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Promoting physical activity for mental health in a refugee camp: the Skaramagas project
  1. Manolis Adamakis1,2
  1. 1 School of Education, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  2. 2 Department of Education and Social Work, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  1. Correspondence to Dr Manolis Adamakis, University College Cork, Cork T12KX72, Ireland; manosadam{at}

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Many refugee and migrant children and adolescents are in urgent need of shelter, care and protection. Greece has been a major entry point in Europe, receiving over a million refugees and migrants (37% children) since the beginning of 2015. These children and their families face a range of risks, such as violence, exploitation and abuse in their country of origin, during their journey, and on arrival. It is estimated that 22% of individuals living in displacement experience a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.1 Promising examples of community-based initiatives, which use culturally sensitive learning materials,2 to encourage participation in physical activity for the purpose of promoting mental health are emerging.3 4 This Service Spotlight focuses on one such initiative: the Skaramagas project.

The Skaramagas project

Skaramagas is an old navy base located 11 km west of Athens. During the summer of 2016, Skaramagas accommodated 3000 refugees, of whom 96% were families from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. From November 2016 to May 2018, an educational programme sponsored by UNICEF and the British Council of Greece was created for refugee and migrant adolescents living in the camp by providing access to and/or facilitating their education, school readiness, psychosocial support …

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  • Contributors I am the only author of this paper.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.