The Libra Group has created a new initiative within its Social Responsibility division to focus on the refugee crisis in mainland Europe, particularly the plight of unaccompanied children. The Home Project seeks to support thousands of displaced people who are currently living in overcrowded refugee camps near Athens and on the Greek islands, helping them to move from despair to hope, and from fear to security.
Standing for ‘Help, Overcome, Motivate and Empower’ the Home Project’s interventions include on-the-ground support in the camps and at processing points, and a dedicated network of services for unaccompanied minors. More than half of the refugees are children and they are the silent heart of this tragedy. Many of them are alone, forced to fend for themselves and at risk. The Home Project is setting up homes and removing these stranded children from the refugee camps, police stations and detention centres to the security of protected shelters where they will receive care and attention. Currently they are at risk, without family or the basic needs which most people take for granted.
Further support for refugees includes assistance to get back into employment, along with training and skills development opportunities. Targeted intervention in camps covers a number of practical needs from milk for babies through to psychosocial, educational, legal and language support. Throughout, the objective is to empower people to integrate into society through networks, partnerships, resources and the patient provision of dedicated care. The Home Project will also seek and channel additional funding from third parties and engage in top-level advocacy for the cause.
“Over one million refugees have arrived in Greece since this crisis began and thousands have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean,” said Sofia Kouvelaki, Executive Director of the HOME Project. “This level of suffering is unacceptable – we hope that this initiative will bring healing, dignity and the confidence to build new lives in safety.”
In September 2016, the Libra Group answered President Barack Obama’s White House call-to-action for private sector engagement on the global refugee crisis.