GCR’s Social Unit consists of the Reception Unit, the Central Social Service, the Office for promotion to Employment and the Intercultural Centre for the Promotion of Refugee Integration "Pyxis", while it assists in dealing with refugees’ pressing needs. With the participation of social workers, lawyers, interpreters and volunteers, the Social Unit facilitates refugees’ independence and their integration into the Greek reality, and in general into their new environment, by providing counselling support and assistance regarding issues of housing, education, employment, health and by developing cultural activities.
The Social Unit’s main purpose is to facilitate the independence and integration of asylum seekers / refugees and those who are under humanitarian status in our country. To achieve this, social workers provide, among others, the following services:
- cultural orientation, counselling and basic information to newcomers regarding procedures in Greece in order to deal with the cultural shock,
- provision of accommodation and coordination of the asylum seekers’ transition to reception centres,
- refugees’ counselling for their empowerment,
- information regarding their rights and their obligations, the services and conciliation process,
- development of a set of activities to promote employment such as assistance to solving practical problems (issue of social security number, work permit), skill strengthening (Greek lessons, training programmes), referrals to employers, etc.
- intervention and mediation in the community, in institutions and services, for the benefit of the refugee (issues regarding health, education, etc.),
- psychological support and intervention in crisis situations,
- material assistance (food, clothing, school supplies stemming from donations),
- development and maintenance of a supportive network for covering needs regarding learning Greek, enrolment in education and/or access to health services,
- counselling to unaccompanied minors and actions for their general protection.
Under the Social Unit of GCR, functions also the Intercultural Centre “Pyxis” which contributes to the smooth integration of refugees into the Greek society. “Pyxis” facilitates access to education system, provides free Greek, English and computer lessons, remedial teaching to Greek schools’ students and organises various cultural, educational, artistic and sporting activities.