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

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”

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:

Informative leaflets – My Rights! project

Under “My Rights!” project we have created an informative leaflets regarding family reunification procedures in order to inform the young asylum seekers who want to be reunified with their families! You can find all the necessary information on the leaflets. Please, do not hesitate to contact us for further clarifications.

The leaflets are available in English, Arabic, Farsi, French and Urdu.

The project “My Rights!”  is being implemented under the Active citizens fund in Greece by Velos Youth and its partner Equal Rights Beyond Borders. The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a €12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow. Read more here: www.activecitizensfund.gr 

MyRights! Project Workshops – June 2021

We are happy to announce that in June Velos Youth and Equal Rights Beyond Borders will offer two legal workshops under “MyRights!” project, which is being implemented under the Active citizens fund in Greece.

These workshops are part of our efforts to create spaces for informative discussions for young asylum seekers and refugees regarding their human rights and important legal information.

If you are interested to participate, please check the leaflet below for more information and the registration instructions.

Both workshops will take place in English via Zoom.

The project “My Rights!”  is being implemented under the Active citizens fund in Greece by Velos Youth and its partner Equal Rights Beyond Borders. The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a €12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow. Read more here: www.activecitizensfund.gr 

A safe space for young people

Covid-19 and all its implications put Velos Youth in a pathway of heightened flexibility and innovation. After many changes (virtual work, a continued appointment system, etc) the Velos team has continued working hard to bring back one of the most crucial elements of our work: providing a safe space for young people. In a month like August, during the crisis of the current pandemic and the situation refugees and migrants are facing in Athens, most of the young people visiting us are experiencing extremely vulnerable circumstances.

With up to 12 young people in the space at each time, our youth centre has returned to being a hub of energy and empowerment. Additionally, the continuous use of masks, frequently sanitising our hands, keeping necessary physical distance when possible, and other precautions make the Velos Youth centre as safe as right now possible. The feelings that come with dancing and singing together, taking part in a ping pong tournament, watching videos on Youtube, hanging around in a space where you know you will be heard and respected, and with talking with a professional who can listen to you and support you; these feelings are irreplaceable, and we hope every young person who visits our space can feel safe.

Although the future is unknown, we are proud and happy to be remaining adaptable and active in order to take advantage of all opportunities that come our way. For now, we are able to provide a safe environment for those visiting us, and an environment filled with opportunity, interaction and energy.

To keep up with our activities, check out our Facebook & Instagram accounts!

Preparations for Covid-19 with MSF

Two weeks ago the Velos Youth team engaged in a discussion facilitated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Covid-19 where we learnt useful information about the virus and had multiple of our questions and concerns answered.

Additionally, a detailed discussions and consultation with the MSF team around personalised recommendations have helped us make our space and activities safer for us and the young people visiting us. 

This collaboration was part of MSF’s efforts to collate important information shared by the World Health Organisation and other credible sources around protection from Covid-19 and share it with organisations around Athens like Velos Youth.

We would like to thank MSF for this initiative and collaboration as their support has given us the confidence we needed to continue expanding our operations, slowly return to our “normality”, and safely support the young people who seek us.

We are open!

The team at Velos Youth are happy to inform you that after two months of closure, we reopened our space on an appointment basis!

From the 18th of May, we opened our space to young people aged 16-21 to use our shower, do their laundry, and/or have a 1-1 with our social workers. These services are three of our most needed services and already in these two weeks we have been visited 52 times.

We hope to continue expanding our activities as we receive confirmation from credible sources that it is safe to do so.

If you know young people aged 16-21 who are homeless/ in need of any of these services, please contact our social workers via phone to book an appointment for the young person.