Backgrounder: Eleonas Refugee Hosting Centre, Athens

Published on News That Moves on 1 January 2015. Click here to view full report.

Eleonas Refugee Hosting Centre in Athens was created at the end of July, when hundreds of refugees were sleeping in Pedion tou Areos, one of Athens’ largest parks. The Centre belongs to the municipality of Athens and several NGOs and volunteers operate in it.

Eleonas is divided into three sections: one each for vulnerable people, families with children under 16, and people older than 16 years old.

Eleonas can host 720-750 people in its 90 “Iso Box” houses. Each house has four double bunk beds and a bathroom and fits eight people. Free food is provided to everyone in one of the two common rooms while the second common room is a playground for kids. Additionally, there are two basketball courts. Wi-Fi and charging stations are also provided.

Free healthcare is provided by the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (KEELPNO), which has set up a small examination centre inside the camp.

Food and supplies are distributed by state authorities, NGOs and volunteers and there is a constant presence of interpreters provided by the Greek NGO Metadrasis.

Although the police are present outside the camp for security, people are free to enter and leave it as they please without being checked.

Address:  Agiou Polikarpou 87, Athens, Greece 118 55

How to reach it: The easiest way to reach Eleonas is by the Metro. Take Line no 3 (Blue Line) and stop at the Eleonas metro station. Cross the road opposite the station and walk straight, then turn left and continue walking for a few metres.

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