As professionals working with vulnerable people, we have the responsibility and duty to keep our participants safe. Protection knowledge is central to everything we do. Better Days is committed to building robust systems for preventing and responding to protection issues while working with displaced children and young people. Better Days has set clear guidelines for promoting a safe working environment and a culture of protection and safeguarding for all.
Our staff is a valuable asset. We invest in them so that they can flourish as human beings and sharpen their professional skills. In order to do so, their mental, emotional, and physical health must be cared for. We believe that our human-centred culture improves productivity, loyalty, and performance, increasing employee retention. To ensure our team feels cared for and respected, we make sure that their needs are heard through regular debriefs and provide access to professional support, extensive training on self-care and stress management, and extended leave to recover from burnout.
Despite our best efforts, protection incidents may occur in the workplace. To make sure that our team feels safe to report wrongdoing and that we have the expertise and resources to respond, we have invested in building a robust safeguarding system through our Child Safeguarding Policy, Workplace Grievance Policy, and Covid-19 protocol.
From 2017-2022 we have worked with unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), one of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Consequently, some of our longest-lasting programs, Themida Greece and Gekko Kids, were focused on child protection.
Child protection refers to action taken to identify and assist children at risk, especially those living without family care, who are affected by homelessness, or who remain invisible to the eyes of national protection services. There is considerable evidence that refugee children are at significant risk of developing unhealthy psychological patterns as a result of their living conditions and experiences. Many, if not all, UASC who join our projects have endured at least one prolonged and repeated traumatic experience in their country of origin, during their journey, and/or during their stay in Greece. Often confronted with extreme situations and subject to several stressors, children can face severe mental health difficulties.
Another long-standing protection-focused Better Days project is the Community Support Program (CSP). CSP was first launched in 2015 in the olive groves of Moria to assist families in accessing basic necessities while waiting to be registered. As of 2017, the program focused on offering temporary accommodation and living assistance to vulnerable families and individuals as they awaited asylum decisions. Post-Covid, the program was incorporated under the umbrella of Gekko and is now focused on offering financial assistance to young adults attending public education in Greece.
Interested in supporting CSP? Read about CSP’s life-changing impact on the lives of our participants above.