Klein Tools has provided tools for the Salvation Army in Greece, to help the charity upgrade its support centre in Athens which offers help to thousands of people seeking asylum in the city.
There are an estimated 60,000 refugees in Greece, and thousands more arrive daily from Iran, Afghanistan and Syria. Since March 2016, new refugees arriving in Greece are either granted asylum or deported, and human trafficking is now rife as people try desperately to escape to more economically prosperous countries in Europe.
The Salvation Army in Athens works alongside other charitable organisations to protect vulnerable asylum seekers from human traffickers, and provides aid to families who are struggling to find homes, employment and the means to look after themselves and their children.
The charity delivers its support services from an old mansion in downtown Athens, which was built in the 1930s. The three-storey listed building had sat empty for many years but attempts had been made more recently to bring it back into use and the top floor was completed renovated. Unfortunately, this renovation was not completed due to the financial crisis, so the ground and first floors had no wiring, other than the original 1930s cables, offering limited functionality and non-compliance with local building code requirements.
Due to the state of repair of the building, the owners rent the property to the Salvation Army at an extremely reduced rate, but the lack of proper electrical connections in many parts of the building (and therefore no heat or light provision) make it challenging for the charity to operate in, especially during the winter months.
The Salvation Army raised some money to carry out essential upgrades to the building to make it fully functional, including rewiring it and installing a proper data network to allow organisations to better share information about the people they support. A local unemployed electrician volunteered to do the work for free but had no tools of his own, so the Salvation Army approached Klein Tools to see if they could help.
Captain Jean-Curtis Plante, regional business and administration officer for Salvation Army Greece/Italy, says, “We approached Klein Tools to see if they could supply a few items that would help us with the support centre refurbishment project – we knew that they produced high quality tools that get things done quickly and efficiently, and this would save us weeks of time on getting the network, heat and light installed in the building. So we were absolutely delighted when they said they could help and now we have the tools to complete the project before the cold of winter arrives.”