The Greek Forum of Refugees (GFR) is a registered non-profit making Association established in Athens, Greece, in 2012. Its overall aim is to support the unity of the refugee communities based in Greece and at the European level and to foster refugees’ inclusion within their host society by encouraging their active participation and need to be recognised as skilled and knowledgeable individuals.

Legal form
Non-profit organization

The GFR main objectives revolve around the followings:

  • Empowerment: supporting the self-organisation of the refugee communities so that they become autonomous and actively engaged in activities that support their inclusion process as well as a greater social cohesion;
  • Advocacy: contributing to the adoption of appropriate migration and asylum-related policies, both in Greece and at the EU levels;
  • Awareness-raising: informing the citizens about the refugee situation in Greece and abroad in order to improve it, promoting the principles of multiculturalism and the right for refugees to an equal participation;
  • Rights protection: disclosing Human Rights violations and xenophobia and updating refugees on their rights and obligations
  • Networking: developing a comprehensive contact-making with every relevant stakeholder supporting a common course of action and greater outreach.
Main Activities

To achieve the aforementioned objectives, the GFR runs different kinds of activities, as described below:

  • Participation to seminars, information days, conferences, festivals, events, studies and general support, with an emphasis on vulnerable cases, young people and women.
  • Networking and cooperation with public and private organizations and NGOs, as well as individuals, in Greece and abroad.
  • Development of projects and actions against racism and xenophobia, and the promotion of the principles of multiculturalism, social justice, inclusion and equal participation.
  • Development of actions for the support of the second generation of the aforementioned population, as well as the highlighting of gender issue, based on the principles of an intercultural approach.
  • Cultural exchanges with the Greek society.
  • Training and elaboration of relevant proposals and the participation in every kind of actions concerning the aforementioned population, only or in cooperation with other organizations, in Greece and abroad.

The main strengths of the GFR concern its field knowledge and involvement of the refugee communities established in Athens. Indeed, having been created before the ‘refugee crisis’ that has affected Greece and the European continent, it was a key player in the immediate needs to be addressed and the solutions to provide to the thousands of refugees left in a dire situation. Currently, considering that thousands of these people are likely to stay in Greece, the need for long-term measures supporting their economic, social and political inclusion remains a necessary step that the GFR has been willing to undertake. Therefore, most of its projects and activities aim to foster refugees’ integration through the use of various tools (culture, sport, mediation in the field of mental healthcare and refugee women empowerment among others).

In addition, another strength to be mentioned revolves around the active participation of refugee communities and individuals in the various activities. Since its beginning, the priority of the GFR has been to support and call for a greater involvement of refugees in every matter that directly affects this category of population. To this regard, empowering the 10 refugee communities (representing Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, China, DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Syria) members of the GFR is a key point of the organisation’s vision. In Greece but also abroad (through the implementation of the RISE project that aims at creating a sustainable network of refugees in Europe), the focus has been put on increasing refugees’ outreach and providing them with the necessary means to be more active and visible in the public sphere. This dimension aims to foster their participation in the society, thereby contributing to increase social cohesion at community level.

Finance and Main Partners

The principal sources of income of the GFR are private and international organisations bringing their financial contributions to support the various funded projects the GFR has been running since its establishment.  the different funded projects carried out by GFR, as a lead applicant or in collaboration with other entities.

In 2016, the total revenues were of 669.494,83 Euros while in 2017, the GFR incomes were of 554.338,54 Euros.

The main funders during the years 2016 & 2017 were:
UNHCR: 950.211,93 EUR
Open Society Foundations (OSF): 154.423,44 EUR
MitOst e.V.: 56.804,7 EUR
European Union: 15.871,58 EUR
EEA grants: 9.906,87 EUR

During the implementation of its different projects, the GFR has been collaborating with various CSOs based in Greece (such as the Greek Forum of Migrants, the Greek Council for Refugees, Praksis) and abroad (ECRE, APIS Institute, Africa e Mediterraneo, CESIE).