Social Unit


GCR’s Social Protection Unit was founded by Ms Charis Brissimi, who was one of the first Greek nationals to qualify as a social worker at Columbia University, USA. Since 1989, GCR has continued to offer Refugee Social Services in Athens, Thessaloniki and several border locations in the islands and the Greek mainland. 


Mission & Vision

The mission and vision of GCR’s social unit is to empower and enable the integration of asylum seekers and recognized refugees so they are able to achieve a sense of belonging and live with dignity.


GCR’s open door policy began after the opening of the GCR office and continues today. An average of 60 people come to GCR each day through our duty reception service to seek information and to arrange appointments with our social workers together with a lawyer. GCR’s emphasis on offering an integrated and person centered approach means that all new refugees will be typically assessed by a team consisting of a refugee lawyer together with our social worker and interpreter, who will coordinate to offer the assistance package that the person needs.


Refugees who wish to access GCR’s Intercultural Centre "Pyxida" find a welcoming and safe space to begin the long and difficult journey to integration though enrolling in Greek and English language courses, skill-based courses and social recreational programs. Importantly, when refugees are ready and capable of paid work they are connected to GCR’s employment Office which works closely with a large network of employers and recruiters that can offer refugees jobs and mentoring programs for refugee job seekers.


In summary GCR’s social welfare services include:


  • Information and help in several languages about refugee housing, emergency relief (food/clothes/medicines), emergency shelters & social welfare benefits
  • Escorting and practical assistance for medical & hospital emergencies
  • Appointments with health and government services including assistance with form filling and advice
  • Intensive psychosocial programs for refugee victims of torture, unaccompanied children, people held in migrant detention, victims of crime, gender based violence and domestic violence
  • Refugee employment advice and referral to local job vacancies and job matching
  • Refugee educational counselling including practical help with child school enrolments
  • Free Greek & English language classes and a wide range of refugee family groups and activities for recognized refugee families and children.   
  • Child & family psychological counseling for vulnerable children and families

Our Efficiency

90% Program services
10% Management



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Copyright: © Greek Council for Refugees 2018