New Multifunctional Centre for Social Support and Integration of Immigrants and Refugees

The 16th of June 2017 marked the inauguration of the Hellenic Red Cross Multifunctional Center's new building, situated in the center of Athens.

Multifunctional Center 2

Not completely safe yet                 
For any refugee, sorting through the bureaucratic processes and starting a new life in a different country can be fraught with hardship and frustration. Imagine adding to that the difficulty of having to also deal with a relationship breakdown and domestic violence, while looking after two young children. This was the case of Halima, 27, from Syria who first approached the MFC seeking assistance in the form of material aid for her family. Soon the Social Worker with the assistance of interpreters realized that her relationship with her husband deteriorated and that she was a victim of domestic violence. Expressing her concern for her safety as well as her children, ages 1 and 5, she was referred to the National Centre for Social Solidarity for housing support to get a safe place unknown to the husband.  In the meantime, Halima is accessing counselling services through an interpreter with the MFC psychologist and she has been provided with useful phone numbers in case of emergency, by the Social Worker. Through these MFC interventions Halima is feeling more in control of her life, safer and supported in her new country.

Plethora of services       


Project Period:

October 2016 –
December 2017


542.066 €

Target Population:

Migrants & Refugees

Countries of Origin:

Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, Congo

Individual Cases HHHHandled:


Hotline Users:


The Hellenic Red Cross Multifunctional Center (MFC) has been providing its free services to immigrants and refugees since 1998 and facilitates the beneficiaries' integration in the local society giving special attention to unaccompanied minors, children, single headed families, women traveling alone, elderly and disabled who may have specific protection needs. Through various activities of psychosocial support it raises general awareness of the rights, legal procedures, especially providing in depth information on housing, medical requests, food or non-food items and other services available to migrants with documents translated in their mother tongue. Furthermore, the MFC has created a safe social space for both adults and children, in order to interact with each other, promote parenting skills and have the opportunity for normal child development, including after school homework assistance for migrant children already attending public school. The teachers sometimes arrange outdoor ventures including museum visits and theme recreational activities, thus promoting social immersion while also respecting the cultural backgrounds of its beneficiaries and providing stability and a sense of normalcy to the lives of beneficiaries. Additionally, it provides psychological first aid through a psychological support service that offers individual, family or group support for refugees. A telephone and internet information service (hotline) also exists, that provides callers with information about rights and services in 12 languages. Lastly, Greek and English courses are offered to increase the ability of the migrants to cope with their current situation by improving their ability to understand and communicate in the 2 major languages in Athens. In addition, by cooperating with other services within HRC as well as with other similar organizations and NGOs active in the migration and advocacy sector, it promotes networking, synergies, the exchange of ideas and knowledge.  

Cooperation with DRC   

Multifunctional Center 1 Since 2016 the MFC is  supported and funded by the  DRC through the European  Commission's Civil Protection  and Humanitarian Aid  department (ECHO). The  sustainability of the center is  high on the agenda too with  the prospect of expanding  certain services to vulnerable  Greek nationals with the  cooperation of other HRC  services and for a funding and  knowledge consortium to be  established. All in all, the MFC  remains highly relevant,  especially after the population  influx during the recent Migrant Crisis, and provides holistic and comprehensive support  to migrants within a social ecological framework.

  "We have accomplished great many things with the assistance of DRC, which we  appreciate immensely. They have helped us a lot in the relocation of the MFC in a new  building. It was something basic but it was hard to do and very crucial in the continuation  of our services.", Maria Gkotsoulia, 34, MFC staff psychologist



The European Union and its Member States are a leading global donor of humanitarian aid. Through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), the EU helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, ECHO provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs, without discrimination of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.

"This document covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains."