single-parental families to Irida. We provide them with access to protection, legal aid, and skill-building services to alleviate the trauma they have suffered
  • Our community currently consists of more than 600 women from 37 countries and we work passionately and tirelessly to continue providing essential humanitarian welfare support.

Thank you for your invaluable and continuous support of our work. We could not achieve much without you standing by our side

Stay tuned to find out more about our work.

With love,

Lydia 

Meet Inna , our Ukrainian community representative
Meet Inna , our Ukrainian community representative
Cooking and Sharing Delicious Iranian Food
Cooking and Sharing Delicious Iranian Food
Psychosocial Support - Writing the Irida Newspaper
Psychosocial Support - Writing the Irida Newspaper

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Psychosocial Support Via Recreational Activities
Psychosocial Support Via Recreational Activities

Dear Friend of the Irida Community,

From the bottom of our hearts, the Irida Family wishes you a Bright and Creative New Year full of health and prosperity. 

With this report, we would like to THANK YOU for your invaluable and generous support during 2021, embracing our mission and vision for just and gender-equal communities where refugee women and their children have the right to live their lives safely and with dignity. 

Your generosity, solidarity, and love came a long way. In 2021, thanks to your support, we managed to:

  • provide on average 2.160 refugee, asylum-seeking, and migrant women with access to protection services, including provisions of food items, personal hygiene products, and baby necessities like diapers, baby formula, baby wipes, baby bath foams, purchase of medication, and access to decent healthcare, provision of information, and psycho-social support
  • support members of our community to access their legal and social rights by serving on average 550 legal cases
  • offer 240 language classes for English, Greek, and German, including Farsi literacy classes for community members who are illiterate in their native language
  • implement 75 recreational activities -arts & crafts & sewing lessons- led by active community members who donate their time and skills.

Moving forward to 2022, we are setting new goals to tackle new challenges. Among our top priorities is to re-establish our child safe space to support mothers and children to process their traumas in a trauma-informed setting. At the moment, we have 155 community members - including 70 single women - who have at least one child from one to five years old and are the only caregivers in their families. 

To find out more about our child-safe space, you can click here

Thank you for your solidarity! Stay safe and healthy until our next report.

With love,

Lydia 

Khatereh picks a book from our library for her son
Khatereh picks a book from our library for her son
Neda and her puppy, Fandogh
Neda and her puppy, Fandogh
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Organization Information

Irida Women's Center

Location: Thessaloniki - Greece
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Lydia Siapardani
Thessaloniki , Greece
$13,646 raised of $20,000 goal
 
152 donations
$6,354 to go
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