Women displaced by violence and persecution are vulnerable to multiple forms of gender-based violence (GBV), including domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and exploitation.
However, despite staggeringly high rates of GBV, refugee and asylum-seeking women often don’t receive the care they need – whether it’s shelter, psychosocial counselling or healthcare. In Athens, there aren’t enough services for survivors, and those that do exist are scattered across the city and often lack female interpreters.
Beyond improving access to services, it is necessary to break the cycle of vulnerability by providing women with access to dignified work. With income, women have more agency and options available to them. They are better able to leave abusive relationships, or exploitative situations such as exchanging sex for housing and food.
It is essential to provide refugee and asylum-seeking women with access to a programme which is both protective and empowering, helping break the cycle of vulnerability by enabling women to rebuild their lives and get back on their feet.
The Pomegranate Project has been set up by women, for women, to provide:
- A safe women-only day centre to foster solidarity and friendship between women in need of a support system to rebuild their spirits
- Shelter for women without housing or in housing which puts them at risk of harm
- Individual and group counselling for emotional healing and recovery
- Accompaniment by a female case worker and interpreter to improve access to GBV response services
- Greek language classes to improve access to services and interaction with their new Greek community
- Computer classes to learn the basic skills to search and apply for jobs
- Access to the tools and skills to create income-generating products for economic empowerment, helping build more stable futures
- Childcare on-site so that mothers can fully access and benefit from the activities
The Pomegranate Project addresses all these needs under one roof, providing a holistic programme to enable women to support each other in getting back on their feet.