The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
New Partners Supporting Refugees in Europe
November 20, 2015
As UUSC continues to respond to the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, it has teamed up with two new partners to provide vital assistance in Greece and Hungary.
PRAKSIS provides medical care, legal assistance, social welfare, and psychological and financial support to socially vulnerable groups in need in Greece. Its main goal is the elimination of social and economic exclusion and the defense of personal and social rights. PRAKSIS (which, translated from Greek, stands for Programs for Development of Social Support and Medical Cooperation) is currently undertaking a number of distribution missions in Lesvos Island, an arrival point for many refugees from Syria.
UUSC is partnering with PRAKSIS to purchase a van to transport refugees from the arrival point to the refugee camps, a distance of 40 kilometers uphill. Further, UUSC supports the purchase of winterization kits for 536 babies, to help ensure they stay warm and healthy during the cold winter months. Each kit includes a small blanket, a full-body fleece jumpsuit, and a hat for babies up to two years old. Approximately 50–100 babies arrive on Lesbos Island every day.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee is one of the leading human rights organizations in Hungary and a cornerstone of civil society. The HHC emerged during the Cold War from a group of activists trying to uphold the rights that their government had theoretically recognized in the 1975 Helsinki Accords.
UUSC is partnering with the HHC to provide assistance to 20 refugee families who are seeking to reunite with their family members and loved ones in Hungary. This project covers the costs, which are prohibitively high for many refugees, of the family reunification administrative procedures. This includes provision of the travel expenses of family members and free legal assistance to refugees who are navigating this process. The family reunification process, when it is navigated successfully, can serve as a way of pulling one’s relatives out of danger abroad.