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The Hellenic Initiative Announces a New Partnership with Action for Women

By on April 25, 2019

The Hellenic Initiative (THI) has donated $30,000 to the non-profit organization “Action for Women”.  THI funds will cover costs associated with the operations of its “Athena Centre for Women” on the island of Chios that helps refugee women.

The “Athena Center for Women” is the only shelter of that kind on Chios that is dedicated to supporting women over the age of 12. The center offers a wide variety of specialized services to the refugee women arriving on Chios. Through this program, women refugees access legal, medical, and psychological support services in addition to a number of recreational activities that help them live their lives as normally as possible.

Action for Women is an independent non-profit organization founded in Zurich in 2015. The organization operates two programs in Greece: the “Athena Center for Women” on Chios island and “Halcyon Days” in Athens. Action for Women works to provide safety, support, and hope for the women seeking refuge in Greece. Furthermore, the organization aims to give women both the confidence and the appropriate skills to forge new lives in Europe. Since its beginning, it has helped over 17,500 women uprooted by violence and persecution feel safe, supported, and hopeful for their futures.

George Svokos, a THI Board Member, stated: “During World War II my mother fled Nazi occupation on a boat from Chios to Turkey. Today, thousands of women are taking her path in reverse, looking, like she was, for safety and the chance at a better life. In her memory, my family supports the efforts of Action for Women, which my daughters witnessed first-hand visiting the Athena Centre last summer.”

According to Michael Printzos, THI’s Program Director, “The past few years Greece experienced a big influx of refugees, which created the need for facilities providing safe and dignified living conditions for the people searching for a better and safer life in the EU. Action for Women’s work both in Chios and Athens is praiseworthy, as it effectively addresses this critical social issue for women refugees. We feel proud to support organizations whose primary goal is to fight for human rights and help people rebuild their lives.”

Gabrielle Tay, Founder of Action for Women, said: “Since our beginnings in September 2015, Action for Women has remained an independent organization. Our projects on Chios and Athens provide safety, support, and hope for women fleeing conflict zones. THI’s funding will help us run this program for 6 months. We are humbled and grateful for this donation and we hope to keep helping all the vulnerable and displaced women we work with.”

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