The Rotary Club of Hazel Grove is delighted to be working closely with The Rotary Club of Kavala (Neapolis) and the Centre for Child Protection, Kavala to enable the Centre to offer and experience of living independently to the young people cared for at the Centre in Kavala. With the support of Rotary International , Rotary District Rotary Neapolis and the Rotary Club of Hazel Grove grant funding has been organised to help provide accommodation for the young women of the centre to help them to adjust to an “ independent living lifestyle”. The opening ceremony for the new accommodation took place in February 2016. The grant will also provide financial support for the next 3 years to educate and support the young women in the centre as they prepare themselves for life beyond the day to day support and protection of the centre.
Growing up without close family contact and influence can be very difficult for vulnerable children and young people. The current employment and financial difficulties in Northern Greece makes moving from the protection of the Centre to independence an even greater challenge for the young people many of the young people having lived there for most of their lives.
Members of the Rotary Club of Hazel Grove are aware of schemes in both the UK and other developed countries which aim to give young people the skills and confidence to move from the Centre to become responsible and independent members of their local communities. We have been pleased to share this knowledge with Rotarians and Centre staff in Kavala.
We are delighted that with the support of the wider Rotary family it has been possible to create an ‘independence learning unit’ attached to the Centre. Here the young people can learn to look after themselves, manage their own budgets and accommodation, and with the support of local employers and educational centres gain all the skills needed to survive as independent young people in their communities. On very limited budgets, the young people will have to learn to buy food wisely, manage the money they will be given to cover all their expenses, and keep their small flats clean and tidy.
Very importantly they will need to learn how and when to make relationships with others, who to avoid and who they can trust. They will need to understand what the probable expectations of employers will be so that they can become valued, and as far as possible secure in their work environments.
It is important that they can make mistakes but with the support of the Centre staff and volunteers they can learn from their experiences.
The plan is that they will leave the unit prepared to be reliable employees, or students in further and higher education, with all the skills which will enable them to make a real contribution to the local communities in both Kavala and North Greece.
The Rotary Club of Hazel Grove were delighted to welcome two staff members to Hazel Grove to see how services in the UK are organised, and will continue to work with our friends and colleagues in Kavala to enable everyone to achieve their objectives. Hopefully this will be reflected in the independent report which will be published at the end of the three year project, so it can be adopted in other regions in Greece. Of course the greatest measure of success will be to see the young people in years to come happy, successful in what they do and playing a full part in their local communities. Thank you the Rotary Club of Kavala (Neapolis) and the Centre for Child Protection for allowing us the be part of this ‘exciting’ project.
Hazel Grove Rotary Club meets at 6.45pm on Thursdays at the Deanwater Hotel, Woodford
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