Hellenic Red Cross
Who is responsible for psychosocial support (PSS)?
Ms Zefi Thanassoula, Head of Social Welfare Division
Tel:+30 210 3605631, +30 210 3629842
Contact for PSS
Mr Menelaos Kanakis, HRC PSS Coordinator
Tel: +30 210 3613574
Website of the national society or PSS
Field of psychosocial support at the moment
HELLENIC RED CROSS SOCIAL WELFARE DIVISION
The Social Welfare Division of the Hellenic Red Cross was established in 1965. Since then, it has been active in the support of all vulnerable people in need, both in Greece and abroad. The Division responds to social needs, by implementing a number of humanitarian activities.
All the activities of the Social Welfare Division refer to the following fields of action:
COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMMES
Target groups: children and families, patients, homeless, unemployed and other social excluded or minority groups
AIM OF THE PROGRAMMES: the reinforcement and support of all the above mentioned vulnerable groups in order to reconcile themselves and cope better with everyday life difficulties, as well as, the provision of the humanitarian aid.
- Psychosocial support
- Counselling to individuals and families
- Active information for Rights and Social Benefits on training, health care, social insurance, housing, financial allowance
- Vocational counselling, labor orientation, empowerment and labor integration of unemployed people
- Financial support, provision of materials
COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES FOR THE ELDERLY AND THE DISABLED PEOPLE
Aim of the programmes: the prevention of the biological and social difficulties of the elderly and disabled people through health and welfare activities and their involvement in a number of community actions for their mobilization and self – organization.
- Psychosocial – emotional support of the beneficiaries
- Health care activities (nursing at home – physiotherapy health nutrition seminars, preventive medicine programs)
- Consultation and information (advice concerning every day life, pension, geriatric care etc)
- Support and help in case of illness (need of care visits to the hospital, self – help groups, escort to the agencies)
- Culture, education, leisure amenities and entertainment facilities (choir, theatre, gymnastics, folklore dances, swimming cultural events, handicrafts etc)
- Cooperation with other community services and centers for the aged and the disabled
SOCIAL SHELTER FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE
Aim of the programme: to provide a safe living environment, feeding, personal hygiene care, security and help to homeless people, individuals or families. Moreover, to provide support services, such as actions for social reintegration and promotion to the Labor Market, with the view to avoid the social exclusion of homeless people.
- Unemployed over 45 years old
- Large families who experience, in several sectors, the social exclusion
- Women who face social exclusion
- People with lack of access to secure living environment
- People excluded from the Labor Market
RECEPTION, SOCIAL SUPPORT AND INTEGRATION PROGRAMS FOR THE ASYLUM SEEKERS, REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS
Aim of the programmes: to provide social support and integration services to the target group in order to encourage them to participate actively in greek society. At the same time, they are encouraged to retain their cultural identity.
- Legal and psychosocial support
- Facilitation of refugees’ access to education and employment
- Health care services (vaccination, check up, prevention seminars, escort to the hospitals)
- Educational activities for children and adults (Greek/English language course, homework assistance, computer courses)
- Accommodation, provision of food clothing, hygiene or other material help
- Telephone line for their support and information
- Intercultural and recreational activities
- Creation of informal networks among refugees
- Project to the community with the refugees’ positive contribution to the society (radio broadcastings, press releases, exhibitions, events etc.)
CENTRES FOR UNACCOMPANIED MINORS IN ATHENS, VOLOS AND KALAVRYTA
The Hellenic Red Cross operates three “Accommodation Centers for Unaccompanied Migrant Children” in Athens, Volos and Kalavryta.
The centres offers hospitality to ninety (90) unaccompanied migrant children in total, aged mainly between 15 and 18 years old.
The majority of them are mostly from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Bangladesh, Algeria.
- Provision of food and accommodation
- Counselling and psychosocial support both in individual and group level
- Legal support
- Translation / mediation to community agencies
- Escort to asylum services and hospitals
- Intercultural and recreational activities
VOLUNTEERING WITH THE SOCIAL WELFARE DIVISION OF THE HRC
Volunteers have a vital role to play in fulfilling the mission of the HRC as they provide invaluable assistance during the daily operation of Social Welfare Division social services. In order to deal with constantly increasing social needs, our Division recruits, trains and supervises volunteers, intending to develop and reinforce their talents and creative skills. Under the guidance of social workers, volunteers are given more responsibility and independence, as they are deployed through HRC services and programmes.
In Athens, the number of active volunteers reaches 2.500*, while in local branches 2.000. ( * In this number we don’t refer to the overall number of the “pool” of volunteers that are mobilized and undertake activities on a non –regular basis. In that sense, the actual number is rated higher.)
The H.R.C volunteers provide their services in structures of “closed protection” (for children, elderly people, people with special needs, etc), in reception & Accommodation Centers for asylum seekers and refugees and other vulnerable groups of population.
Fields of actions of volunteers:
For the elderly
- Offer them company by visiting them at home
- Minimize their feeling of loneliness
- Facilitate their access to health services, insurance organizations, and other services
- Participate in the planning of entertainment and festivities at Day Care Center for the Protection of the Elderly, etc.
For Person with special needs and people in poor health
- Provide them with assistance to solve problems of everyday life
- Accompany them to hospitals and services
- Offer support and company to lonely hospitalised patients
- Keep company to children and adults who live in institutions
For families and children
- Support emotionally and practically pregnant women, socially excluded women, the sick or injured persons, as well their families
- Teach children Greek or English
- Tutor children
- Organize creative activities for the children (festivities during holidays, excursions etc.)
For refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants
- Mediate with public and community agencies or institutions
- Offer Greek language courses
- Help them integrate into the local society ( by organizing intercultural events or other kind of activities)
- Support them to find a job
PARTICIPATION IN EUROPEAN NETWORKS
Aim of the European networks: the dissemination of information / experience and the promotion of best practice.
- PERCO: is the Platform for European Red Cross Cooperation on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants. The aim of PERCO is to develop and strengthen the Red Cross activities for and with refugees and migrants on a national and international level and promote cooperation among European National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in order to improve the situation of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants
- ENDO: European Network for the Development of volunteerism aims to exchange experience and best practice, to promote volunteerism and develop new fields of activities.
- ENPS:The aim of the network is the exchange of experience, know – how and best practice in the field of Psychosocial Support.
IMPLEMENTED PROGRAMMES IN EMERGENCY CASES
The Hellenic Red Cross is actively involved in emergency and relief operations implementing activities, such as rescue activities, provision of humanitarian assistance, first aid, psychosocial support.
The professional and voluntary staff of Social Welfare Division participates actively to the emergency intervention HRC teams.