Our strategy is to offer relief and empowerment toward self-sustainability. The concept for LERRN was born with the knowledge that there are many people, families and organizations world-wide that would enthusiastically welcome refugees into their communities, and celebrate the opportunity to co-create diverse neighborhoods and vibrant friendships.
In the face of global violence, devastation and injustice, many people around the world express grave concern and share the desire to help in some way. Assisting with orientation and integration, offering friendship, and providing financial sponsorship for humanitarian needs and education are powerful ways to do this.
Background on the situation in Greece
According to UNHCR, there are more than 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. There are thought to be about 65,000 refugees in Greece, with new arrivals to the over-crowded Greek island hotspots continuing regularly. Arrivals to the islands steadily continue and it is estimated that nearly 10,000 additional refugees have arrived in Greece since January 2019. The homeless population on the streets of Athens and in other parts of Greece continues to increase, among refugees as well as locals, due to the deepening and enduring economic crisis. Physical and mental health of those who remain trapped in squalid conditions is declining sharply and visibly as hopelessness settles in, the healthcare system is overwhelmed, and international awareness and aid are in short supply.
As ongoing wars and immigration laws are leaving millions of people in a dangerous and inhumane state of limbo, one way we can help is by collaborating with the local community where individuals displaced by war and persecution are residing to create opportunities that transcend poverty, hopelessness and destitution. With Webster University Athens, we have created a collaboration that offers access to education that will prepare individuals for meaningful work while concurrently and proactively facilitating successful integration.
Through a ripple effect, our sponsorships benefit individuals, families, the local community, and the local economy by alleviating the burden of homelessness, hunger, illness, unemployment, and endless human suffering; if only one person or one family at a time.
Socially, a friendly, warm, dynamic, diverse and rigorous educational environment, such as that offered at Webster University Athens, offers a safe and welcoming international community for intellectual and personal growth that is enriching for everyone involved. The diversity of culture, background and experience of the student body at WU creates a worldly microcosm representative of the transformation happening in the world around us.