On Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019, the participants of the psychosocial strengthening group of men together with Greek and English students at the Center for Social Integration and Employability of Caritas Hellas visited the Eugenides Foundation – Planetarium. There, accompanied by the psychologist and the organization’s educator, they enjoyed the screening of a 40-minute film called “Life on the Universe” about life beyond the universe and the space we already know. The projection was in Greek language and there was a possibility of interpretation in English. They watched with great interest the event, which for many of them was an unprecedented experience.
After the end of the screening, the participants visited the “Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation” where they enjoyed playing in water fountains and enjoyed cool refreshments and snacks at the premises.
The men’s psychosocial support team stayed there, to hold their weekly session. They gathered under the shade of the trees in a circle and talked with the psychologist of Caritas Hellas about their experience from that day. They told us how happy they were and how unique their day was with the projection on the planetarium and the play in the atrium of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
The men played board games and chatted as one by one they came to the table and the psychologist started the “recovery star” method. Together, they set a goal, initially putting a low score on one aspect of their lives and trying to find ways to increase self-evaluation within two weeks. When everyone finished their individualized targeting, the team eventually left the park.
It was an excellent opportunity to hold the session outside, in the nature. The served population, despite the heat and the discomfort they initially felt because of it, showed so much joy to participate in the events of the day that eventually found their way to staying from 10am to 4pm in the afternoon! In the end, they left in small groups – which for us is part of the success of the activity – they came closer to each other, enjoyed themselves, laughed, learned, became a family just like Caritas Hellas.
The activity is part of the Program “Social and Economic Integration of Refugees and Immigrants in Athens” concerning the support and integration of refugees and immigrants in Greek society. The Program is implemented by Caritas Hellas and is funded by Caritas Switzerland.