Melissa - Athens, Greece

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"Another example is Melissa, a network for migrant women in Athens, promoting empowerment, communication and active citizenship. It aims at promoting, creating and sustaining bonds, and at building a bridge of communication with the host society. Melissa was founded in September 2014 with the direct involvement of migrant women leaders, it has members from 45 countries who live and work in Greece. It operates on the basis of a common platform, a hub where networks and individuals can meet, share their concerns and ideas, and support each other in the pursuit of their common goals. It provides a platform for networking, capacity building and advocacy and runs an innovative integration program supporting refugee women and children. Melissa’s vision of society is not as a collection of isolated cells, but as a beehive of creativity, communication and exchange. Their aim is to motivate migrant and refugee women and engage them in the public sphere, in order to be the change, they wish to see. Despite the adversities that they have faced and continue to face in the current crisis, migrant and refugee women are multipliers and integrators. They are capable of making something out of almost nothing, multiplying their scarce resources in order to feed, nurture and care. What they create with their work, their dedication, their talents, their efforts and ambitions, promotes social cohesion and contributes to the host society in countless visible and invisible ways." (