Founded in 2015, as a response to the surge in migration from Syria and adjoining countries, Goodwill Caravan has been instrumental in improving the lives of over 50,000 vulnerable refugees in Greece.
WHAT WE DO
Our services include offering weekly food distributions, accommodation, legal aid in our shelter units, as well as medical support from our network of medical partnerships. We provide a mixture of long-term aid and immediate solutions for extremely vulnerable refugees.
We particularly pride ourselves on our legal service, which releases unaccompanied children from detention centres and enables their asylum applications to be processed. Family reunification cases for children like 11-year-old Fawaz, who fled Syria and had been living in detention centres for the last 18 months, show the tangible difference we can make to a child’s life. The reunification of Fawaz with his aunty and uncle in the U.K. last December demonstrated the success of our compassionate and dedicated legal team. Without our help he would most likely still be alone and vulnerable, in a desperate situation.
COMMITMENT TO UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN
It is vital that we continue to do this work given the fact there are now approximately 120,000 refugees and migrants and over 4700 unaccompanied children in Greece, vulnerable to exploitation and violence. Similarly, on the Aegean islands, 12% of children living in the camps have been separated from their families and are vulnerable to considerable threats. More frightening is the fact these figures exclude the 30,000 children who have disappeared while travelling across Europe between 2014 and 2017 alone. With the extreme risks facing unaccompanied children, we have made it our primary mission to support them.
As well as legal aid in reunification and detention release cases, we provide education and vocational training to refugees and asylum seekers. This enables them to rebuild their lives and integrate into their new homes. For instance, in the U.K. we link asylum seekers to services such as council housing, education and medical facilities to make it as smooth a transition as possible; providing them with hope for a dignified life.
Currently, the risk of COVID-19 for refugee children is considerable, and the increasingly hostile policies from the Greek government towards them only worsens their situation. Therefore, it is imperative that we do not abandon them now. The children that we serve do not understand politics, war and persecution. These children only know that they had a safe home and now they do not. Please help us give them a semblance of a normal childhood, because every child deserves safety and the hope of a better future.