Zaatar’s mission is to provide a safe space for refugees to rest, learn, feel empowered and grow.
We believe in empowerment, not pity. Refugees cook, clean, and teach and attend classes to prepare for their future—whether that future is living independently in Greece or in another country after reunification or relocation.
Our vision is that integration works both ways. Not only must refugees and migrants integrate into European life, but Europeans must also change the way they view refugees and migrants coming to Europe.
At the Orange House, we strive to involve local citizens and businesses in our daily operations. A great diversity of local businesses and organizations supports Za'atar by offering their products or services - unsold bread and food of the day from a neighbouring bakery, free tickets to the museum to give to the beneficiaries...
We believe that all of these small gestures can make a difference in changing the way that Greek people perceive refugees.
How we implement our vision and Mission
- Providing services for refugees, with a particular focus on women (and their children), unaccompanied minors, refugees who identify as LGBT, and prisoners.
- Educational programming in fundamental subjects such as languages and computer skills
- Activities to enhance health and wellbeing (for example yoga, health and first aid workshops, crafts, dancing)
- Providing vocational training opportunities to help adult refugees gain work and to foster their integration within Greek and westernized societies more generally.
- Tailoring our programmes and services to suit life in Athens
- Offering activities to promote an understanding of Greek heritage and culture
- Providing a welcoming environment in which refugees can relax, socialize, and meet new friends, rebuilding a sense of community that they likely lost when leaving their country of origin.
- Offering shelter to up to 20 women and children in the Orange House, and, where possible, finding housing within homes and apartments for vulnerable refugees without adequate shelter.
- Referrals to other organizations for additional services and opportunities