RYS was founded in 2015 to give protection to the ever-growing number of unaccompanied minors residing in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp. Since the closure of the camp in October 2016 RYS have been operating from the known refugee hotspots around Calais and northern France, providing mobile support.
In Athens, RYS has created a safe space in the heart of the refugee & migrant community, ‘Velos Youth’, a youth centre accessible by all young people aged 16-21yrs, regardless of race/ethnicity, cultural background, or religious affiliation race/ethnicity. The youth centre currently provides a place where young people can; take respite, seek emotional and material support, make plans for the future, find a sense of belonging and connect with those services offering legal counsel and psychological care.
RYS provides safe spaces for displaced unaccompanied children and young people on the move. These spaces provide basic services such as food and showers, and facilitate access to state-run services including protection, asylum, accommodation and education. Within our spaces a varied program of activities, centred around wellbeing, social development and informal education is offered, fostering feelings of belonging, self-worth and a sense of community. Ultimately, through a holistic approach to the individual’s wellbeing we support unaccompanied children and young people to re-start their lives where they are, or safely and legally reach an alternative destination that is in their better interests.