Refugee Crisis

Face Painting, Dancing, and Laughing – Festival Time in Athens, Greece

While we were volunteering in Athens, Greece earlier this year, we had an amazing time throwing a festival/party for all of the children of the community! In the neighborhood of Kypseli, there are many different people of different cultural backgrounds, including many refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. Our goal that day was to create an atmosphere of friendship and family in the main square and we had many great volunteers to help us out. We were working with the Hive community center run by the organization Streetlights and a team of volunteers who came with the organization Global Serve Initiatives. 

As the festival began, we had a band set up for the music, a face painting stand, a balloon animal stand, and many fun games going on in the center. Kids of all different ages and backgrounds came towards the square, amazed at all the action going on and all the fun activities and games. 

Photo Credit: Nathan Getz

Photo credit: Nathan Getz

Photo Credit: Nathan Getz

Photo Credit: Nathan Getz

Photo Credit: Nathan Getz

In the center of the square we played all sorts of games like duck duck goose, water balloon toss, and other Greek games. It was such an incredible atmosphere of community and I loved how this festival was bringing together children and families of different nationalities and faiths. As I played with them in the center of the square and looked at all of the action going on around me, I loved seeing all of the smiles and joy in the children’s faces as they played carelessly and had fun. 

Many of these children were refugees still living in Athens and were waiting to be relocated to another European country. We were so happy to give them a fun day and make them feel like they were home again. 

A huge thanks to all of the great volunteers who put the festival together! Smile by smile, festival by festival, we can inspire love and joy in these children’s hearts. 

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