Summer CSGC Grant Update: Athletic Wear for Refugee Minors in Greece

In the next few weeks, I look forward to partnering with The Home Project, a non-profit organization based in Athens, Greece, that works directly with refugee minors who have been separated from their families during their journey from Syria to Greece. The Home Project provides these children with protection services and houses them until they are old enough to find jobs. From Sierra Leone to Nigeria, children from around the region have found their homes in a Home Project shelter.

Since 2015, Greece has been overwhelmed with thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict of the Syrian civil war. In recent years, more and more people have been arriving on the shores of Greek islands in efforts to grab an opportunity for European citizenship. As the crisis has worsened, the situation for refugees has only become more dire. They are forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, and other forms of violence, and they are often met with hostility when they seek refuge on the islands. Over 50,000 Syrians have safely arrived in Greece, but many others have not been as fortunate. The trip is perilous, and hundreds of families are separated on the journey.

With help from the CSGC, I have transported soccer cleats and athletic clothes left behind on Deerfield’s campus to many Home Project shelters. Inspired by my previous experience working with the kids where we played soccer together, their energy and passion for the game made me think of ways to support this activity. In my time spent in Greece, I learned how important sports like soccer are to kids who have experienced so much pain and have lost some much. It serves as a support system for many as they search for a better future in Greece and Europe. I am excited to be able to return back to The Home Project this summer and rekindled past relationships with many of the kids still living there.

-Edward ’24