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Abandoned Greek monastery to become refugee camp

The local communities are looking for chefs and teachers willing to welcome the refugees and offer them food and lessons in Greek language

  • November 16, 2019 17:00
  • Author Monika Dimitrova
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An abandoned monastery in Western Greece is about to become an accommodation facility for refugees from Syria, reported local media. The monastery is located in a mountainous region on the border between the regions of Achaea and Elis in the northwestern Peloponnesian Peninsula.  

The long history of the monastery dates back all the way to the years of the Byzantine Empire, with the X century being the most probable date of its creation. In 1943 the premises of the monastery were vandalized by the Nazis.

The Poretsos Monastery is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. The property belongs to the Metropolis of Elis but it has stayed empty and abandoned for years with no monks having recently lived there.

The Greek Orthodox monastery is situated near the small village of Agrambela, 100 kilometres away from the city of Patras and has only around 50 inhabitants. Now, the local communities nearby are looking for chefs and teachers willing to welcome the refugees and offer them food and lessons in Greek language.

The expected people who probably will come to live in the monastery are all asylum seekers from Syria, and will be approximately around 50 to 60 individuals. They will be among the very first refugees to move to this part of Greece, as this is the Western region of the country having the fewest refugees and migrants up to now.

Take actions and accommodate refugees and migrants

Other municipalities with similar abandoned monasteries across Greece are also  discussing with the Ministry of Citizen’s Protection to take similar actions and to accommodate refugees and migrants who continue to land on the shores of the Greek islands.

The number of refugees in Greece continues to grow each day with most of the arrivals expected to remain in the country. The International Rescue Committee and the Greek government ensures these refugees understand their rights and provides them with a home, job training, and psychosocial support so that they can one day be able to rebuild their lives.

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