Plagiari is a small town in Greece, about 20 kilometres from Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in the country after the capital Athens and an important tourist hotspot.
About one million people live in the metropolitan area, including 46,000 children. Many families in Plagiari struggle with unemployment and are threatened by poverty. In addition, the public health system has practically collapsed due to the financial crisis in 2008. Thus, families cannot afford basic care or preventive measures such as vaccinations for the children.
Since 1997, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Saloniki Plagiari.
In recent years, Greece has gone through some economic difficulties that have also affected the people of Plagiari: Many parents today simply cannot afford to provide for their children.
Since Greece's credit rating was downgraded in 2009, increasingly harsh austerity measures have been taken, including wage cuts, fuel price increases and tax hikes. The increasing and continuing uncertainty of the Greek economy has also led to a decline in employment opportunities and industrial production. In Plagiari, 20% of children are therefore at risk of falling into poverty as well.
The increasing and persistent uncertainty of the Greek economy has led to a decline in employment opportunities and industrial production, resulting in a very high unemployment rate.
In the province of Central Macedonia, where Plagiari is located, only 58% of people are employed. This has a particularly strong impact on children, as many parents cannot afford enough food or medical care for their children.