My first work experience!

On May 20th 2021, I was so lucky to work in one of the biggest hotels in Greece and one of the best ones in Athens.

One fateful afternoon my phone rang and when I answered the call, it was my case worker from HR360, who told me: “I have a job vacancy for you to work in a hotel in Athens. You can send me your CV and one photo in order to send it to the hotel”. After this conversation, they called me to have an interview, but frankly speaking I was so excited and worried at the same time as it was my first job and I didn’t have any experience. I was stressed for the outcome, but luckily the answer was positive and I started to work there.

In the beginning everything was strange and stressful for me, but the people were so professional that they understood it was my first job and so they trained me. After some weeks, I learnt my tasks and the responsibilities, how to handle pressure, how to cope with stress and time management. Within a month I became so good that the management called me to compliment me. During my time in the hotel I gained a lot of experience, I met different people from different cultures, different states and countries. Working at that particular hotel boost my confidence and self-belief.

Now, I feel I can endure any pressure or bullying and I can be anything that I can image. I can describe my time at the hotel as very busy, fun and the most important, I felt equal! The policy of the hotel is built on equality and I really felt it.

Mahmoud 20 y.o

Rent to Restart: Our winter campaign is live!

Donate monthly with our ‘Rent to Restart’ programme to support 8 young people in 2022 to restart their lives in Athens.

What is the Velos Youth Housing Integration Project?

Velos Youth’s Housing Integration Project supports young people to build lives integrated within Greek Society. The project complements the Velos Youth holistic model and benefits young people already accessing other Velos Youth services. Through the program young people are supported by a range of local professionals to learn Greek, find work, organise their finances and subsequently find their own stable accommodation.

Why become a monthly sponsor? 

  • You will provide direct support to 8 displaced young people over a year by contributing to the rent of an apartment; in the knowledge that safe secure accommodation is essential for anyone building an autonomous life  
  • You will be providing vital long term financial support and stability for the Velos Youth Housing Integration Project
  • You will be taking us a step closer to our mission of creating more spaces in the program

In return for your monthly donation you will receive regular updates on exactly how your money is supporting young people and the progress they are making, as well as special opportunities to meet the team virtually, learn more about this work and take part in a Q&A.

Join us and become a regular sponsor today!

If you’re donating from EU/US click the donate today button and tick the box ‘Make this a recurring monthly donation’. When making the donation, please be sure to leave a message explaining that your donation is intended for the Rent to Restart programme by writing ‘Rent to Restart’. 

If you’re in the UK and wish to make a regular or monthly donation to Rent to Restart, donations are managed by our partner Refugee Youth Service.  By clicking on this button you will be taken to their Just Giving fundraising page. Select ‘donate’ on the right hand corner and then make your donation ‘monthly’. When making the donation, please be sure to leave a message explaining that your donation is intended for the Rent to Restart programme by writing ‘Rent to Restart’. 

Velos Youth Advisory Board: second round of applications open!

This month we held the first assembly of our Advisory Board, welcoming two new members. Applications are now open for the second round as we seek another three members to join us in preparation for the January assembly.

Velos Youth Advisors are responsible for:

  • Attending 4 strategy days/meetings per year (alongside directors), for a minimum of one year
  • Providing ad hoc advice and support when available via phone or online, according to the expertise and special interests of the advisor
  • Being an advocate for the work of Velos Youth and the needs of our target group

Velos Youth Advisors are asked to:

  • Commit to the mission of Velos Youth
  • Be willing to devote the necessary time and effort
  • Offer strategic vision and insight regarding the organisation as a whole and in focus-specific areas
  • Be willing to provide support/advice ad hoc or at short-notice on certain occasions
  • Speak openly and critically, whilst remaining sensitive to the resource scarce reality of a small grass-roots organisation

This is not a legally registered position, and does not carry any personal liability, but exists to add to the skills and expertise of the board of directors, diversifying it where possible. Members of the advisory board will be invited to see and experience the work of Velos Youth first hand to develop a better understanding and insight into the organisation’s work.

If you have expertise in any of the following areas, we want to hear from you!

  • NGO leadership, management and development
  • CSR
  • Social enterprise
  • Social work
  • Psychology
  • Greek and European Law
  • Human rights and asylum law
  • Communications and public relations
  • Advocacy
  • Audit, accounting & finance

Interested applicants should submit either a brief cover letter (max. 2 pages) or short video* (max. 3 minutes), and a CV to info@velosyouth.org. Please include a short plan on the steps you would take to ensure Velos Youth benefits from your specific skills and experiences. Please write ‘Advisory Board Application’ in the subject Line. The deadline for applications is Monday 6th December.

*To submit a video, upload it to a video sharing platform and send us the link. Please note we are not judging the production or video quality, a recording on a phone is fine.

Velos Youth Housing Integration Project: Our first success!

Velos Youth’s Housing Integration Project supports young people to build lives integrated within Greek Society. The project complements the Velos Youth holistic model and benefits young people already accessing other Velos Youth services. Through the program young people are supported by a range of local professionals to find work, organise their finances and subsequently source stable private accommodation.

Ebrima was one of the first young people to join the Velos Youth Housing Integration Project. Having previously been without a supportive network or secure place to stay, Ebrima entered the apartment with a mixture of relief and excitement, determined to make the most of all the support and services available.

After just six weeks of intensive support from Velos Youth, Ebrima was selected from many applicants to work in a boutique hotel on the Greek island of Samos as a cleaner, with a fair wage and a probationary employment contract. Just two weeks after his arrival to Samos, he had made such a good impression he was promoted and trained as a waiter, and received a contract covering the remainder of the tourist season.

Velos Youth is now supporting him to find work in Athens, crystallising the independence he has developed in the previous months.

For every €1 spent supporting him, Ebrima has earned over €3.50 to move forward on his journey to autonomy. 

Read Ebrima’s full story here…

We’re Hiring! Velos Youth is looking for a psychologist to join its team

Status: Full time, one year with a possibility of extension

Position summary

Velos Youth is looking for a professional psychologist to help meet the complex mental health needs of displaced young people. The psychologist will be licensed to practice in Greece and will have a Bachelor’s degree and preferably a Masters degree. The Psychologist will be part of a multi-disciplinary casework team, and will therefore make referrals within the organisation, to external partner organisations and to public services where appropriate. Services will be delivered in-house, with the aid of a cultural mediator. The successful candidate will therefore have meaningful experience of working in partnership with cultural mediators to deliver mental health services.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • To complete clinical assessments and devise psychological care plans for the young people supported by Velos Youth
  • To provide a comprehensive package of psychological care services to beneficiaries, in 1:1 and group settings
  • To work closely with cultural mediators to deliver these services
  • To make timely referrals both internally and externally, based on the identified needs of the child or young person
  • To contribute to weekly casework meetings, share insight and knowledge about the young person’s life circumstances and needs; ensuring that young people are receiving holistic care from the organisation team of professionals and services, and from its partners
  • Filling and registering all cases and actions on the organisations online case management system (Lamplight Online Database), using pre-agreed progress metrics
  • To attend monthly team supervision meetings, delivered by the team’s external psychologist and supervisor, and contribute to the ongoing team building activities
  • To deliver information sessions and trainings to the Velos Youth team, if needs arise or opportunities are identified.


Required qualifications and skills

  • University Degree in Psychology
  • Masters degree (counseling or clinical psychology) or a certificate of training on a psychotherapeutic orientation
  • A ministerial licence to practice psychology
  • 2 year’s professional experience of delivering 1:1 psychological intervention, including at least one year supporting displaced people
  • Familiar with refugee and migration issues (including asylum processes, bureaucratic processes, and family reunification)
  • Understanding and willingness to promote gender equality and understand the different vulnerabilities, needs and capacities of men, women, boys and girls.
  • Understanding of psychological needs and issues for survivors of gender-based violence
  • Computer literacy & numeracy sufficient for the demands of online casework
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to handle a large volume of cases
  • Good interpersonal & communications skills, and ability to work well within a culturally diverse team
  • Fluent written and spoken Greek
  • Fluent written and spoken English.

Desired

  • Experience working for NGOs, delivering psychological services in day centres, camps or as part of mobile units
  • Participation in refugee focused studies or trainings
  • Experience of using online case-management systems and software We encourage applications from under-represented groups, particularly (but not limited to) those from marginalised communities, those who identify as LGBTQI+, people with disabilities or those who have shared lived-experience with the young people we support. This is inline with our commitment to diversity and to represent the many communities and nationalities we work with.


To apply please send your CV and a motivation letter to info@velosyouth.org by Friday 5th November mentioning in the email subject: Application for Psychologist Position. Please note that due to the urgency of recruitment, Velos Youth will complete the recruitment process as soon as the suitable candidate has been identified. This may be before the application deadline.

Velos Bloggers: ‘What Velos means to me’

Last Tuesday, a group of 6 young people met in Velos Youth centre to participate in the weekly Bloggers workshop. During the workshop they had a vivid discussion on “What Velos Youth means to me”. They came up with the following ideas:

“Velos has given us a great deal of help. People from Velos have found a lawyer for us and before Covid-19 we participated in very interested workshops in the space and during the time we have been coming here, we have met helpful people and we have made new friends”

“Here there are available services like shower, laundry and food, very essential and important for us, especially during the winter months. Distribution of clothes, hygiene stuff and sleeping bags are necessary and valuable during the time that when there was a lot of cold”

The discussion followed on “How you would like to see Velos Youth in the future”

“We would like Velos to organise structured Greek and English lessons here in the centre. Also for those attending school we would like to have some support for classes such as Physics or Chemistry. Computer skills are also very important to learn and necessary for our future”

Because things with housing has become difficult, Velos can increase the places for housing helping more people”.

“The lawyer in the space will be very helpful to direct us as most organisations have a long waiting list. Also because some of us visit a psychologist outside Velos, we would really like the psychologist here because talking with a psychologist can really help us with some situations”.

Because of the difficulties we face when we go to the public services or hospitals, sometimes we feel more secure if somebody from Velos could come with us and help us there.

“For our free time we would like to organise a football team, do trainings on a regular basis and get football equipment like shoes”

My first job in Greece!

On June 7, 2021 I started working in one of the best hotels in Attika. During the first month of my work there it was not easy because I had a lot of thing to learn and everything was overwhelming for me.

HR360 applied for me in the hotel and Velos Youth supported me to have most of the documents I needed in order to be qualified to work in Greece. Some of the needed documents were the criminal record and medical certificates.

Before this job, I had the opportunity to go to Thessaloniki to work in another hotel. I personally applied for this job. This is when I knew that Velos Youth wanted me to succeed because they put all their efforts in ensuring I have everything I need to get this job, but it was unfortunate that I didn’t get this job. After that, the opportunity for the hotel I am currently working, came.

All thanks to Velos Youth and HR360 for giving me the courage to move on and I see that I am becoming a better person everyday!

Y. 19 year old

Velos Bloggers: ‘What education means to me’

In the continuation of the “Bloggers workshops”, the young persons discussed and shared ideas upon important issues that affect their lives, such as education. After having a fruitful discussion, Bernard, 20 years old, shared:

“In my view, I think that education is important to human beings because it starts from an early age and more specifically from when we are children at home. Personally I have, also, been receiving education through church and finally school is an important institution for education.

In school we learn how we many behave with our fellow students, or at work in the future and, generally, in society. We don’t just learn how to become an engineer or a doctor. We learn new skills and we take experience. However, the behavior that we show to each other (husband to wife, parents to children, neighbor to neighbor) is still an important part of education and something very basic to how society works.

I remember back in my country that my father used to tell me: “You go to school not for just showing up, but for learning how to become a good person”. Now I realise that my father was my first teacher, all the time, so I really believe that education begins from home and affects all society”.

Open call for Advisors

Velos Youth is, for the first time, building an Advisory Board to support broadly it’s operations. A diverse and inclusive board sought, and so applications from those under the age of 25 and/or those who have experienced similar journeys to the young people we work with are particularly welcome. Experience of working in the humanitarian and NGO fields and/or with small to medium sized organisations will be a significant advantage. It is preferred that individuals who apply are located in, or close to, Greece.

To Apply, interested applicants should submit either a brief cover letter (max. 2 pages) or short video (max. 3 minutes), and a CV to info@velosyouth.org. Applicants should include within this a short plan on the steps they would take to ensure Velos Youth benefits from their specific skills and experiences. ‘Advisory Board Application’ should be written in the subject line.

For more information: