Impoverished Greek parents leave kids in group homes
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Children have bean soup for lunch at the Model National Nursery of Kallithea. Dozens of other children, all aged two to five, come in daily, but the days away from their parents are long. "We had incidents where children even attempted to leave, to run away, to go to their mother," Zervaki said.
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Children play in the yard of the Model National Nursery of Kallithea. "They can't tell the days apart so every day they ask: 'Is it Friday?'" Anthoula Zarmakoupi, the social worker, said. "They know mum will pick them up at the weekend." But sometimes even that was not possible, she said. "We have children whose parents are homeless so it's very difficult for them to even collect them for the weekend."
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Children have bean soup for lunch at the Model National Nursery of Kallithea. Iro Zervaki, its head, says at least 40 children are on the waiting list, four times as many as a couple of years ago. The home sleeps 25 in a bare room with rows of beds draped in blue blankets, and lacks the staff and funds to increase capacity, she said. Most places are for abused children.
Children play in the yard of the Model National Nursery of Kallithea, in Athens. It is perhaps the darkest sign of economic devastation in Greece, where traditionally strong family ties are starting to crumble after years of depression.
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Children play in the yard of the Model National Nursery of Kallithea.