Visit to the Archelon centre and the Glyfada beach write up! All one “family”, volunteers, refugees, WELCOMMON HOSTEL guests

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On Sunday the 8th of March, the Wind of Renewal /Days of Welcommon family organized a visit to Glyfada at the sea turtle rescue centre «Archelon» and the beach just next to this centre. The group included volunteers, refugees and Welcommon Hostel guests – all one ‘family’.

We left the WELCOMMON Hostel at 1pm and we went to took the metro to Elliniko, then we took a bus to Glyfada to go to the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre. We had a short visit of the centre with some explanations about the turtles, how they are being injured and what the volunteers team is doing to take care of them 🐢. Sea turtles tend to get entangled in fishing gear and such incidents may often result to injuries or drowning. They may also fall victims to collisions with speed boats, especially near nesting beaches. Several cases of deliberately killed animals washed ashore are also reported from different sites.

The nationwide Rescue Network of ARCHELON is activated in cases of reports of injured or sick turtles or strandings of dead animals. The network is set up and supported through the organization of information events in cooperation with Port police authorities, fishermen, volunteers and environmentally active organizations. Injured or sick animals are transferred to the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada, near Athens. About 50 sea turtles are treated annually and when fully recovered, are released back to the sea. First aid Stations for sea turtles are set up in the areas of Rethymnon, Crete and Amvrakikos Gulf.

After the visit, we headed to the beach just next to the centre to do a little clean up, to enjoy the quietness of this place and to chat all together. It was a very pleasant moment 😉

We ended the day by going back to Syntagma square and wishing us a good evening. That was such a good day ! ☀️

FUNday trips are every Sunday 13:00 – 17:00, always meeting at Welcommon Hostel at 13:00. In the past, we’ve visited the Acropolis, had a picnic, and played football in a nearby park. Anybody is welcome, just come along to Welcommon Hostel on Sundays at 13:00.

#ErasmusPlus #volunteering #volunteers #socialinnovation #socialinclusion #empowerment #art #intercultural #withrefugees #EuropeanSolidarityCorps #GreenSocialInnovationESC #SocEnt #GoGreen #hostels #cooperatives #WelcommonHostel #WindofRenewal

Could you support a humanitarian, win-win solution for the refugees and the local communities in Greece, our “remain human-welcome” project ?

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Dear friends

You are certainly informed about the very difficult situation in the Greek hotspots on the Aegean islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos for the refugees and migrants coming through Turkey mostly from Syria and Afghanistan. It is evident that apart from what European and national institutions should do, there is a task also for private organisations and individuals to do their best in order to guarantee to refugees the right to live in dignity, to participate in the social life and to be able to find a job. In this way, there are win-win solutions for all, the new-comers and local communities.

The social cooperative Wind of Renewal (Άνεμος Ανανέωσης) and the Welcommon Hostel, in Athens, Greece, are willing to contribute to the accommodation, empowerment, social inclusion, job integration for a number of persons in our place. We address this offer, to the most vulnerable persons (families, single / pregnant women, disable persons, victims of trafficking, torture and rape etc) and we are ready to collaborate with NGOs and refugees / migrants communities for the next months, until there is a clear situation. Despite the problems created by coronavirus, there are many people who would like to help also the vulnerable groups in a period of crisis.  But we need support in order to be able to finance:

  • the cost for accommodation, breakfast, social empowerment, job training, non formal education, language lessons and preparation for a job,
  • the hiring of a number of refugees as employees for such a project.

We need donors immediately to be able to support our “remain human-welcome” project. Donations of all sizes are welcome and necessary. You can also support us informing your social networks, friends, universities, through social media, real life social networks and all other communication channels. You can make donations now through our bank accounts:

ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL

Cooperative Bank of Karditsa

ΙΒΑΝ GR 7608900100003010003540200

Bank of Karditsa’ s BIC / Swift Code is STKAGRA1

– ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL

Piraeus Bank
IBAN: GR83 0172 0180 0050 1807 7868 253

Piraeus’s BIC code is PIRBGRAA

Please send us your details for the invoice and inform us if you are willing to publish your donation at our website for transparency reasons.

  • Donors-institutions able to contribute €5,000 or more will receive an original painting of their choice from our collection of quality artworks provided by local artists who wanted to help us to achieve the social and environmental objectives.
  • Donors – Individuals can pre-book their stay in our WELCOMMON HOSTEL with 30% reduction of the room cost (before taxes) in the next 2 years

We remain at your disposal

Yours sincerely,

Nikos Chrysogelos                                PolinaGkioka                 Apostolos Ioakimidis

Chairman of “Wind of Renewal”      vice-president                 treasure of the board

About Wind of Renewal, WELCOMMON center for refugees and the WELCOMMON HOSTEL

Wind of Renewal social cooperative

  • It was established in 2014 as a center for the promotion of social economy and green innovation, intercultural dialogue, climate action and energy transition.
  • In September 2016 the innovative center for refugees, WELCOMMON (Welcome in common), was established in a seven floor old hospital with the support of UN and the Athens regionin order to host in dignity more than 600 vulnerable refugees. It operated as such until February 2018.
  • In this context we have employed and partially hosted more than 300 volunteers from all over the world for supporting non formal education, socializing, empowerment, art therapy, social inclusion and language / intercultural lessons for refugees, migrants and locals (staying in our premises and outside). We also organized the “Days of WELCOMMON”, to offer intercultural courses with the volunteers.
  • We are very proud that our social cooperative enterprise ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL has received 5 European-level distinctions for our contribution to the social economy, social green innovation and intercultural dialogue

Please find out more about:
www.facebook.com/daysofwelcommon
https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/vol765/
https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/5prizes/ 

The WELCOMMON HOSTEL

  • After the interruption of the funding for housing of refugees (9/2016-2/2018), WoR opened in June 2018, the WELCOMMON HOSTEL, without any grant, capital or support. The aim was to continue the work on social and ecological solutions by providing training and employment for refugees and unemployed young Greeks. At the same time, we improved our tourism offer by providing opportunities for guests to stay and collaborate with us. We use five stores of our seven-floor building in Exarcheia, Athens, to welcome visitors. The remaining two stories are used for our social and ecological projects. Despite the lack of financial resources we were able to continue, not without difficulties, our innovative, volunteer-led program of social inclusion and integration activities (music, art, film, family picnics, cooking workshops, co-learning opportunities and sports) for refugees and
  • In 2020, we :

– Provide free language classes/intercultural courses for refugees and local Greeks

– Offer a rich program of inclusive cultural activities

– Support integration through music, art, comedy and film events

– Raise awareness of our next generation to tackle the climate crisis by training 200 teachers from 73 schools in Athens to harness the enthusiasm of over 3,000 students, in the frame of EUKI Climate Schools Be.Ath

– Support 11 young Greeks to gain professional qualifications in energy reduction and transition-creating social and ecological change holistically, in the frame of EUKI YESclima

– Are ready to engage and support any other  project in line with our objective for  social inclusion and climate action – from family picnics to seminars on the green economy and everything in between

Please find out more about the Hostel in:

– Welcommon Hostel: www.welcommonhostel.gr

– Welcommon Hostel in facebook: www.facebook.com/welcommonhostel

– Welcommon Hostel in instagram: www.instagram.com/welcommonhostel
– Our building and sustainable tourism: www.welcommonhostel.gr/rooms-list

More about us:

Welcommon, a model housing and social inclusion centre for refugees (9/2016-2/2018) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMBwqRxDotk&feature=youtu.be

What the refugees themselves and others told about the role of WELCOMMON

Documentary  “WorkingWithRefugeeCommunities in Greece”, by the “In place ofWar” (IPOW) in cooperationwith Anna LindhFoundation

Bibiche, fromKongo, “Whatyoureallyknowaboutthe refugees

Beshir, fromSyria, “Whatyoureallyknowaboutthe refugees

Ghassan, from Syria, “Whatyoureallyknowaboutthe refugees

We are more thanpapers

– An article published by the e-newsletter «Cooperative.news»: «Taking steps to meet the long-term needs of refugees»

 –Our history: www.welcommonhostel.gr/slider/you-can-feel-the-history-of-welcommon

– Social change in our community: www.welcommonhostel.gr/social

Wind of Renewal: www.anemosananeosis.gr, www.anemosananeosis.gr/en/about-us-en/ ,
Six years of innovation: https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/sgi5667-2/
social media: www.facebook.com/socialcooperatives

Art trip open4 all write up!

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Art trip write up!

On Sunday, 9th February, the Wind of Renewal/Days of Welcommon family took a trip to the Municipal Gallery of Athens.

The group included volunteers, refugees and Welcommon Hostel guests – all one ‘family’.

We walked 2 km to the gallery, where they were showing an exhibition of Greek expressionists: Exceptions

The theme of the exhibition was the exceptional nature of Greek expressionism – against the art world mainstream of its time, and nowhere near as widely acclaimed as expressionism in Germany and the USA in the early twentieth century.

We spent time looking at the artworks on display, and had a brief conversation about the expressionist art movement – which sought to portray internal feelings over external reality.

Outside the gallery, we created our own artworks inspired by what we’d just seen. We used found materials, felt pictures, watercolours, cardboard, pens and pencils to make our original pieces. Then we celebrated the day with our own exhibition space outside the gallery!

Later, we went to the Gas Works (Technopolis) nearby to look around the old buildings and enjoy the quiet space away from busy roads!

FUNday trips are every Sunday 13:00 – 17:00, always meeting at Welcommon Hostel at 13:00. In the past, we’ve visited the Acropolis, had a picnic, and played football in a nearby park. Anybody is welcome, just come along to Welcommon Hostel on Sundays at 13:00.

#ErasmusPlus #volunteering #volunteers #socialinnovation #socialinclusion #empowerment #art #intercultural #withrefugees #EuropeanSolidarityCorps #GreenSocialInnovationESC #SocEnt #GoGreen #hostels #cooperatives #WelcommonHostel #WindofRenewal

Join our community – we deliver real social and ecological impact in Athens

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Join our community – Days of Welcommon – Green Social Innovation
 
Wind of Renewal (Άνεμος Ανανέωσης) – our social enterprise, and Welcommon Hostel – our innovative hostel with social and ecological impacts – want you to collaborate with us as we deliver real social and ecological impact in Athens, Greece. We believe in being a part of the change we want to see in the world – and we want you to be a part of it too.
 
We are a beacon of sustainable tourism in the heart of Athens; a community centre for refugees, migrants, volunteers, travelers and local Greeks to come together, learn essential life and language skills and be empowered; and an inspirer and educator for climate change action.
Every week, we – the volunteers of Wind of Renewal from many countries – do the activities in the frame of “Days of Welcommon” and “Green Social Innovation” (European Solidarity Corps) – below at a minimum. We try to be as flexible as possible so that we can meet the needs of people we work alongside, only doing what’s wanted. And there’s always more room in the schedule for great ideas led by new collaborators!
– FUNday activities,
– Non-English language practice,
– English language practice
– Family language practice
– Movies
– Kickboxing exercise
– Karaoke
– Music
and many others
Activities Details
FUNday activities (Sunday 13:00 – 17:00) We take suggestions for outings and day trips from the people we’re working with in regular classes and plan a fun day out each Sunday. In 2020, we’ve been hunting for treasure in the Acropolis, looking at art and making our own at the Municipal Gallery of Athens, played football in Alexander Park, and been out for a picnic in the sun!
Team meet (Monday 13:00-14:00) We get together as a volunteer team every Monday to discuss any important business, assign lead facilitators for activities, come up with new activities or bring suggestions to the group, and refine our flexible language practice offer.
Non-English language practice (Monday – Thursday 14:00 – 15:00) At the moment, we can help people with German and French as well as English. We’re always looking for more language skills to share from volunteers and our wider Welcommon family!
English language practice (Monday – Thursday 15:00 – 17:00) Right now, we split English learners up by ability and practice English in groups of around eight or ten. We are not teachers! We don’t give lessons, but we can facilitate language practice with native or fluent speakers for free to anybody who wants it
Family language practice (Monday – Thursday 17:00 – 18:00) We also facilitate language practice for families for an hour each day. We ask a parent to learn alongside their children, and help the whole family practice a language together
Meet mentor and coordinator of the volunteers (Monday 18:00 – 19:00) We try to meet them once a week to run through any changes, ideas, new work or events coming up
Planning (Tuesday – Thursday 13:00 – 14:00) We make sure we have a few hours each week to plan language practice activities, evening activities, FUNday, and anything else we need to get done like posters and social media
Karaoke (Tuesday 21:00 – 00:00) Karaoke in the main reception area for Welcommon is hugely popular! We just connect a laptop, projector, microphone and speakers and play YouTube videos of karaoke or lyrics – whatever people ask for!
Movies (Wednesday 20:00 – 23:00) We get movie suggestions from everybody who’s interested. If we show a movie for grown-ups then we make sure we also have a short feature for the family beforehand.
#ErasmusPlus #volunteering #volunteers #socialinnovation #socialinclusion #empowerment #art #intercultural #withrefugees #EuropeanSolidarityCorps #GreenSocialInnovationESC #SocEnt #GoGreen #hostels #cooperatives #WelcommonHostel #WindofRenewal

Call for collaborators, social investors, supporters, donors for social and green innovation

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Wind of Renewal (Άνεμος Ανανέωσης) – our social enterprise, and our biggest project, the innovative Welcommon Hostel, a hostel with social and green impact – are based in Athens. We established the social cooperative in the Greek crisis in order to bring fresh air, to promote new initiatives and ideas for the revitalization of the economy in our country and promote win-win solutions.

We are a beacon of sustainable tourism in the heart of Athens, an inspirer and educator for climate change action, energy transition and social economy as well as a community centre for social inclusion of refugees and local Greeks, to come together, learn essential life and language skills and be empowered.

As the system in Greece is not supportive for social and green innovation, we need social investorsdonorssupporters and collaborators from all over the world to join us. We believe in being a part of the change we want to see in the world – and we need collaborators.

If you want to collaborate with us as we deliver real social and ecological impact in Athens, Greece, please contact us for more information and direct communication: windofrenewal@gmail.com.

No alt text provided for this image

Social investors

We are calling on social investors to partner with us by providing €10,000 to €50,000 of finance capital. So far, we have invested €600,000 for the renovation and refurbishment of Welcommon Hostel – necessary both for delivering social and environmental change and for offering sustainable tourism in Athens.

We still need to invest in:

  • Energy efficient systems for our building. We don’t want to use oil and pay bills for heating of water and the building using fossil fuels, as we can reduce the bills and use solar power for this. Therefore we need seed capital for our full renewable energy transition, to heat water and heat and cool the building using solar power
  • A sustainability management system to drive continual improvement in the building’s environmental performance
  • The remaining restoration needs for our building

For social investment partnerships, we will offer:

  • A coupon of 5% interest, if payback is within one year
  • A coupon of 6% interest, if payback is within two years
  • A coupon of 7% interest, if payback is within three years
No alt text provided for this image

Donors

In our WELCOMMON HOSTEL we are offering empowerment, non formal education, intercultural courses and a place for socialing open for all: travelers, tourists, locals, refugees, migrants, volunteers with the asssistance of many volunteers like HopeNoyonikaFranziskaAnne MarieJonathanPenelope, from all over the world. Since September 2016 we have hosted more than 300 volunteers. Our ambition is to generate enough income from our social Welcommon Hostel, to fund our social and environmental projects sustainably. That is not yet our position, however. We need donors now to help us withstand the financial challenges faced by any enterprise – especially those in the tourism industry – in its first years of operation and to support our social projects.

Donations of all sizes are welcome and necessary. Donors will contribute towards our innovative, volunteer-led programme of social inclusion and integration activities (music, art, film, family picnics, cooking workshops, co-learning opportunities and sports) for refugees and local Greeks.

We can receive donations now through our bank:

ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL

Piraeus Bank

IBAN: GR83 0172 0180 0050 1807 7868 253

Piraeus’s BIC code is PIRBGRAA

Donors able to contribute €5,000 or more will receive an original painting of their choice from our collection of quality artworks provided by local artists who wanted to help us be the social and environmental change we want to see in the world.

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Supporters

We need to partner with enthusiastic individuals willing to commit their time and expertise for us for limited periods.

Our supporters help us to:

  • Broker relationships with social networks, universities, schools, Erasmus+ projects, cultural initiatives, youth environmental organizations, and partners from the wider sustainable tourism ecosystem in Europe and around the world
  • Promote our entire work stream (social and environmental change through innovative projects) through social media, real life social networks and all other communication channels
  • Deliver our core offer of language classes alongside cultural social integration and inclusion events as volunteers.

As well as inviting supporters to participate in all of our activities, we can offer them free accommodation in Welcommon Hostel whenever there is availability.

We continue to engage numerous volunteers from every corner of the globe (hosted in the volunteer space at WELCOMMON HOSTEL) with our innovative and inclusive @DaysofWelcommon and #GreenSocialInnovationESC programs.

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Collaborators

We want collaborators with individual or organisational skills and expertise to help us transform our building into an educational resource for energy efficiency and renewable energy transition. We want our building to achieve carbon neutrality. We want to share knowledge and inspire others to do the same while we work towards this, as well as acting as a demonstration centre once we have achieved our aims.

We are looking for businesses, cooperatives and other organisations to collaborate with us, sharing their knowledge and experience in transforming large buildings for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems.

At the same time, we want collaborators who can help us create an Energy Lab with an inspired team of experts to provide education and inspiration for our international guests, participants in our social activities, future leaders we are training and our local community.

No alt text provided for this image

Wind of Renewal

Wind of Renewal was founded as a social cooperative in Athens in 2014. Born out of a desire to help in social and green transition of Greece, promote social and green innovation and economy, welcome refugees – providing safe accommodation and social inclusion – we remain committed to changing the world in collaboration with dedicated partners.

Now, we are focussing on two strands of world-changing activities:

  • Social integration for refugees, local Greeks and travelers around the world
  • And action and education to tackle the climate crisis

In 2020, we are:

  • Providing free language classes for refugees and local Greeks
  • Offering a full schedule of inclusive cultural activities
  • Raising integration through music, art, comedy and film events
  • Inspiring our next generation to tackle the climate crisis by training teachers from schools in Athens to harness the enthusiasm of students
  • Supporting young Greeks to gain professional qualifications in energy reduction and transition – creating social and ecological change holistically
  • And engaging and supporting any and all projects which align with our focus on social inclusion and climate action – from family picnics to seminars on the green economy and everything in between

In everything we do, we work in collaboration with anybody who wants to be part of the change they want to see in the world. This includes the volunteers delivering our language classes, cultural activities and integration events; the refugees and local Greeks who participate in them; our guests in Welcommon Hostel; the students and teachers engaged in our climate education and action projects.

As a social cooperative, we will not waste anybody’s talent, idea or enthusiasm. We will empower people to act, learn from them, and collaborate to change the world together.

Wind of Renewal is a founding member of the Greek Forum of Social Entrepreneurship, a member of REVES (European Network of Cities & Regions for the Social Economy) and a member of REScoop.Eu (the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives).

Find out more about Wind of Renewal

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Welcommon Hostel

When we had to cease our WELCOMMON, the safe accommodation and social inclusion core offer in 2018, we had to act quickly to keep our cooperative plan alive. We made the decision to pivot to a innovative hostel with social and ecological impact run by a social enterprise, and launched Welcommon Hostel in July, 2018.

Welcommon Hostel is a vibrant sustainable tourism destination in the heart of Athens. Our ambition is to fund our work to change the world sustainably from the income of the hostel, however we are not in this position yet.

We use five storeys of our seven-storey building in Exarcheia, Athens, to welcome visitors. The remaining two storeys are used for our programme of language classessocial inclusion, energy transition, green economy and climate education and action.

We maximise our impact in our local community by providing training and employment for refugees and unemployed local Greeks. At the same time, we maximise our tourism offer by providing opportunities for guests to collaborate and change the world with us – and just by staying with us they are already contributing to our mission to be a part of the change we want to see in the world.

We are a member of Le Mat Europe, a pan-European network of social entrepreneurs including their local communities in sustainable tourism. We are recognised by the Greek Youth Hostels Association and are members of Hostelling International – national and international bodies recognising good standards for sustainable tourism alongside commitment to social and environmental change.

 

ANEMOΣ ΑΝΑNEΩΣΗΣ / WIND of RENEWAL (social cooperative for social – green economy)

ΚΟΙΝ.Σ.ΕΠ. για την κοινωνική και πράσινη οικονομία, την καινοτομία και τον πολιτισμό

W: www.anemosananeosis.gr

Μ: windofrenewal@gmail.com

Τ: 2103803959, 2103810646

WELCOMMON HOSTEL, an innovative hostel with social and green impact

ένα καινοτόμο HOSTEL καθώς και κέντρο κοινωνικών, πράσινων και καλλιτεχνικών δραστηριοτήτων

www.welcommonhostel.gr

www.facebook.com/welcommonhostel

www.facebook.com/daysofwelcommon

Call for collaborators, social investors, supporters, donors for social and green innovation

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 Nikos Chrysogelos

by Nikos Chrysogelos
Manager of the WELCOMMON Hostel at Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal

Wind of Renewal (Άνεμος Ανανέωσης) – our social enterprise, and our biggest project, the innovative Welcommon Hostel, a hostel with social and green impact – are based in Athens. We established the social cooperative during the Greek crisis in order to bring fresh air, to promote new initiatives and ideas for the revitalization of the economy in our country and promote win-win solutions.

We are a beacon of sustainable tourism in the heart of Athens, an inspirer and educator for climate change action, energy transition and social economy as well as a community centre for social inclusion of refugees and local Greeks, to come together, learn essential life and language skills and be empowered.

As the system in Greece is not supportive for social and green innovation, we need social investorsdonorssupporters and collaborators from all over the world to join us. We believe in being a part of the change we want to see in the world – and we need collaborators.

If you want to collaborate with us as we deliver real social and ecological impact in Athens, Greece, please contact us for more information and direct communication: windofrenewal@gmail.com.

No alt text provided for this image

Social investors

We are calling on social investors to partner with us by providing €10,000 to €50,000 of finance capital. So far, we have invested €600,000 for the renovation and refurbishment of Welcommon Hostel – necessary both for delivering social and environmental change and for offering sustainable tourism in Athens.

We still need to invest in:

  • Energy efficient systems for our building. We don’t want to use oil and pay bills for heating of water and the building using fossil fuels, as we can reduce the bills and use solar power for this. Therefore we need seed capital for our full renewable energy transition, to heat water and heat and cool the building using solar power
  • A sustainability management system to drive continual improvement in the building’s environmental performance
  • The remaining restoration needs for our building

For social investment partnerships, we will offer:

  • A coupon of 5% interest, if payback is within one year
  • A coupon of 6% interest, if payback is within two years
  • A coupon of 7% interest, if payback is within three years
No alt text provided for this image

Donors

In our WELCOMMON HOSTEL we are offering empowerment, non formal education, intercultural courses and a place for socialing open for all: travelers, tourists, locals, refugees, migrants, volunteers with the asssistance of many volunteers like HopeNoyonikaFranziskaAnne MarieJonathanPenelope, from all over the world. Since September 2016 we have hosted more than 300 volunteers. Our ambition is to generate enough income from our social Welcommon Hostel, to fund our social and environmental projects sustainably. That is not yet our position, however. We need donors now to help us withstand the financial challenges faced by any enterprise – especially those in the tourism industry – in its first years of operation and to support our social projects.

Donations of all sizes are welcome and necessary. Donors will contribute towards our innovative, volunteer-led programme of social inclusion and integration activities (music, art, film, family picnics, cooking workshops, co-learning opportunities and sports) for refugees and local Greeks.

We can receive donations now through our bank:

ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL

Piraeus Bank

IBAN: GR83 0172 0180 0050 1807 7868 253

Piraeus’s BIC code is PIRBGRAA

Donors able to contribute €5,000 or more will receive an original painting of their choice from our collection of quality artworks provided by local artists who wanted to help us be the social and environmental change we want to see in the world.

No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image

Supporters

We need to partner with enthusiastic individuals willing to commit their time and expertise for us for limited periods.

Our supporters help us to:

  • Broker relationships with social networks, universities, schools, Erasmus+ projects, cultural initiatives, youth environmental organizations, and partners from the wider sustainable tourism ecosystem in Europe and around the world
  • Promote our entire work stream (social and environmental change through innovative projects) through social media, real life social networks and all other communication channels
  • Deliver our core offer of language classes alongside cultural social integration and inclusion events as volunteers.

As well as inviting supporters to participate in all of our activities, we can offer them free accommodation in Welcommon Hostel whenever there is availability.

We continue to engage numerous volunteers from every corner of the globe (hosted in the volunteer space at WELCOMMON HOSTEL) with our innovative and inclusive @DaysofWelcommon and #GreenSocialInnovationESC programs.

No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image
No alt text provided for this image

Collaborators

We want collaborators with individual or organisational skills and expertise to help us transform our building into an educational resource for energy efficiency and renewable energy transition. We want our building to achieve carbon neutrality. We want to share knowledge and inspire others to do the same while we work towards this, as well as acting as a demonstration centre once we have achieved our aims.

We are looking for businesses, cooperatives and other organisations to collaborate with us, sharing their knowledge and experience in transforming large buildings for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems.

At the same time, we want collaborators who can help us create an Energy Lab with an inspired team of experts to provide education and inspiration for our international guests, participants in our social activities, future leaders we are training and our local community.

No alt text provided for this image

Wind of Renewal

Wind of Renewal was founded as a social cooperative in Athens in 2014. Born out of a desire to help in social and green transition of Greece, promote social and green innovation and economy, welcome refugees – providing safe accommodation and social inclusion – we remain committed to changing the world in collaboration with dedicated partners.

Now, we are focussing on two strands of world-changing activities:

  • Social integration for refugees, local Greeks and travelers around the world
  • And action and education to tackle the climate crisis

In 2020, we are:

  • Providing free language classes for refugees and local Greeks
  • Offering a full schedule of inclusive cultural activities
  • Raising integration through music, art, comedy and film events
  • Inspiring our next generation to tackle the climate crisis by training teachers from schools in Athens to harness the enthusiasm of students
  • Supporting young Greeks to gain professional qualifications in energy reduction and transition – creating social and ecological change holistically
  • And engaging and supporting any and all projects which align with our focus on social inclusion and climate action – from family picnics to seminars on the green economy and everything in between

In everything we do, we work in collaboration with anybody who wants to be part of the change they want to see in the world. This includes the volunteers delivering our language classes, cultural activities and integration events; the refugees and local Greeks who participate in them; our guests in Welcommon Hostel; the students and teachers engaged in our climate education and action projects.

As a social cooperative, we will not waste anybody’s talent, idea or enthusiasm. We will empower people to act, learn from them, and collaborate to change the world together.

Wind of Renewal is a founding member of the Greek Forum of Social Entrepreneurship, a member of REVES (European Network of Cities & Regions for the Social Economy) and a member of REScoop.Eu (the European federation of renewable energy cooperatives).

Find out more about Wind of Renewal

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Welcommon Hostel

When we had to cease our WELCOMMON, the safe accommodation and social inclusion core offer in 2018, we had to act quickly to keep our cooperative plan alive. We made the decision to pivot to a innovative hostel with social and ecological impact run by a social enterprise, and launched Welcommon Hostel in July, 2018.

Welcommon Hostel is a vibrant sustainable tourism destination in the heart of Athens. Our ambition is to fund our work to change the world sustainably from the income of the hostel, however we are not in this position yet.

We use five storeys of our seven-storey building in Exarcheia, Athens, to welcome visitors. The remaining two storeys are used for our programme of language classessocial inclusion, energy transition, green economy and climate education and action.

We maximise our impact in our local community by providing training and employment for refugees and unemployed local Greeks. At the same time, we maximise our tourism offer by providing opportunities for guests to collaborate and change the world with us – and just by staying with us they are already contributing to our mission to be a part of the change we want to see in the world.

We are a member of Le Mat Europe, a pan-European network of social entrepreneurs including their local communities in sustainable tourism. We are recognised by the Greek Youth Hostels Association and are members of Hostelling International – national and international bodies recognising good standards for sustainable tourism alongside commitment to social and environmental change.

ANEMOΣ ΑΝΑNEΩΣΗΣ / WIND of RENEWAL (social cooperative for social – green economy)

ΚΟΙΝ.Σ.ΕΠ. για την κοινωνική και πράσινη οικονομία, την καινοτομία και τον πολιτισμό

W: www.anemosananeosis.gr

Μ: windofrenewal@gmail.com

Τ: 2103803959, 2103810646

WELCOMMON HOSTEL, an innovative hostel with social and green impact

ένα καινοτόμο HOSTEL καθώς και κέντρο κοινωνικών, πράσινων και καλλιτεχνικών δραστηριοτήτων

www.welcommonhostel.gr

www.facebook.com/welcommonhostel

www.facebook.com/daysofwelcommon

Australia at a Tipping Point?

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Reflecting, Connecting and Regenerating Communities & Country

The smoke from the Australian bushfires have, on occasions, soared over 17 kilometres up into the stratosphere, creating their own weather systems, including thunderstorms and lightning strikes that start new fires. NASA predicts the smoke will travel all the way around the globe and back to Australia. Many have claimed that arsonists are to blame but only one percent of the land burnt can officially be attributed to arsonists.

For decades, scientists have warned us about the consequences of inaction on climate change. Their predictions seemed, for many, to be a problem far off in the future. In 2019, Australia stumbled unprepared into that future. Whilst the bushfires themselves have been described as unprecedented in scale, intensity and duration, it’s important to put them into the context of all the other events experienced on this continent in 2019.

An extreme heat wave in January 2019 resulted in Adelaide recording its hottest day of 46.6 degrees, while Port Augusta, 300km further north hit a record temperature of 49.5 degrees Celsius. In December and January an estimated one million fish died in the Darling River in three mass kill events as politicians blamed the drought for the lack of water in the river.

The extended drought is, of course, the backdrop to the bushfires, heatwaves and mass fish deaths. According to BOM, the 3 years from January 2017 to December 2019 have been the driest on record for the Murray-Darling Basin and the state of New South Wales (NSW), as shown on this map.

After a long drought, Townsville in North Queensland experienced an unusual, extended period of heavy rainfall resulting in flooding in February 2019. According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) “the accumulated totals from consecutive days of heavy rainfall were the city’s highest … since records began in 1888”. Two people and an estimated 500,000 cattle perished, while 3,300 homes were damaged. At the same time Tasmania was experiencing unprecedented bushfires.

Such extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists predicted as the climate warmed. Average temperatures across the globe have so far warmed just one degree Celsius above the average pre-Industrial levels. It sounds so insignificant. Just one degree, yet on a fragile and dry continent like Australia this small change is already wreaking havoc. Have we hit the first tipping point? Can we hope that next summer will be back to the relaxing summer’s of our past or should we now expect more — and more intense — weather events in the future?

While there were some wild stormy days in winter, the overall winter rainfall was low and so the bush was very dry, providing fuel for the coming fires. In September, at the beginning of Spring, the bushfires started. Australia experiences bushfires almost every summer and a large proportion of Australia’s plant species are fire tolerant, fire resistant or fire dependent. That is, some species need bushfire periodically in order to propagate. Australia’s First Nations people managed the landscape with fire, periodically burning sections of their Country. Regular small fires at cooler times reduced the risk of large unmanageable bushfires in Summer. Yet cultural burning is a continuous process of active management by all communities across the entire continent. It was embedded in the way of life. The approach varied according to local conditions and has the aim of keeping ecosystems in balance and encouraging an abundance of life. Modern bushfire management is under-resourced and its aim is to reduce risk to human life and property.

In November, we were in East Gippsland in Victoria and heard about the bushfires in southern Queensland and NSW. I have never felt so worried and sad as when we travelled back to Sydney for Christmas. For most of the eight hour trip we drove through a smoke-filled landscape. It was dark in the middle of the day and we drove with our headlights on. The sun was a red circle in an eerie sky. Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne have all experienced many smoke-filled days this Summer. By the time we arrived in Sydney we were regularly hearing the advice that we should stay indoors, not do strenuous activities and wear a face mask. The Air Quality Index was regularly at levels deemed hazardous to human health and on a number of occasions reached as high as twelve (12) times the hazardous level. For much of December, in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, the usual joy was subdued as many communities were suffering.

As of 14 January 2020, 18.6 million hectares were burnt, 5,900 buildings (including about 2,683 homes) were destroyed and 33 people killed. The selfless and tireless work of thousands of mostly volunteer fire fighters has been instrumental in minimising the loss of lives and property.

An earlier estimate suggesting 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles were killed has now been revised to one billion. Some endangered species may be driven to extinction, while ancient rainforests that never burn have also burnt.

After catastrophic conditions on New Years Eve and in early January, the risk has now subsided somewhat although many fires are still burning. The northern wet season can bring occasional milder weather and more rains to the south of the continent. The north of Australia is tropical and usually experiences monsoon weather from November to April but the period of heavy rainfall is getting shorter and this year the first tropical cyclone arrived in early January.

Australia’s weather has always been quite variable and one of our problems is that when Europeans arrived on this continent, we assumed that Australia experiences the same weather variations throughout the year as in Europe — Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Yet not only do weather patterns vary widely between the tropical north, arid interior and temperate south but the variations between years are sometimes more significant than those within the year. First Nations people had a deep appreciation of these fluctuations and, together with their respect for the land and other species with which they lived, this informed their land management practices.

By contrast the modern relationship to land is having a substantial negative impact. This is not just about the burning of fossil fuels, creating the greenhouse blanket that warms the entire planet. In Australia, our negative impact includes the failure to manage the precious little water that falls on this continent. Mining and farming practices extract and use water without accounting for the significant natural variability — from year to year — in the availability of water, lurching as we do from droughts to floods. Although Australia naturally experiences periodic droughts, the frequency and severity of these can be dramatically influenced by our farming practices, particularly the way we collectively manage water. Yet like most current economic practices, our farming practices are extractive. We simply take whatever water we need.

The Murray-Darling Basin — the most drought affected zone as shown in the map above — has the most contested water in the country. The Murray-Darling River Basin starts in southern Queensland, passes through much of inland NSW and Victoria before reaching the Southern Ocean in South Australia (SA). This is the largest and most complex river system in Australia. Over 9,200 irrigated agricultural businesses rely on it and SA depends on it for 83 percent of its water. Low flows in the river meant that dredges were needed to keep the mouth of the river open between 2002 and 2010. The Murray-Darling Management Plan was introduced in 2012 to manage the demands of irrigators and ensure there was sufficient flow out to sea without dredging. Yet as the next drought cycle commenced we simply re-commenced the dredging of sand in January 2015 and this continues today.

The contest between extractive economic activity and the needs of the environment are nowhere more starkly obvious than in the Murray-Darling Basin. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth and water extraction for agriculture that damages river ecosystems can only end with both the ecosystems and the economy that depends on water collapsing.

By contrast, regenerative agriculture seeks to build soil volume and vitality, enabling it to capture and clean water thus encouraging an abundance of life. Extractive farming, usually as monocultures, eliminates all species but those that return a profit. Regenerative farming supports and encourages a rich diversity of life. Instead of just taking from the land, regenerative farming practices give back in equal measure. This is the circle of life and applies not just to farming but all aspects of our economic activity — never take more than you give.

Charles Massy’s Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth identifies the principles of regenerative agriculture as follows:

  • Maximising the capture of solar energy in all plant species;
  • Improving the water cycle, maximising water infiltration, storage and recycling in the soil;
  • Creating healthy soils that contain and recycle a rich lode of diverse minerals and chemicals;
  • Maximising biodiversity and health of integrated, dynamic ecosystems at all levels.

As we rebuild lives, homes, businesses and communities, regenerative practices will help create a deeper understanding of our place on this continent and our responsibility for managing it.

As we rebuild we ought to re-imagine all aspects of how we live on the land, how we generate energy, how we manage water, how we produce food and how and where we build our homes. A systems approach to rebuilding our towns and communities might think in terms of a local renewable energy micro-grid, a local water micro-grid and a local integrated bio-diverse food system. This would allow communities to collaborate as they harvest, store and distribute their basic needs — food, water and energy — locally. In turn, this would not only build local resilience and create local work opportunities but also build the natural ecosystems upon which all societies and economies depend.


Steven Liaros is a Director of town planning consultancy PolisPlan.com.au and author of ‘Rethinking the City’ — an exploration of the historical ideas that underpin the organisation of cities — showing how these ideas are being transformed by the Internet. With qualifications in civil engineering, town planning and environmental law, Steven is currently undertaking a PhD research project at the University of Sydney’s Department of Political Economy. He has visited our WELCOMMON. We have asked him to write an article about the current situation in Australia, We thank him

WELCOMMON HOSTEL in the list of the 20 “hotest destinations” proposed by Hostelling International Canada

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These are 20 of the hottest destinations to visit in 2020…
And, our WELCOMMON HOSTEL in the list of the 20 “hotest destinations”!

December 18, 2019

It feels like Thanksgiving was five minutes ago and Easter was last week, but here we are at the end of 2019. And if you’ve got any cash left after Christmas shopping, it’s time to book a getaway in the New Year. So whip out the calendar and get planning—from the ends of the Earth to your own backyard, these are 20 of the hottest destinations to visit in 2020.

Hostelling International Canada proposes:
“9. Athens
Out of the ruins of millennia-old landmarks (and the rubble of a much more recent financial crisis) emerges one of Europe’s most exciting – and affordable – destinations. Athens appears on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 for its great-value food and drink scene, long list of free attractions (the Parthenon doesn’t cost a cent), and friendly exchange rate.
Book your bed at the recently opened Welcommon Hostel, a sustainable seven-floor property run by an eco-friendly co-operative”

The experience of an american student volunteering in Welcommon Hostel teaching english to refugees

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Hello. I am Hope.
From late September to late November I volunteered at Welcommon Hostel with Wind of Renewal.
Though stressful, this was an incredible experience. When I started by shadowing the English-language teacher’s classes, I enjoyed getting to observe and then help with pronunciation and spelling when needed. It was challenging at that point in trying to think about how I would lead my classes as each class was so different and what I would teach them.
 
When it got closer to the time of my teaching I was incredibly nervous. I have never taught in such a capacity before and I only speak English. Planning and creating lessons was hard because I didn’t have much structure to follow. Welcommon Hostel and Wind of Renewal lets the volunteers lead the class how they want and I did not know what things English language classes are supposed to cover.
 
However, it became a lot easier to create the lessons when the students would give input into what they wanted to learn and I would try to base the class around their interests as much as possible. Not only did it make teaching the class easier, but the students were more engaged and the class was overall more fun! It also got easier when I got an English Language textbook. Having a book showed me the format that should be followed and how to teach the tenses in the best way possible.
 
On the last day of classes when I put a verb on the board and made them conjugate the word in every tense and create a sentence using the conjugated verb, seeing the progress the students had made from their respective first classes was so rewarding. On my last day of teaching, I tested the students on what we had learned. I felt this beneficial as it would help the next teachers (who were sitting in) see where the students were at in their English-language speaking abilities. As well, I was able to get answers to some of the questions I had when teaching as the students vocally told me they enjoyed the class, and would sometimes tell me during class what they wished I would do better (speak slower, spend more time focusing on teaching, having a more accessible way to communicate across the language barrier, etc).
 
My time at Welcommon, while challenging, was incredibly rewarding and pushed me in ways I truly have never been pushed before.