Seeking Asylum - Social Justice

Students Leave Lasting Impact in Greece

The New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences provides ASU students an opportunity to make a significant impact on global crises, getting hands-on experience with refugees fleeing tyranny, war, and famine in the middle east for new hope in Europe. Nearly 20 ASU students and faculty spend two weeks each May at multiple locations in Greece working directly with refugees seeking asylum. In 2017, a film crew was allowed to capture the students’ and refugees’ experience in Athens, Greece for the documentary “Seeking Asylum,” shown below. Students interacted with refugees at three locations: Welcommon Community Center, Hope Café Refugee Soul Food, and Caritas Refugee Program. All three facilities rely on donations to keep their doors open to the refugees that so desperately need the support. If you are interested in helping fund any of these organizations, please read about them below, and click on the appropriate links. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can get involved in this study abroad internship and make a significant impact on the world, please click here.

Welcommon Community Center for refugees
Hope Cafe Refugee Soul Food Paragraph
Caritas Refugee Program, Seeking Asylum

Seeking Asylum

Led by Social Justice and Human Rights, MA program director Julie Murphy-Erfani, 19 ASU students from a variety of disciplines, including social justice, communication, psychology, and political science, worked with refugees seeking asylum from the travesties left behind in the Middle East. Refugees share their stories of heartache, death, despair, and determination to find a better life in Europe, leaving a lasting impact on the students that have forever changed their lives.

Learn more about the Asylum Seeking Internship 2019 in Rome, Italy.
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Welcommon Community Center

Welcommon Community Center is an innovative facility that accommodates entire refugee families. Roughly 180 refugees reside in the facility, receiving food, medical care, psychosocial services, education, and job integration services. The center is run entirely on UNHCR funding, and through community donations. About two dozen children are left to the Welcommon staff to engage in non-formal educational activities each day. These children left a sizeable impact on the students’ view of the refugee crisis, and the work still left to be done by the U.S. and the rest of the world. For more information on Welcommon, including how you can donate to the center, please click here.

Hope Cafe Refugee Soul Food

Refugees arrive to Greece with not much more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes late in pregnancy and exhausted. Hope Cafe was founded in early 2017 to fill the gap for free nutritious meals and drinks for refugees, homeless and struggling Greeks around Kipseli. They are a grassroots organization that relies on individual donation funding to run from week to week. Hope Café helps support refugees with simple handouts like adult diapers, toiletries, or a meal – even a cappuccino can make someone’s day. Through clothing donations, Hope Café provides new and expecting mothers and babies with essentials for hospital birth, and the early months together. Help them feed Hope by making a donation at their website here.

Caritas Refugee Program

Founded in 1976 by the Catholic Bishops in Greece, Caritas has a mission to promote and safeguard human dignity through social support services to migrants and refugees, advocate on behalf of the poor and needy and provide humanitarian aid when natural disasters or other types of emergency situations occur. The Caritas Refugee Program is built to serve up to 500 refugees daily. This includes 450 free hot meals provided at the soup kitchen, in addition to shower facilities, clothing distribution, psychosocial and psychotherapy sessions, and access to legal advice. For more information on how you can support Caritas, please click here.

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