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 a voluntary initiative of George Stefanopoulos, founder and coordinator of the team and advocacy officer of the Greek Forum of Refugees, who through the cooperation with various organizations and associations and based on the experience of mobilizing and empowering the refugee communities in Athens, is advocating for the civic engagement and effective inclusion of refugees and migrants. 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 are participating in capacity building workshops related to advocacy and communication topics, as well as in several events and campaigns, conferences and roundtables. The Team is always open to new members to whom they can provide their expertise by facilitating workshops and meetings.
The SAT impersonates self-advocacy, since there are no better advocates for refugees and migrants than refugees and migrants themselves.