Greek NGO Metadrasi received a $US2 million prize, the world’s biggest humanitarian award.
The group won the Hilton Humanitarian Prize offered by the Conrad N Hilton Foundation for its “innovative approach to welcoming refugees and protecting unaccompanied minors”.
Metadrasi was founded in 2009 to safeguard the rights of people displaced by war or persecution, with particular emphasis on minors who had reached Greece alone because they had either been lost or separated from their parents along the way.
The organisation is present at all key entry points of Greece and has proven to be a safety net for unaccompanied children that it transports from detention centres to suitable accommodation and foster care.
Metadrasi’s founder Lora Pappa hopes that the award would be use to strengthen the group’s advocacy and help more refugee children from the 12,000 minors that it has already helped.
Though the number of arrivals to Greece has dropped since 2016, UN refugee agency UNHCR estimates that there are 80,000 refugees stranded in Greece, including 4,100 unaccompanied children.