UNICEF and Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum in a joint visit in the framework of the ''All Children in Education'' programme

Deputy Minister of Migration & Asylum Sofia Voultepsi and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Elena Paparizou and George Perris met with children participating in the Programme.

01 February 2024
Ο πρόεδρος της SolidarityNow κος Στέλιος Ζαββός, ο τραγουδιστής και Πρεσβευτής Καλής Θελήσεως της UNICEF Γιώργος Περρής, η Υφυπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου Σοφία Βούλτεψη, η τραγουδίστρια και Πρέσβειρα Καλής Θελήσεως της UNICEF  Έλενα Παπαρίζου, η Αναπληρώτρια Εκπρόσωπος του Γραφείου της UNICEF στην Ελλάδα Ασπασία Πλακαντωνάκη και η εκπρόσωπος της Διεύθυνσης DG Home της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής Μόνικα Έκστρομ.
UNICEF/Greece/Pantelia
The President of SolidarityNow Mr. Stelios Zavvos, the singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador George Perris, the Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum Sofia Voultepsi, the singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Elena Paparizou, the Deputy Representative of the UNICEF Office in Greece Aspasia Plakantonaki and the representative of the European Commission's DG Home Directorate Monica Ekstrom.

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Education on January 24th, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Elena Paparizou and Giorgos Perris visited together with the Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum, Sofia Voultepsi, the Solidarity Center of the Municipality of Athens, where SolidarityNow implements non-formal education programmes for refugee and migrant children, with the support of UNICEF in the framework of the "All Children in Education" programme. The programme is implemented with co-funding from the European Union by a number of partners, including SolidarityNow, and is an initiative of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and UNICEF.

The visit was also attended by the Deputy Representative of the UNICEF Greece Country Office in Greece, Ms. Aspasia Plakantonaki, the representative of the European Commission's DG Home , Ms. Monika Ekström, as well as the President of SolidarityNow, Mr. Stelios Zavos, who welcomed the guests together with executives of the organization and dozens of children who participate in the non-formal education activities of the program.

Children of all ages coming from many different countries painted together with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and the Deputy Minister, listened to fairy tales, and sang in Greek.

All together, they also attended educational activities and children participating in the "All Children in Education" programme spoke about their progress at school and their dreams for the future. In addition, Elena Paparizou told stories from her childhood in Sweden as a child of immigrants.

After the event, Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum Sofia Voultepsi noted: "The priority of the Greek state and the Ministry of Migration and Asylum is to continue to provide support to children of refugee and migrant families residing in the country, for their smooth integration into Greek public education, through the program "All Children in Education". The programme offers support learning for the Greek language, activities to strengthen their skills, as well as access to infrastructure for their creative employment. It is no coincidence that 2022 has already been considered the best educational year for refugee children since the beginning of the refugee crisis."

Elena Paparizou stressed: "I am extremely happy to be here today at SolidarityNow's Solidarity Centre and to see first-hand the significant progress that children are making through the “All Children in Education” programme implemented by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. Every child has the right to education and UNICEF is working tirelessly in this direction so that no child in Greece is left behind."

Excited by the results of the programme, George Perris said: "Today we saw in practice how the “All Children in Education” (ACE) programme actively supports access to education and provides life opportunities to refugee and migrant children through the courses and activities it provides. Over 22,000 children have benefited from the programme across the country since 2021 to date, and UNICEF always puts inclusive education at the heart of its priorities."

The Deputy Representative of the UNICEF Greece Country Office, Aspasia Plakantonaki, said: "Since 2016, UNICEF has been working in Greece to strengthen access to education for children from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Through the ACE programme, since 2021, we are supporting children's access to education in 38 locations across Greece, with the support of the European Union and in collaboration with the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and other relevant Ministries, agencies and partners, while we aspire to continue and further expand these efforts in the future."

It is noted that the "All Children in Education" programme supports children of families of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers residing in YMA's shelters, in urban centres and in first reception points. Special provision is made for unaccompanied minors.

A total of 22,112 children of refugee and migrant families have participated in the programme, including 1,227 children from Ukraine.

Media contacts

Olga Siokou - Siova
Communication Specialist
UNICEF
Tel: +30 211 2340 297
Danai Leivada
Communication Associate (Press)
UNICEF

Αbout UNICEF

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child around the world. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, and all children, everywhere.

UNICEF is financed exclusively by voluntary contributions from individuals, the private sector, foundations and UN member states, including the EU. Donor support is crucial as we create a global alliance for reaching every child without any exception.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Greece, visit the UNICEF Greece website here.

Follow UNICEF Greece on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.