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  • SAO

Inside Amina - Part II


In the second part of the Q&A blog series, Olga and Barbara from SAO talk about the challenges and joys of everyday life at the Amina Centre and reveal what activities they engage in to keep their batteries charged.

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Why do you work for SAO? B: I was always keen on gender issues; thus, women and girls were always a priority in my educational and professional pathway. SAO’s vision on professional psychosocial support and empowerment of displaced women shares a common ground with my personal and professional values regarding women’s empowerment and support.


O: Empowering women, raising their awareness regarding their rights and being next to them on their life passage to create an opportunity of independence, self-autonomy and self-control is one of my main reasons why I work for SAO. The vision and the values which SAO represent are aligned with my approach as a professional and an individual.


What does a normal working day look like for you?


B: Every day in Amina is different. Of course, we have a routine in the preparation of the Centre every morning to welcome our women but besides that, some of our daily activities are planned according to identified needs and requests coming from our women and might differ from time to time.


What are the challenges of working in the field?


O: The continuous changing sociolegal context creates challenges in the refugee field. People in the field must find alternative ways and pathways to overcome the obstacles. Assisting people to be integrated in Greece is an important issue which demands to have a professional and specialised knowledge in different fields (social, legal, health/mental health, employability, education etc.) and/or to have the competence to know where you can find help and collaborate effectively with others. Furthermore, being continuously ready to adapt to changes and remain resilient is a work which demands good level of self-management, self-care and a synergetic approach.


What was the best experience you ever had at Amina?


B: A few months ago, we organised a walk in Acropolis and the centre of Athens with women participating in the Greek classes of Amina. In our first stop in a park, we made a circle and introduced ourselves in Greek, as an educational activity. This moment, where women from different nationalities, cultures and language sat together and communicated using Greek as a common language, made me realise the importance of integration and socialisation in the lives of displaced women. Community centres like Amina give access to integrational activities and promote socialisation to their members. So this moment reminded me of how important our work can be for our women.


O: Being a Manager of a Psychosocial Program during the period of the pandemic has been a real challenge for me. One of the most beautiful experiences I had at Amina was when I met the staff of Amina and the women in a physical presence and had an exchange without social distance for the first time.


What do you like to do besides your work at the Amina Centre?


O: Leadership and Counselling Educational programs give me the motivation to improve my work and my professional development. Lifelong learning is my favorite way of feeling active. Relaxing activities (sewing, painting, music) help me to recharge my batteries and experience happy personal moments.


B: There are many things I do in my leisure time as a self-care. These might be going to movies or concerts, travelling abroad, snowboarding, trekking and yoga and so on. I prefer doing things close to nature because it gives me peace of mind.

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Olga (on the left) und Barbara (on the right) of SAO answer the questions of the community about the Amina Centre.


Do you have further questions about the Amina Centre or would like to support SAO’s work in Athens? Get in touch with us via info@sao.ngo.

If you would like to support the Amina Centre with a donation, you can do so here. Your donation makes it possible to support displaced women on their way to a new, independent, and fulfilling life. Thank you!

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