Amel Association International and Samusocial International, in close cooperation with Amel France, with the local support of Campfire International, and with the contribution of the Melina Merkouri Cultural Center of the city of Athens and the Institut francais d’Athenes, held the opening session of their seminar entitled “Dignity, Solidarity and Humanity with persons in exile Innovative practices” in Athens.

On that occasion, the participants, composed of 100 civil society initiatives, NGO and municipality representatives, had the opportunity to listen to a panel of 5 speakers including:

Mr. Lefteris Papagiannakis, Vice-Mayor for Migrants, Refugees and Municipal Decentralization of the City of Athens, who discussed the role of the municipality in hosting refugees and its complementarity with the activities implemented by NGOs.

Mrs. Ioanna Theodorou, Founder, CAMPFIRE Innovation, who highlighted the importance of creating synergies between civil society initiatives, including Greek innovative practices.

Mr. Gilles Henri Tardy-Aygalenq, Representative, Amel France, who presented his organization and its key contribution to the protection of refugees in the region and its past and present activities.

Dr. Xavier Emmanuelli, Founding President, Samusocial International, who reminded the participants of the Paris seminar’s outcomes and particularly the importance of hosting persons in exile with humanity.

Dr. Kamel Mohanna, Founding President, Amel Association International, who took this opportunity to reiterate the importance of Lebanon’s generosity but also the need to prevent crisis and hosting persons in exile with solidarity.

The participants then had the opportunity to join the panelists for an informal discussion. Options Food Lab, a civil society initiative based in Greece, contributing to the inclusion of refugees, prepared the meal which was served on that occasion.