“A Step Forward” project is aiming to protect and support women and their children during the asylum application process and to quickly find sustainable solutions for their normal life in the country. The Open Accomodation Center operates by offering all the necessary services to women and their children according to their special needs, in order to utilize their time spent in the Open Center.

The Open Accommodation Center is located near a Metro station and within walking distance of the headquarters and the Open Polyclinic of Doctors of the World in the center of Athens, offering easy access to important services for women beneficiaries. The Center houses 44 people and is accessible to those with mobility disabilities. A room for people with disabilities is available as well as specially designed areas for dining and creative activities.

On a daily basis, the basic material and personal hygiene needs are covered, as well as the feeding of the beneficiaries. In addition, comprehensive services are provided for health, psychosocial support, legal counseling, interpretation, language learning, empowerment, creative activities and remedial teaching, while in cooperation with local schools, children are enrolled in the education system.

More specifically, it is an intermediate structure of accomodation and all-day living of women in insecurity with their children. Accomodation is provided for an average period of time (6 months ± 20%) to adult women and mothers with their children, with the aim of quickly finding viable solutions for their social inclusion.

Priority in the integration of the structure is given to mothers with infants and toddlers, while for women without children, there is no age limit upwards, provided that they have completed the 18th year of their age. For boys from single-woman families, accomodation is possible if they have not reached the age of 14, while for girls there is no age limit. Citizenship, religion and gender identity are not criteria for exclusion from the structure. The referral system is established in accordance with the national framework for Reception and Asylum.

The project takes place in a building of Doctors of the World – Greece, in the center of Athens, where there is a large number of homeless people, but also the largest number of necessary services for the beneficiaries. The maximum capacity of the structure is 44 beds and it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in order to provide in a complete way, quality reception conditions and support services. The aim of the project is to support a total of 175 vulnerable women asylum seekers and their children.

Provided Services
  • Protection and safe housing

  • Provision of basic goods and food

  • Providing social / supporting services and improving the quality of life of women seeking asylum in Greece and their children

  • Health Services

  • Counseling related to social and psychological issues

  • Enhancing the socialization and integration of beneficiaries

  • Psychological support

  • Provision of legal services

  • Facilitate access to public services

  • Educational programs and creative activities

Beneficiaries criteria
  • Asylum seeker, single woman or single parent with a male child <14 years or female child regardless of age

  • A person who can take care of themshelf or accompanied by a relative who takes care of them

  • Negative Covid-19 test (PCR) 72 hours before placement in the structure

  • Certificate for airborne diseases and related chest X-ray

  • Dermatological assessment

  • Psychiatric report

The project “A step Forward” is being implemented under the “Asylum and Migration” programme in Greece, implemented by Doctors of the World. The “Asylum and Migration” programme in Greece, financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, was awarded a total budget of 16,5 million euros as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aspires to contribute to ensuring legal protection, support and care for the most vulnerable asylum seekers, with emphasis on unaccompanied children. The Fund Operator for the “Asylum and Migration” programme in Greece is SOL Consulting S.A in partnership with Human Rights 360.