A Syrian, making Italian pizza, in Greece: the refugees building lives in Europe

Rebuilding a life in a new country, with a new vocation, in a new language can be unimaginably tough. But with a little support, some refugees in Greece are beginning to set down roots and start the next chapter of their lives.

Firas* comes from a rural area in Syria. But after fleeing the conflict alongside his wife, and expecting a baby, the young couple made finding a place to settle a top priority. With support from our partners, Firas and his family are now building a new life for themselves in the Greek region of Katerini.

With support from the Perichoresis/RefuAid housing programme, Firas and his family were able to get support, opportunities and good accommodation. But more than this, they’re been able to create a home.

Firas showing his family the kitchen.

In Syria, Firas trained as a baker, while his wife was a farmer and homemaker. After attending regular Greek lessons, Firas is now employed in a nearby village as the pizza chef of a newly opened restaurant. His wife has given birth to a beautiful baby girl.

Firas has formed a strong friendship with his new employer, who calls him his ‘work soul mate’. Being surrounded by Greek coworkers, Firas’ Greek has come on leaps and bounds, but his boss says that “sometimes we don’t even have to speak… I just motion to him or make a certain facial expression and he knows what needs to be done. He is great – we understand each other very well.”

This initiative, from our partners RefuAid and Perichoresis, doesn’t just house people. It puts their children in local schools, helps them access jobs and learn Greek, all while also supporting the local Greek community.

It shows there is another way. That in long-term situations, we don’t have to rely on the indignity of refugee camps to provide support. And that with the right opportunities, people can get on and build new lives. We’re proud to support projects that make this happen.

Find out more about Perichoresis and donate to help more refugees build new lives.

*Name changed to protect privacy.