What We Do

A just and equitable asylum process

Our clients

© Yousif Al Shewaili

We work directly in the Mavrovouni camp and other accommodations, identifying the most vulnerable cases, assessing them, and building a comprehensive and participatory plan of action for and with our clients. Our clients are among the most vulnerable in on the island. Specifically, we place an emphasis on supporting:

  1. Individuals with severe physical and mental health conditions.
  2. Unrecognized unaccompanied minors.
  3. Survivors of domestic violence, FGM, forced and early marriage, sexual and gender based violence.
  4. Survivors of torture, conscription and human trafficking.
"I felt safe and calm with Fenix because they made everything that was confusing, easy and simple to understand."
24-year-old man from Yemen

Stories of Impact

Since 2018, we have assisted 3500 asylum seekers, from 25 different countries

Survivors of gender-based violence
66.0
Disabilities and severe medical and psychological conditions
50.0
Survivors of torture and violence
33.0
Unaccompanied children
19.0
Pregnant and elderly
6.0
year
2021
Survivors of gender-based violence
Disabilities and severe medical and psychological conditions
Survivors of torture and violence
Unaccompanied children
Pregnant and elderly
"I felt safe and calm with Fenix because they made everything that was confusing, easy and simple to understand."
24-year-old man from Yemen
"I felt safe and calm with Fenix because they made everything that was confusing, easy and simple to understand."
24-year-old man from Yemen

The Context

As conflicts proliferate and become protracted, people continue to flee in search of safety and a better life. Since 2015, asylum seekers arriving at the borders of Europe continuously encounter a harsh reality: a Europe that entraps them in camps where they are made to live in inhumane conditions, and where their basic rights are not respected.

In 2020, attacks on refugees by reported fascist groups, year-long Covid-19 entrapment policies and the fire that burnt down Moria camp rendered an already critical situation utterly desperate. After the Moria fires, the temporary Mavrovouni camp was hastily built to shelter those displaced by the fires. Despite the construction efforts carried out in the camp in the last 12 months, residents continue to live in dire conditions. Future government plans consist of controlled closed centers, far away from the cities, which will further isolate and stigmatize the refugee communities.

While the living conditions of the camps of the Greek islands are widely known and covered by the press, the severe violations of the right to asylum is less known. The gaps in the asylum procedure seem to mirror those of the horrifying reception conditions in the camps.

In Lesvos, asylum seekers are rushed into asylum interviews with limited or no access to information or legal support. Short interviews are the defining factor that will determine people’s futures. In this context, only 3 in 100 people have access to a lawyer before the interview1. The difference between having a lawyer or not can -literally- be life saving; it can mark the difference between being granted protection or being deported to the country they fled from.

  1. According to our 2021 surveys.
© Yousif Al Shewaili