German ambassador to Greece Jens Ploetner paid a visit to the facilities for refugee and migrant children in Athens on Tuesday, and spoke with children, the staff and the director of the asylum service, Maria Stavropoulou.
“The number of refugees who have arrived in Greece is great, as is known, and their needs even greater,” the ambassador was quoted as saying in a statement by the German embassy. “But children are especially vulnerable and need protection. Compassion requires that we provide the most support to the weakest of the weak,” he added.
Ploetner also commended METAdrasi, the NGO that is operating the facility, calling the devotion of its staff and its many volunteers “very impressive” and “deserving of our support.”
According to the statement, Germany is supporting UNICEF’s work in Greece this year through a one-million-euro grant, with a part of the program being devoted to developing child-friendly spaces in refugee housing facilities.
It also said that these facilities offer a safe space for children to play and be creative in. The trained staff of METAdrasi are able to identify the most vulnerable children and refer them to specialized staff for further assistance. The program has benefitted over 1,000 children since its inception.