Karditsa Development Agency (ANKA) Greece

 

GREECE

 

New and adapted integration services & support, 

Karditsa Development Agency (ANKA)

 

#QuarantineAccommodation #OnlineSupport&Services #Volunteering #Covid19information

#MeetingBasicNeeds

 

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Description:

 

Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA) implements programmes and projects for the in the rural and urban areas of Karditsa district in Greece, including accommodation and integration initiatives for asylum seekers and refugees.

 

ANKA implemented a number of new approaches and activities in response to COVID-19:

  • Accommodation quarantine measures for residents of ANKA accommodation testing positive for COVID-19. These included securing short-term self-contained accommodation for residents recovering from COVID-19, isolation measures for affected households, disinfecting affected household premises, and provision of food and basic items for quarantining residents.

  • Collaborating with Karditsa municipality to organise safe waste collection from ANKA apartments and households affected by COVID-19.

  • Communication with the local community (web-based and in-person via local networks) toreassure them of sufficient quarantine and infection control measures in ANKA accommodation, and to counter some xenophobic responses to COVID-19 infections amongst ANKA’s residents.

  • Reducing in-person contact between ANKA and asylum seekers/refugees, including moving language courses online and suspending other collective training and discussion activities. 

  • Translating information on COVID-19 restrictions and requirements issued by national authorities into key refugee/asylum seeker languages, and distributing via telephone online, WhatsApp and e-posters.

  • Distributing COVID-19 hygiene packs to all ANKA households under “ESTIA” accommodation scheme. 

  • Implementing a face mask-making project, in which refugee volunteers sewed face masks and distributed them to the local population and associations working with vulnerable groups.

 

Impact:

 

  • Approximately 240 refugee and asylum-seeking students accessed online language classes organised by public schools (supported by the Ministry of Education) from April-June and November-December 2020 (although the true attendance rate cannot be reported for the reasons described in my initial report). 

  • Eight children and young people and six adult students have attended online ANKA language courses from April 2020.

  • Successful isolation and recovery of two COVID-19 cases in ANKA accommodation.

  • Improved awareness of ANKA’s work amongst the local population. 

  • Approximately 1000 face masks distributed within the local community.

 

Sustainability & long term impact:

 

  • Many refugees and asylum seekers with whom ANKA works, although initially unfamiliar with applications for online learning and communication, were supported by ANKA to develop new technical and digital skills.

  • Isolation and infection control procedures and cooperation developed by ANKA and partners can be mobilised in the case of new infections. 

 

Enabling factors:

 

  • Existing relationship with Karditsa municipality, which enabled quick and effective cooperation on healthcare, waste collection and distribution of basic items. 

  • UNHCR funding to support disinfecting of ANKA accommodation and the distribution of hygiene packs.

  • UNHCR donation of three sewing machines and material for the face mask-making project.

 

Remaining challenges: 

 

ANKA has now mainstreamed continuing to build the digital skills of its refugee and asylum-seeking beneficiaries into its general work.

 

Further information:

 

http://www.anka.gr