Study Visits to Greek NGO’s – working to mitigate the effects of the crisis

On December 11 Social Platform organized a Conference on the social dimension of the Greek EU presidency priorities that brought together a wide range of almost 100 key stakeholders including governmental representatives and Greek and EU civil society. The key messages were based on the outcomes of a Networking meeting between EU and Greek social NGOs  on Dec 10 to provide recommendations relevant to the Greek EU presidency priorities and to help improve the situation in Greece and other member states. The topics were: Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion; Accessing Social and Health Services; Migration and Promoting Intergenerational Solidarity.

Here you can download the minutes from the Conference on Dec 11, 2013 and the speech by Ms Heather Roy, President of Social Platform to the Greek Minister of Labour, Social Security and Welfare – you can also view photos from the event on our Flickr page

In conjunction with our Networking Meeting the EU delegation had the opportunity to visit some of the practices and projects of Greek social NGOs illustrating their challenges in responding to the social consequences of the crisis.

  • Praksis provides humanitarian support (medical, legal, social welfare, psychological and financial) to socially vulnerable groups in need, regardless of color, race, religion, age, nationality, ideology, sexual orientation or political beliefs through an array of programs. One of these initiatives is “syn sto plin”, a program that intends to provide relief to vulnerable social groups who are on a daily basis severely affected by the consequences of the crisis. It focuses on: Intervention through Day Centers in Athens and Piraeus that offer relief and assistance to homeless people in need of support. Recorded visits in both centers range from 150 to 200 on a daily basis, and on Prevention by offering support to Greek families with children in Athens and in Thessaloniki that due to the crisis are facing poverty and the immediate risk of homelessness. Each month 550 families are supported.

Visiting Praksis program 'syn sto plin'


  • The Ecumenical Refugee Program (ERP) is a special service for refugees within the Integration Centre for Working Migrants, an NGO of the Church of Greece.  They primarily provide legal assistance and representation to asylum seekers and refugees as well as social support and is one of the main Organizations in this field in Athens.


  • The Hellenic Adult Education Association is cooperating with scientists who have significantly contributed to Adult Education; all the participants in the association and trainings are volunteers. Part of their courses is done by using art. They work together with associations of other countries via Grundtvig projects.  The mission is the development of scientific thought, action, research, information and the dialogue for Adult Education.


  • Generation 2.0 and the Greek Refugee Forum explained the challenges migrants face in Greece accessing healthcare. Representatives from Generation 2.0 explained that second generation migrants born in Greece do not have the right to citizenship and have major difficulties accessing the labour market.  As social insurance is linked to employment, this is a barrier to access.  They have a petition to change the Greek Citizenship law. Refugees from the Greek Refugee Forum explained that often they have to wait longer to see healthcare professionals than Greek nationals, and sometimes there are even two waiting lists. Another problem commonly experienced is that often ambulances and emergency services do not respond when they hear that the individual calling is not Greek.  


  • Positive Voice runs a HIV testing facility to allow people to anonymously and freely get tested for HIV without any stigma or questions asked. This was a civil society response to the increase in HIV infections after the crisis and reductions in preventative services.