Athena is the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, handicraft and warfare, the perfect symbol for the strong female survivors landing on Chios.
Athena Centre for Women
While volunteering on Chios in early 2016, Action for Women identiﬁed the desperate need for a safe and digniﬁed space for women.
The centre was founded on the Action for Women’s three pillars of safety, support and hope. It oﬀers women education, information, social psychological support and a safe space to speak up about gender-based violence.
We believe in the women’s ability to draw on their own power to create change, rather than be the passive recipient of circumstance. So we take a collaborative approach, drawing up the education schedule so that it reﬂects the women’s feedback and wishes. Since we opened we have oﬀered English, German, French and Greek classes, as well as Zumba, yoga, art therapy and self-defence. We have hosted experts leading seminars on topics such as sexual health, contraception, feminine hygiene and safety.
There is a room known fondly by the women of the camps as the ‘Raha’ (‘relaxation’ in Arabic), where women can socialise, knit, play music and form connections over simple refreshments.
A kitchen allows women to cook and enjoy meals together on special occasions, such as breaking the fast during Ramadam.
We also oﬀer access to a private shower and a small oﬃce for personal conversations and legal or psychological support.
The centre is entirely staﬀed by volunteers who share our values.
Since opening its doors in July 2016
Women and girls have been supported
Visits to the centre