We are launching a fundraiser to start up an NGO and create a safe space for refugee children and youth in Athens to prevent them from sexual exploitation. I'm living in Athens close to two years, often visited city center and the squares of Athens on my way to sowhere, but like most of people never really gave any attention to refugge youth and children hanging out there. Then one day taking a walk together with my Arabic speaking friend, some of the youth approached us to ask for some cigarettes and some money. This time I was with my friend who could speak Arabic and what the young guy told us blowed my mind. The guy who approached us was from Syria he just turned 16 a week ago. He told us that he left his family in refugee camp more than year ago and since then is living on streets of Athens. One of his main incomes is selling himself to older Greek man an also tourists in squers of Athens after sun goes down. The other option is selling drugs, but as he told us he is not doing that yet. We ended our conversation and tea just after sun set and on the way back home crossing the squere now everything was obvious. The older guys walking arround groups of youth, trying to make eye contact and engage in some conversations, it was mind blowing for person who spent most of his life in Northern Europe. Our conversation never left my mind, I did some research on internet. It turns out international media was covering this story prior the COVID (links at the end), but then COVID and other news become more important and the youth of the squers were forgotten. Like always public were shocked people were leaving their comments, but nothing changed. Especially in COVID times when most vulnerable part of us is hit the most. And now about the fundraiser. We are planning to open and NGO and to create a safe space to some of the youth from the squares, sometimes they just need a place to stay, some food and some legal advice to settle their papers, to be able to become a part of system to have an opportunity to leave the circle they are in at the moment. If we can just give a bit our attention, time and money it could really change life's of other. Humanity can win and we as a society will benefit from that. Less broken and desperate people on the streets of Europe and world is in the interests of all of us. We already reached out to set up paper work for NGO creation, we are already also searching for place of base and starting to build up webpage etc. Hope that with help of all you this idea will not just stay as idea.
Please help and share!