A Drop in the Ocean´s latest project opened in Athens on 10 May.
The Drop-in Centre is for asylum seekers who have been given relocation to Norway, and that are interested in getting a taste of the Norwegian language and culture. The Government has agreed to welcome around 750 asylum seekers currently in Italy and Greece, and they will have their asylum applications processed in Norway. After the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration has selected who is eligible for relocation, the asylum seekers will have to wait in Athens for a few months before they can travel to Norway. During this period, the Drop-in Centre offers pre-integration activities. The Centre is organised like a language café, where Norwegian volunteers from A Drop in the Ocean can give the asylum seekers a taste of what they can expect in Norway.
During the official opening on 10 May, the Norwegian ambassador to Greece, Jørn Gjelstad, praised the efforts made by A Drop in the Ocean, and called it Norwegian volunteerism and solidarity at is best. The attendants were served waffles, brown cheese and Norwegian milk chocolate. “Norge i rødt, hvitt og blått” was sung and poems were read. A young from Aleppo read a poem that he had written about A Drop in the Ocean.
Several people have visited the Drop-in Centre during the first period. They have attended various activities, and been given a taste of what they can expect in Norway. Efforts are made to spread the word about the Centre to all the asylum seekers given relocation to Norway.
The Drop-in Centre is located in Myrtillo café in the center of Athens. The café has a strong connection to Norway, since the building it is located in was built with Norwegian funds in 1957. The building and surrounding park were meant to help people injured in the Greek civil war. Today, Myrtillo café provides Greeks with reduced working capacity an opportunity to participate in the working life. 90 percent of the employees have some sort of disability. A Drop in the Ocean was met with enthusiasm from the management of the café, and we are looking forward to further cooperation.
The Drop-in Centre is open Monday to Friday between 12noon and 5pm.
Trifilias & Lampsa street
10 minutes from “Panormou” metro station.