Mustafa joined Velos Youth as a cultural mediator in 2017, where he immediately began his training as a youth support worker, and in 2019 was appointed Director & Project Manager. Mustafa continues in this role today. With direct experience of the issues young displaced people face, Mustafa’s personal and professional mission is to support them to restart and rebuild their lives. Mustafa is also a small business owner, and outside of work enjoys releasing his creativity through sketching, and staying connected with his mother tongue language and culture through Arabic music.
Following an initial month of volunteering in the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in 2015, Jonny co-founded Refugee Youth Service to provide immediate support to the unaccompanied children residing there. With RYS, Jonny has since designed and implemented a wide range of projects and solutions for children and young people on the move across Europe. One of these is Velos Youth, which started as a project of RYS and is now a fully independent organisation. Jonny remains involved today, sitting on the board of Velos Youth.
Vasileios joined Velos Youth in 2023 and was appointed the role of the Housing Integration Project Coordinator. He is a social worker and a social pedagogue with more than 20 years of experience in community work, child protection, minority empowerment, youth work, mental health services and humanitarian aid. Vasileios believes that inclusion could be achieved by promoting creative interactions among people which give birth to collective memories. Vasileios is also teaching the practical implementation of Social Pedagogy at a local university. Outside of work he enjoys cooking from scratch, food processing and storytelling.
Maria joined Velos team in May 2021 working as Livelihoods Officer. She is focused on integration related issues and mainly on job integration. The main goal of her job is to support young people find a job and create their own professional pathway through exploring opportunities occuring in the local job market. She also runs workshops aiming to familiarise young people with everyday living in their new country and to support them towards their transition to adulthood. In her free time she enjoys reading, taking care of her plants and dancing.
Alexandra joined Velos Youth in 2022 as an Operations Officer. Her working experience in administration and management has been long and diverse, ranging from food export’s to engineering and sustainable power installations. Consequently, she is familiar with international regulations, as well as with European programmes and projects. However, her involvement with the community, her sensitivity towards social issues and her intercultural competence led her to the humanitarian field. Alexandra’s motivation and goal is to aid Velos Youth in supporting those who are in need in the most efficient way.
Doris joined Velos Youth initially as a volunteer English educator in 2022. Seven months later, she designed and is implementing the Living the English Language Educational Programme and has joined the Velos Youth staff team. She has been teaching people of all ages for over twenty years, with experience in preparatory techniques for all levels of internationally recognised language certifications, and is a certified oral examiner. She has also implemented educational programs in the past for children combining the typical learning curriculum with atypical learning methods inspired by the arts.
Eirini began her collaboration with Velos Youth in March 2023 as a freelance lawyer. She works within Velos to provide legal services to young asylum seekers, offering support in their asylum cases as well as assisting them with integration and the legal issues that frequently arise in the job market. In addition to her main responsibilities, Eirini also organises monthly legal workshops for the young people at Velos. She firmly believes that by equipping young refugees with the necessary tools and knowledge, they can truly empower themselves and embark on their integration journey while navigating their own lives.
Do you want to create your CV and start looking for a job?
Don’t forget that for getting hired for the first time you will need some documents (Tax Number (AFM), Social Security Number (AMKA), bank account, Insured Person Registration Number (EFKA)), at Velos we can support you to issue them.
Do you already have a job but you are facing some challenges, in Velos Youth we can discuss how you could better deal with them.
Are you thinking of your next professional steps? Here is the place to discuss your ideas and goals for your career development and explore ways to achieve them. Together, we can find vocational training and other educational opportunities to improve your professional skills.
If you are interested, you can book an appointment on-line or in Velos Youth space.
If you need support in any of the ways not listed you can still contact us for assistance. We may still be able to provide you with support, guidance or information you need, or we may be able to help you find this somewhere else. Velos is part of a large network of organisations and groups that work collectively to try to meet the various needs of young people in Athens.
Velos Youth is a place in the centre of Athens where young people between the ages of 16 and 25 can come and feel safe and supported. We have an open-door policy, which means anyone within this age range is welcome to come in. In our space, you can come and connect with others, make yourself a drink, have lunch, play board or PlayStation games, visit our library to read a book or to find a quiet place to do your homework and have access to WiFi and laptops. You can also join our workshops and activities that give an opportunity to learn something new, or develop a new skill. Check out our monthly program for more information on what is coming up.
We also provide facilities for showering and laundry, and specialised support in areas such as mental health, housing, legal aid, education, and employability. You can find more information about these on the other service pages.
The Social Service provided by Velos Youth can help you address a wide range of needs and challenges related to your social integration, emotional well-being, education, and overall development.
Specifically, we provide individual one-to-one casework for young refugees and asylum seekers. This involves conducting initial registrations, accommodation applications, and making internal and external referrals to the support and services you may need. We can also assist with legal asylum procedures, health related matters, and address basic needs by providing clothing and other essential items. Additionally, we can conduct a best interest assessment (BIA) for a family reunification application should you wish to join a family member in another European country.
We can also support you with bureaucratic issues which may include navigating administrative procedures, completing necessary forms and applications, and providing guidance and information to help you effectively address bureaucratic challenges.
By providing the above elements into the social service provision, Velos Youth can ensure a comprehensive approach to helping you to settle in Athens, or further afield!
Every young person who visits our space has access to our shower facilities simply by signing their name on our list, and with a 30-minute notice to set the boiler on to ensure there is enough hot water. We also provide clean towels, shampoo, and shower gel and if we have clothing donations available, we can occasionally offer underwear and t-shirts, as well as razors for shaving and a hairdryer for your convenience.
Every young person visiting our space has access to our laundry facilities too. We provide laundry detergent and a dedicated area on the balcony where anyone can easily hang their clothes to dry.
We provide various types of legal assistance and support to young asylum seekers, including the preparation for asylum interviews, appeals against negative decisions or age assessment outcomes, filing family reunification applications, and facilitating the renewal of IDs and travel documents. Legal counselling can also be provided for any issue that has to do with labour, social security and in general young people and refugee rights in Greek society. You can also reach out to Velos for information about the monthly legal workshops which cover a variety of topics.
English classes are held at Velos Youth five days a week and are delivered by a professional English teacher. A certificate of attendance is offered upon completion of 80 hours of lessons which can be shown to a prospective employer. Preparation and training for internationally recognised language certificates (Michigan and Cambridge University) are also supported, in specially designed group levels.
Why not sign up today?
We are very happy to work together with the Saffron Kitchen Project and to offer 35 portions of hot, fresh meals every day at our day center. This partnership allows young people in our center to have a tasty and healthy meal when they visit us. There is a variety of recipes and the use of ingredients reflecting diverse backgrounds contribute in the most meaningful way to the overall sense of care that we try to provide. The menu is printed and displayed in our space so that everyone can see what meals are available during the week and our lunchtime is from 13:30 to 14:30.
Single donations are put to use in accordance with the season, the young person’s needs and the stage of their journey they are at. It is important for a young person to feel safe by having decent clothing, a reliable means of communication, and access to a range of services.
We make sure that is the case, thanks to your help.