The number of visitors to the Community Center with a Roma annex of the Municipality of Rhodes is constantly increasing

Rhodes, the largest island (by area and population) of the Region of South Aegean, could not be missing from the 2023 Surveys. As in 2021 and 2022, the Social Inclusion Observatory carried out a survey with the participation of the Municipality of Rhodes and the Community Center with a Roma annex in order to capture the current situation in matters of social interest. The online survey, which was successfully completed between July 10-12, 2023, included interviews with elected officials, social service executives and beneficiaries of allowances. In particular with the following:


a) Georgios Triandos, Deputy Mayor of Social Policy,

b) Despina Gianniou, Deputy Head of the Social Policy and Health Directorate,

c) Fotini Zanetti, Community Center Coordinator, and

d) 30 beneficiaries of social allowances.


From the interviews with the executives of the Municipality and the Community Center during the survey in the Municipality of Rhodes, it emerged that there is a significant percentage of the local community living in conditions of extreme poverty and the assistance of the Municipality and the local community is needed to cover their needs.

In the last year, 11,000 people visited the Community Center with a Roma annex of the Municipality of Rhodes either for information or to apply for allowances they may be entitled to, a much higher number than in previous years. It appears that the image of the island of Rhodes in terms of its wealth due to tourism does not represent the reality as a large part of the island’s residents are seasonal employees in the tourism industry, and as a result, they have difficulty making ends meet in winter.


A notable phenomenon is the increase in the number of abuses of young children, an issue of primary concern to the Directorate of Social Policy and Health and the Community Center, which they are trying to address through prosecutorial interventions. Social workers spend a large part of their time investigating the living conditions of these minors in their homes, schools and neighborhoods. The actions taken by the Municipality of Rhodes for the elderly, abused women and children were also discussed.


Finally, the construction of the Open Day Center and the Homeless Dormitory has been completed and their inauguration is expected.


The Social Inclusion Observatory of the South Aegean would like to warmly thank the Municipality and the Community Center of Rhodes as well as all the participants in this survey.


(Text and photos: Katerina Hatzipapa)