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Awareness-raising Gatherings in Greece

Greece 29 January 2021
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Awareness raising gathering in Xanthi, Greece

Awareness raising gathering in Xanthi, Greece

From May 2020 to January 2021, the JUSTROM Greece team in collaboration with different local partners have organized a series of awareness-raising gatherings intended to inform participants about the current measures that aim to enhance Greece’s safety net for vulnerable households during the COVID-19 crisis and the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. The events also focused on discussing the effects of COVID-19 on local Roma communities, and on providing support and advice on possible solutions to these issues at the national level.

Because of the special circumstances in which they were developed, some of the events were held online. The JUSTROM facilitators ensured the necessary equipment and access to the internet, so that members of Roma local communities could join such gatherings.

Some of the virtual meetings were directed to Roma women from Dendropotamos (Thessaloniki) and surrounding areas (Kymina, Malgara, Peraia). Additional trainings were organized with in-person attendance in the municipalities of Kimmeria (Xanthi), Drosero (Xanthi), and Ilions (Athens).

The target audience for these events were Roma women from local communities with different backgrounds: some work as small-scale traders in open-air markets, some are unemployed, others are mothers of school-attending children, and others have been personally affected by COVID-19.

The gatherings were organized by facilitators and legal consultants from the JUSTROM Greece team. During the gathering “Gender based violence: legal and social psychological perspectives”, the participants were also addressed by guest speakers, such as Captain Asimina Gkontolia, Head of the Police Department for Combating Racist Violence, Ms Vassiliki Kokkinidou, psychologist/victimologist and expert on relationships between victims and offenders, and Ms Eleni Fotou, forensic psychologist working with the non-governmental organization “STOP VIOLENCE”.

Some of the participants were supported by JUSTROM Greece team, in collaboration with the “Roma Women Association of Dendropotamos” to send letters to local authorities and to the Greek Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, asking for supporting measures such as unemployment allowances for Roma women, subsidies for small businesses run by Roma women and the provision of the necessary digital infrastructure for e-learning for Roma children.

The events gathered a total of 60 participants, in particular Roma women.