The Self-Advocacy Team (SAT) is a team of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and second generation Greeks who are active members of their communities and integrated in the Greek Society.
The SAT is an initiative of the Greek Forum of Refugees (GFR) which, based on its experience of mobilizing and empowering the refugee communities in Athens, is determined in continuing its endeavor for the civic engagement and effective inclusion of refugees and migrants. As the GFR embodies self-advocacy and the self-organization of the communities, the creation of the Self-Advocacy Team (SAT) serve this purpose in an extraordinary manner; composed by members of several different nationalities that will enhance their skills through workshops, interactions with the communities and other similar activities, the SAT will continue to advocate for a holistic social inclusion empowering their voice and visibility with the aim of influencing policy makers and, at the same time, providing essential feedback from the field, at a national level, on a constant basis.
The group was created in March 2019 in advance of the local-national-EU election period (May-July 2019), as an outcome of the need expressed by several communities to be included in all matters related to society, under the main argument that political inclusion was a key element of social inclusion. Inspired by the pre-election period it was a strategic move aiming to create the awareness of us being here and caring about the political future of the country.
The priorities of the SAT adjusted, however, to the rapid turn of the State’s approach on migration following the elections and focused on raising awareness on changes of policies, advocating for inclusion, rights and obligations and promoting the good practice of the cooperation between all relevant actors; Communities, State authorities and NGO’s.
The members of the SAT went through capacity building workshops related to advocacy and communication topics, represented the Greek Forum of Refugees in several events and participated in campaigns, conferences and roundtables. The Team is always open to new members to whom they can provide their expertise by facilitating workshops and meetings. Through this interaction emerge the SAT’s Community Navigators; people who obtained the necessary tools and info, share their own points of view on specific topics and disseminate the work being done to their equivalent communities as well as providing feedback of the realistic conditions derived from the field (Reception Centers, Camps, Urban settings) back to the SAT.
The team impersonates the advocacy strategy of the Greek Forum of Refugees, since there are no better advocates for refugees and migrants than refugees and migrants themselves.