The neighborhood of Neos Kosmos/Koukaki is a community of diverse needs in a densely populated part of Athens, Greece. Because of its proximity to the Acropolis, it is a thriving tourist spot, while also being home to about 100,000 immigrants and native Greeks. In recent years, as the Greek economy has suffered and unemployment has risen, Koukaki has seen a corresponding rise in homelessness and people living in poverty. This in turn has led to struggles with addiction and narcotics use as people seek ways to escape their circumstances, further alienating these marginalized people from society.
The lack of viable employment options throughout the country has also led to a sense of hopelessness among the youth of the nation. With a lack of funds going into public education, and an unemployment rate of around 40% for young people under 25, teens and young adults struggle to find purpose and a way of meaningfully contributing to society, leading to aimlessness at best and exploitation at worst. Few families in our community are connected with a local church, and our ministry seeks to address the growing need for mentorship and spiritual direction among the neighborhood parents, children and youth.
We connect with kids and parents at a nearby park through games and sports. We open our community center throughout the week to provide a safe space for kids in the neighborhood to come hang out, receive homework help, or attend regular special events like movie and game nights. As we build relationships and walk with the parents and kids in the community, we have opportunities to share the love of Christ.
- Experience in youth and/or children's ministry is a must.
- Youth camp work also helpful as applicants will volunteer at our annual camps.
- Because much of the work with youth and kids is relationship-building, applicants must be comfortable starting conversations from scratch, with the willingness and ability to easily bridge any possible language gaps.
- Applicants must also be comfortable with and able to creatively and pro-actively manage any unstructured ministry time.
- Flexibility in any ministry is a must, especially in a highly relational, low time-orientation culture like the Greek culture.
- Because Athens is a large city and our team lives and works in the city center, relying on public transportation, applicants must be comfortable navigating busy city life with a moderate degree of independence.
- Because we as a team want to look at our communities holistically, there will also be some ministry activities that we participate in as a team that don't necessarily have to do with youth ministry.
- A willingness to serve in any ways needed that will contribute to community transformation is important and we ask that all applicants have a positivity when faced with new experiences, a teachable spirit, a thriving prayer life, and a heart to learn and engage in local culture, language and life