SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Greece).

Vari is a southern suburb of the capital Athens, located in East Attica, Greece. Around 15,000 live in the municipality, while four million people live in Athens itself. In 2009, the Greek economy was hit by a severe crisis, the effects of which are still being felt by the Greek population. Many families in Vari struggle with unemployment and are at risk of poverty. In addition, the public health system has virtually collapsed and non-governmental organizations are trying to fill the gap, often with volunteers and donated medicines. Families cannot afford basic care or preventive measures such as vaccinations for the children.

Since 1982, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Vari.

Of people are unemployed

Unemployment and uncertainty

In recent years, Greece has gone through some economic difficulties that have also affected the people of Vari. Greece has been in crisis since its credit rating was downgraded at the end of 2009. Since then, increasingly harsh austerity measures have been taken, including wage cuts, fuel price increases and tax rises. The increasing and persistent uncertainty of the Greek economy has also led to a decline in employment opportunities and industrial production. In the province of Attica, where Vari is located, 14% of people are unemployed.

Of children are at risk of poverty

Risk of poverty

It is estimated that the Greek black market accounts for 20% of GDP, as people do not report their income to avoid paying sky-high taxes. Nevertheless, life is a struggle for many families in Greece. Children are particularly affected by poverty, as many parents cannot even afford medical treatment for their children. In the province of Attica, where Vari is located, 23% of all children are at risk of poverty.

Your support makes a difference for children in Vari

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Are supported on their way to independence
Siblings playing together. They grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Greece).

How your support helps in Vari

Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.