BIOHEC-LIFE: workshop in Athens for recycling of used cooking oil

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The project BIOHEC-LIFE aims at developing and promoting new technologies to enable an optimized recovery and treatment of used cooking oil (UCO) for the production of biodiesel that is then used into local vehicle fleet.  
The project is led by Gecco, a French and social enterprise that is developing the project in Lille (France) and gathered four European partners. The main objective of the project is to find European social enterprises keen to start a partnership with Gecco to implement the project in their country. Other partners of the project is the Rre-use Network and the think & do tank POUR LA SOLIDARITÉ-PLS
 
Between January 2017 and November 2017, PLS led a market study to identify where the project will have the best opportunity to be replicated in Europe. Based on many criteria, they concluded that 4 countries had a strong potential to implement the activity and Greece is among them.
 
The organizers of the C.6_Biohec-LIFE_Partnership request (1)Biohec E.4_Provisional Agenda_Athens Workshop_29062018, invite social enterprises or any organisation that might potentially be interested in C.6_Biohec-LIFE_Partnership request (1). Wind of Renewal / Anemos Ananeosis assists the organizers in order to meet with social enterpises interested in participating
 
https://www.eusew.eu/energy-days/biohec-life-advanced-biodiesel-circular-economy-low-carbon-future-public-transport

Primary education teachers are excited to participate in CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At

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Despite the high temperature and the early time, last Saturday, the 93rd Primary School of Athens at Neos Kosmos was full of life. But what was going on? Following the seminar on climate protection and energy saving practices at school of secondary education teachers, a seminar for the primary education teachers was about to be held.

According to the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)”, a total of 200 teachers from 65 primary, secondary, high school and technical education schools of Athens and neighboring areas will be trained so that they will be able to take action and make research in their schools to raise awareness of the educational community and change behaviors to achieve energy saving.

The bell rang at 8.30am and the 10 trainers of the seminar welcomed their trainees at the classrooms in groups of 21-25. In total there was trained a gender balanced group of 105 teachers. All of them had personal desire and willingness to participate in the project. They were really enthusiastic about the topic of energy efficiency and climate protection since it was their first time working for that in such a practical, coherent and structured way. Comparing to recycling or other environmental projects that they had already run in their schools, they expressed their enthusiasm to guide their students to implement such a practical and research based program that will lead to measurable results.

The teachers left very positive comments about the quality of the 6-hour training, the overall structure of the project and the training material. They characterized the project as: ambitious, challenging, interesting, manageable, organized, innovative, methodical, well-structured, promising, well-designed. Their expectations are more concentrated on practical applications and technical knowledge, and they expressed interest to develop synergies with other institutions and similar initiatives in Greece in order to achieve better results and a sustainable implementation of the outputs of the program.

The training focused mainly on the following topics:

  • Theoretical input on energy and climate change.
  • Familiarization with methods of creating an action plan for each school in order to save energy and raise the awareness of the school community in climate change.
  • Familiarization with methods of coordinating energy-saving actions (organizing an energy group, energy council, energy tour at the school, etc.).
  • Implementation of energy saving soft measures at school.
  • Introduction to recording and processing data methods.

training-on-climate-protection

training-on-climate-protection

The methodological process of the implementation of the program has been structured on the basis of the following 10 steps:

  1. Define an energy group for the school
  2. Define an energy council for the school
  3. Organize an energy tour of the energy council
  4. Study of the energy situation of the school (raise awareness on climate change issues)
  5. Energy tour at the heating room of the school with the energy team
  6. Data processing – Action Plan for energy saving and raise awareness on climate change
  7. Create a campaign to promote the implementation of the action plan in the school community
  8. Apply energy saving measures
  9. Make proposals for changes to the building’s infrastructure

Evaluate overall implementation of the program

The implementation of the program will be followed by a research framework. Aim of the research is to track the pilot implementation of the program and together with the research data that will be collected articulate a more comprehensive study that will be used by the Municipality of Athens in order to act in the direction of energy saving and promoting more sustainable practices in all the municipal schools.

The 19 trainers that implemented the 2 training seminars of the 200 teachers had been previously trained in the principles, methodology and objectives of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)” on a 4 days (30 hours) extended seminar that also took place in Athens during 12th -15th April 2018 (“Training of the Trainers” seminar). The “Training of the Trainers” seminar was implemented by a team of Greek experts and teachers together with trainers of the German Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU) with the coordination of the social cooperative ”Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis” and the Municipality of Athens.

The 200 teachers from both primary and secondary education will participate in a total of 24 hours of training (6 hours in the spring of 2018, followed by 14 hours in September and 4 hours in May 2019). The trained teachers will work for the implementation of the program in the school year 2018-2019, starting from September 2018.

The program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)” constitutes a collaboration between the Municipality of Athens, the educational community, the Social cooperative “Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal, the German citizens initiative Respekt für Griechenland e.V. / Respect for Greece (Berlin) and the German Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen / UfU. It aims to the mobilization of the educational community, local communities and municipalities for climate protection and energy transition as well as to the energy efficiency of the schools with the substantial participation and collaboration of the teachers, students, parents and local authorities.  The program is under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education

The program was evaluated and selected for funding by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), which is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. It does so through strengthening cross-border dialogue and cooperation as well as exchange of knowledge and experience.

EUKI

 

Inaguration of the operation of the WELCOMMON Hostel and Art exhibition “Travel”

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WELCOMMON Hostel opens its doors officially on 14/6, alongside the opening of an art exhibition on “TRAVEL”.

We start our new journey with WELCOMMON Hostel, as well as the development of other “trips” that we continue (the social and green economy, social innovation in health, energy saving and climate protection in schools, social inclusion, the energy transition and) or completed (such as the innovative WELCOMMON refugee center). We thus decided to symbolically combine the officially opening of the WELCOMMON Hostel with an art exhibition with the theme “TRAVEL”. Which means a trip for recreation, a journey of immigration or refuge, a journey to new ideas, a trip to the past, a trip to nature, a trip to art and creation, a real trip, a virtual trip or reading a book, a trip together with friends or self-awareness journey, a journey to colors, senses, music.

In the “TRAVEL” exhibition, creators from Kassos island, are involved – we chose Kassos because it is an island that knows well these various aspects of the “journey”. Take part: Alexandros Giorgos, Varkaxidis Kostas, Glytsi Angela, Dagleris Thanasis, Kilimandzou Athena, Magou – Karachaliou Litsa, Nikolaaraki Ioanna, Rukunaki Maria Blacksmith Sophia, Halkitis Lilian, Hanuška Olga, Chatziantoniou Rea, Fountis Konstantinos

The works of the Kassiotis creators will be exhibited from June 14th to June 30th in the special “Dialogue Hall” that we have created at WELCOMMON HOSTEL to host exhibitions, events, meetings, seminars, workshops. It is also the first stop on a collaborative journey started by the social cooperatives “ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL” (initiator of the WELCOMMON Hostel) and “KASSIOS

You can contact us from HERE, and even book in advance your accommodation.

 

  

   

The WELCOMMON Hostel, a new experience in responsible tourism

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The WELCOMMON Hostel is a hostel in the center of Athens, an innovative proposal for sustainable tourism, innovation, art, social and job integration based on the idea of “community”, initiated by the social cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL.

The WELCOMMON Hostel is a seven-floor facility for people of all ages. We would like to welcome you during your visit to Athens. We can also help you plan your stay in the city. WELCOMMON is not just a hostel, it is also part of a social experiment, a center for innovation and art, as well as social and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees.

We can organize your study trip in the city and provide details about interesting social events and groups; we can also supply you with all necessary information on other Greek cities, an island or a mountainside; we can connect you with cycling groups, or let you know the secrets of culinary delights, we can host your seminar or workshop; we can also host a painting exhibition or a cultural event.

Be sure to CONTACT US before arriving in Athens, let us know about your needs and your interests!

The Hostel, Welcome in Common

You have a variety of options for accommodation in WELCOMMON; you may like to share an eight-bed dormitory with your friends or other travelers; or you may prefer to stay in a five-bed room, a four-bed room, a three-bed room, a twin or double bed room or a single; you may need a cheap room or you may be willing to pay a little more for some extra perks; or you may like to go for a room with a balcony. Regardless of what you select, all rooms are comfortable, clean and attractive; a lot has been artistically designed with reused items, always with your comfort in mind.

How is WELCOMMON Hostel different?

WELCOMMON Hostel means welcome in common together. It is not only an opportunity to stay in a good place in Athens, the Greek capital; it is also a way to:

enjoy your stay in the city,

discover its social, cultural and environmental side,

exchange experiences and ideas,

learn and “share; you can participate in activities we organize (art exhibits, non-formal education, music events, visits to cultural sites and activities, etc…) or you can organize something yourself (e.g. a concert, painting classes or even give a speech!).

Training for social and employment issues

Although the hostel is no longer a refugee hosting center and has been refurbished into a modern facility, two floors of the WELCOMMON Hostel are used as an open center for social empowerment and inclusion. The aim is to create new employment opportunities for everyone in areas such as upcycling, ethnic cuisines, culture, green / cyclic economy, energy efficiency and others. Our societies must not accept generations being lost, we must not leave young persons, Greeks, migrants, refugees behind.

We offer classes (e.g. for language, painting, puppet show, music etc) with the support of volunteers to refugees, migrants, local people, tourists; we work for the empowerment and training of our guests and design interactive workshops for the professional training and promotion of the abilities and qualifications of refugees, especially the young persons, along with Greek nationals, in order to be able to find their way in our societies for the benefit of our societies.

As a visitor of Athens you could participate in an event or even present a topic to other guests or visitors in our WELCOMMON Hostel, in our meeting corners, in our “classrooms”, or during drinking a juice, a coffee or a herbal tea in our café or in our socializing bar and restaurant “In Common”. It is real!

Discover the other side of the city

Your stay in the WELCOMMON Hostel is also a chance for you to discover what is going on in the city. You could join initiatives working for the transformation of the city and its environmental protection, you could contact human rights groups or initiatives working with the unemployed, young people or for the inclusion of the refugees. There is an interesting, hidden side of the city, a real live and fresh city within the city; our community is ready to host you and work with you.

You help us boost the social impact of our project

When you choose to stay with us you contribute to the employment of a fantastic group of people, consisting of a number of long-term unemployed Greeks, migrants and refugees who have settled in Greece.

The first step is crucial: we want to be financially and socially sustainable, we try to improve our services, to make our hostel more convenient, friendly and live, more artistic and social. But the next step is also very important to us; we are committed to investing any profits in social and environmental improvements, in the transition to an energy-efficient and green economy, in creating a new center for the most vulnerable; we also aim to contribute to reducing the energy poverty of households, offering them know-how and support so that they can exit a difficult situation through social empowerment and energy efficiency.

You can feel the history of WELCOMMON

The WELCOMMON Hostel has a quite uncommon, interesting history. For many years the building was used as a public clinic. During the Greek economic crisis, in February 2013, the clinic was shut down and merged with a bigger hospital. We, the social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal working for the promotion of the social and green innovation and economy– began renting the building in August 2016. We refurbished it in order to transform it into an innovative center – WELCOMMON – for the hosting and social inclusion of the most vulnerable refugees. The project was not simply meant to be for the refugees but with the refugees –working with them for their benefit, as well as that of the neighborhood and the local community. It became one of the most innovative and creative centers for hosting, empowering and socially including refugees, based on the idea of “empowerment through the community. It was supported by the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens and the UNHCR. But these agencies decided that refugees should be hosted only in apartments, there is no need for transition structures. Read about this HERE. The center closed in March 2018.

We decided to start refurbishing the seven-floor facility located in the centre of Athens, and to transform it into a HOSTEL, but not just any kind of hostel! Now we are running the WELCOMMON Hostel, a social hostel combining sustainable tourism with social and cultural activities and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees. We aim for Welcommon to be a social experiment, a centre of innovation and art, and for social and employment integration. And of course a hub where travellers can get insider’ information to organize their trip in the city, discover interesting social events and groups, but also information on other Greek cities, Islands or villages.

Learn about our history, contribute to the change

You can learn about our model, a community model, for the protection but also the inclusion of refugees, migrants and Greeks. It is a model we could adjust for vulnerable social groups, too. Although the center for refugees closed, you can experience some of our new activities, participating in workshops, language and painting, photo exhibitions, video or info-material. But you can also meet some of our previous guests, working now for the WELCOMMON Hostel, being part of our new community.

We are part of the social change we want to see happen

Athens is a city in crisis but at the same time one can see a real change if one decides to be part of the social and ecological change. We have decided to be part of this social change.

In the WELCOMMON Hostel we can introduce you to the world of Greece’s social economy and you can learn about its strengths and weaknesses. You can also contribute with your ideas and experience.

What was different with WELCOMMON center for refugees

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WELCOMMON, was an accommodation and social inclusion center for refugees, initieted by the social cooperative, ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL,  featured four important innovations:

1.Overhauling of old building in the center of the urban fabricWe rented and upgraded –at minimum cost and with voluntary work –a 3200 mbuilding in the centre of Athens that had remained closed since 2013 (ex hospital). We overhauled it and created a model community centre with a hosting capacity of up to 160-180 refugees. In total, 600 refugees from 22 countries (half of them kids) were hosted between October 2016 and February 28, 2018 (when the centered closed), upgrading and revitalizing the Exarcheia neighborhood (near Kanigos Square).

2.Accommodation for the most vulnerable groups of refugees and in need of urgent care, such as: people with chronic diseases, serious psychological disorders, disabilities, victims of torture, sexual abuse and trafficking, pregnant women and families with newborns. The residents of Welcommon included 40 newborn babies and a number of pregnant women.

3.Μodel facility for empowerment and care, based on the idea of ‘’community’’ and combining safe accommodation with social inclusion and job integration of people with high vulnerability. We provided a social clinic, psycho-social support, non-formal education, support for kids who needed to register in Greek schools, social support services and job integration processes. Our “community model” can be suitable also for other communities and neighborhoods – especially areas that have collapsed socially and economically and need to berevitalized on a new basis. It was organized on the basis of the needs of the community and was successful thanks to wide participation and extensive collaborations.

4. Search for solutions for decent work both for refugees/immigrants and unemployed Greeks, in common /together with them and in innovative sectors.

The WELCOMMON center was our proposal for the role that the social economy could play in inclusion issues, combining the hosting of vulnerable persons with new models of social inclusion, empowerment and mobilization of people in need in general, not just refugees. We cooperated with many social organizations –including 15 universities, students and more than 230 volunteers from all over the world during the operation of the center. Many social groups, MEPs and MPs, international organizations and representatives of municipalities visited us.

It was a project in cooperation with the UNHCR and the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens. It was a pity that the two institutions decided on January 18, 2018 to “discontinue the collective accommodation in WELCOMMON starting March 1, 2018, in order to focus on accommodation in apartments, which facilitates independent living. After their decision to stop financing the housing program for the refugees we decided to try to continue our innovative work by financing our initiatives through the Hostel rather than depend on third actors. We are committed to striving for maximizing the benefit for society. We are active in social, human and environmental rights, we can’t do less than needed in our times. We are convinced that acting in common on an integrated plan we can solve problems in a win-win manner.

“Training of the Trainers” on climate protection and energy efficiency

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The program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)” constitutes a collaboration between the Municipality of Athens, the educational community, the Social cooperative “Wind of Renewal”, the citizens initiative “Respect for Greece” (Berlin) and Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen (UfU). It aims to the mobilization of the local communities and municipalities for climate protection and energy transition as well as to the energy efficiency of the schools with the substantial participation and collaboration of the teachers, students, parents and local authorities.

The “Training of the Trainers” is a planned activity of the program and was held in Athens (at the 1st Experimental Secondary School of Athens) from 12th to 15th April 2018. In the training participated 19 teachers (primary and secondary education), environmental education officers and school counselors and the 3 senior experts of “Wind of Renewal”.

 

 

The training opened with greetings from Maria Iliopoulou (Deputy Mayor of the City of Athens for the Child) and Wolfgang Schwarz (RfG). Kostis Kontogiannis (academic coordinator of the program) made a brief presentation of the “Climate Schools Be.At.”. Then followed a presentation of Resilient Cities by Anthi Christou (representative of the Deputy Mayor of Green, Environment, Resilience and Climate Protection of MoA).

The German partner UfU together with a Greek team of experts and educators implemented the 30 hours training. The training consisted of theoretical input and practical workshops as well as an energy tour though the school. The part of the training implemented by UfU was mainly based on the following topics:

    

  • Presentation of the program fifty/fifty in the schools of Germany
  • Theoretical input on fossil fuels, climate change and the energy consumption for an average school and household
  • Presentation of the 9 steps to successful energy saving programs in Germany (kick off meeting and formation of energy team, energy tour, teaching students, energy tour with students, measurements, nudge technical energy saving measures, public relations within school, investment suggestions to school authorities, decision about the use of money)
  • Educational material (what do the students learn during a fifty/fifty program at their school)
  • Examples of achieved savings at schools in Germany, Bulgaria and Romania
  • Pedagogical content (methods, activities)
  • Introduction on measurements (temperature, illumination, CO2 concentration, electricity consumption)
  • Energy saving tips
  • Technical input concerning heating, indoor correct airing, lighting and electricity
  • Energy tour at the school and report of the collected information
  • Examples of small scale investment activities at German schools
  • Methods of calculation of the savings
  • Overall goals of the implementation of the energy saving program at the schools of Athens

  

In addition to the training held by UfU, a Greek team of experts presented information about the energy system in Greece (Nikos Chrysogelos, WoR), technical content of the Greek energy system (Kostas Theofylaktos, Energy Consultant) as well as the energy footprint of the Greek schools (Kostis Oungrinis, Technical University of Crete).

On the last day of the workshop (Sunday 15th of April), Kostis Kontogiannis (academic coordinator of the program) made a presentation of the financial system under which operate the Greek schools and there were discussed methods of calculation of the savings.

Afterwards, Maria Dimopoulou and Panagiotis Piliouras (the Greek team responsible to adapt the training material to the local context) presented a 10 steps strategy on how to run the project in the Greek schools, methodological steps of the project as well as research material consisted of evaluation sheets and three questionnaires that are specifically designed for the purposes of the program. The Greek team of adaptation asked the trainees to enrich with their ideas the proposed methodology and the designed questionnaires. As a result, it came out a constructive exchange of ideas among the participants concerning issues of implementation of the project in the Greek schools.

The training included a very interesting and funny interactive game, the “world game” for climate and energy

It ended with a presentation of the role of the three facilitators / senior experts from WoR (Maya Andreou, Eva Grigoriadou, Miltos Tsakiris) in the project and a short presentation of the moodle platform by Maria Boubouka (professor of informatics) that will be used throughout the implementation of the program.

The evaluation of the training by the participants was made using three methods (moderation cards in two colors, spider net diagram, evaluation sheets) and the outcome was very good in overall. The majority of the trainees believe that the training has enhanced their knowledge about the topic and that the contents and methods presented in the training will enhance the interest of the pupils for the topic energy saving. What comes out of their evaluation is that in general they feel well prepared through the training for the project in their school.

On Monday 15th April a meeting between partners (WoR, UfU) took place. There was made an evaluation of the training and a general discussion of overall goals of the project implementation. In addition there were discussed measures that will enhance the long term motivation of the schools community to stay active on the project (i.e. organize students competitions, change Energy Team every one or two years) and ideas on how to include topics and/or methodologies of the program to the standard curriculum of the students.

 

WELCOMMON. An innovative model for hosting and social inclusion of vulnerable refugees in Athens will close by the end of February 2018? We need your support. Could you help us?

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WELCOMMON. An innovative model for hosting and social inclusion of vulnerable refugees in Athens will close by the end of February 2018?

We need your support. Could you help us?

Dear friends hello

WELCOMMON, an innovative, model community center in Athens for accommodation of refugees, especially those who need long term care and protection, the most vulnerable groups of refugees – victims of torture, rape, trafficking, pregnant women, families with newborns, people with disabilities, serious medical conditions, serious psychiatric disorders is going to be closed by the end of February. Only if we have your support, the support from many citizens, institutions and organisations, we can continue on our innovative, coherent and holistic work for the protection and social inclusion of the most vulnerable refugees. If you agree that innovation and coherent solutions are needed also for the housing and social inclusion of refugees, please go on reading this open letter.

Since October 2016, we have hosted in WELCOMMON 600 refugees, about 40% of them children, from 18 nationalities. But, increasingly, the refugees we are hosting are particularly vulnerable. Τhe refugees who arrive from the Greek islands to the main land are almost only the most vulnerable ones. Today in WELCOMMON, 81 of 150 of our guests belong to the most vulnerable groups: 9 people with special needs, 55 people with severe health problems, 17 people with psychiatric problems. We are also hosting 14 newborns and some pregnant women.

The current cooperation between WELCOMMON and the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens and UNHCR, that started in September 2016, will be finished soon. Today (18/1/2018) we received the official letter by the UNHCR informing us that our cooperation will be finished by the end of February 2018. All the vulnerable refugees will be hosted in apartments. We fully support the hosting of refugees in appartments. But not all of them are ready or able to do this immediately after they have left a hotspot.

Our experience confirms that an integrated, innovative center offering both decent / safe housing and opportunities for empowerment, social inclusion and job integration of vulnerable refugees is needed now more than ever. Vulnerable refugees like victims of torture, rape, trafficking, with severe health and psychiatric problems need a transition period, integrated efforts, enough time and a supportive environment (of a structure like WELCOMMON) in order to suceed in their new lives. Otherwise, we will see them left behind, excluded and isolated in a appartment without hope and solutions for many of their problems.

That is why we are looking for alternative sources of funding so that we can continue beyond February 2018. We know how difficult is to succeed in that. Funding for such an integrated project is difficult, we know it. There are not open calls at the moment either at the European or at national level for such an innovate and integrated center. Therefore we are depending on the support of many.

We are different

WELCOMMON is an excellent example of empowerment, coexistence, dialogue between the cultures and cooperation until now between:

160-170 refugees from 18 different countries/nationalities, a total of 600 since the opening of the center in October 2016, most of them very vulnerable, people who have suffered in their own skin the violence,

160 volunteers from 4 different continents (Europe, Africa, Asia and America) who participated in many activities for and with the refugees, gaining experiences and feelings, having the opportunity to understand better and respect the different cultures. It is also an important experience for them and an opportunity to acquire know-how (much more if they have relevant knowledge or work professionally in relevant fields).

32 employees, most of them long-term unemployed Greek citizens, some enthusiastic – but with no experience in job – youngsters, a number of migrants living in Greece for many years and 1 new comer- refugee. We make sure we have interpreters and social mediators for everyone.

– the local authorities, the local community, educational institutions and organizations from all over the world.

WELCOMMON is a structure not only for refugees but with refugees for the benefit of the local community as well. It is implemented by the social enterprise Wind of Renewal (“Anemos Ananeosis” – WoR).

If you would like to learn more about WELCOMMON, please visit our web site http://www.welcommon.gr or/and see the links with videos in this text. If you agree that Greece but also Europe needs such an innovative center for the most vulnerable refugees, we ask your kind support to this model community center where we combine decent and safe housing with social inclusion and job integration of the most vulnerable refugees.

How did we formulate the project

In order to shape our project, we cooperated with communities and organizations representing migrants and refugees in our country (Greek Migrants Forum, Greek Refugee Forum, Syrians living in Greece and others). In addition, we studied the existing (good and bad) examples of similar projects. Our plan differs from most others, because it aims in an integrated way of reception and housing (in decent conditions) of refugees who need long term care and support, but also in supporting their social and job integration.

Welcommon offers:

To refugees

Decent and safe housing, food and coverage of basic needs. We also meet the nutritional needs of the guests, as accurately as possible, depending on age, health status or cultural perceptions. Guests can wash their clothes in the washing machines and tumblers that exist in the center, or use sewing machines to repair them.

Psychosocial support. 3 social workers , 1 psychologist and 1 chlid-psycholigist are working in the center. We support systematically and on many levels the preparation, intercultural education and social inclusion of our guests – for us they are not only numbers and papersin cooperation with organizations and services based in Greece or in the countries of resettlement.

Primary medical care and systematic support (medical records file, interpreting, escort) for secondary care, if necessary, with respect to the cultural and religious sensibilities of the guests, especially since the populations we host now are among the most vulnerable ones and with multiple needs. Primary medical care is provided on a daily basis by WELCOMMON’s nurse and midwife, we have a close cooperation on a voluntary basis with the Doctors Without Frontiers, the Spanish Red Cross and arab-speaking doctors of the Union of Syrians in Greece.

Non-formal education of children as well as adults, such as: continuous and innovative language courses (Greek, Arabic, English, German and more), painting, music, photography, theater, creative activities for adults and children, sports, dancing. We help and prepare the children who have been out of school for many years to be able to attend attend the greek school immediately. We are very proud for our “arabic class” as well as for the tutoring lessons (language lessons and help with the lessons in school) for children that participate in the formal Greek educational system. The walls of our building are slowly being transformed to a “gallery” with “exhibitions” of paintings done by our guests at WELCOMMON.

To local community

Innovative services and new organizational models that help address social issues in a way that benefits both vulnerable social groups and society as a whole. These models could be applied to other vulnerable groups, such as long-term unemployed greeks, socially excluded people with socio-psychological difficulties and people with special needs.

New jobs creation in WELCOMMON, directly for about 32 people up today, who upgrade their knowledge, experiences and skills so as to be able to respond to new demands of their profession (e.g. teachers, social workers, psychologists etc.). In fact, we offer a kind of continuous practice and vocational training through working at WELCOMMON (both for employees and for volunteers from Greece and around the world). We offer work opportunities in a complex and multicultural-multilingual environment, with refugees from 18 different countries and volunteers from many different countries, with a multitude of different skills and abilities, with different cognitive and cultural backgrounds. We seek systematic cooperation with other institutions (universities, international organizations, social organizations, municipalities, professional bodies) from Greece and abroad, while we host seminars and exchanges practices in fields such as social services, psychological support, education, accommodation of refugees and other vulnerable groups, thus strongly contributing to professionals’ expertise.

Boosting of the local economy and market as all the resources being spent for the operation of WELCOMMON, return to the greek ecomony and the local market

Social integration – socialization

As part of the process of social inclusion and cultural / environmental awareness of the refugees, we emphasize in art as it works therapeutically and can unite people. We want refugee but also local children to get familiarized with art in their daily live. We emphasise both on organized visits to museums and exhibitions, as well as on artistic activities in our own center.

3 important awards in one year

  1. WELCOMMON was honoured on June 8, 2017 with the “Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017, which aims to strengthen synergies between local / regional authorities and social economy actors, and to highlight the achievements of such cooperation. The evaluation committee consisted of representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament, the Regional Committee and Social Economy Europe.

  2. The French Federation of Social Inclusion Enterprises invited WELCOMMON to participate in its national Congress organized in November 16-17, in Marseille, as a “good example of social inclusion in Euro-Med area.

  3. We are awarded as one of the 3 best examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area (2017 Euro-Med Dialogue Award) by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Fondazione Mediterraneo. The Bestowing Ceremony took place in Tallinn (16/12/2017) with the support of the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

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

Documentary “Working With Refugee Communities in Greece”, by the “In place of War” (IPOW) in cooperation with Anna Lindh Foundation

Bibiche, from Kongo, “What you really know about the refugees

Beshir, from Syria, “What you really know about the refugees

Ghassan, from Syria, “What you really know about the refugees

 We are more than papers

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

How you could support and help us

Taking into consideration the above, we would be glad to provide you with further information of our work as well as to discuss with you if you

-have some ideas how you could help our fundraising campaign for the WELCOMMON center or/and

-know institutions, foundations and organizations who could support our work.

We remain at your disposal

Yours sincerely,

Nikos Chrysogelos

Chairman of “Wind of Renewal”

Project manager of WELCOMMON

WELCOMMON, an innovative hosting and social inclusion center for refugees: We need your support

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We are pleased to inform you about WELCOMMON, to call you to visit our web site  or/and see the links with videos and invite you to visit our center where we combine decent and safe housing with social inclusion and job integration of refugees.

WELCOMMON is a different, an innovative, model community center for accommodation of refugees, especially those who need long term care and protection, the most vulnerable groups of refugees:

– people with disabilitiesserious medical conditions, serious psychiatric disorders,

– victims of torture, rape, trafficking,

– pregnant women, families with newborns.

About 82 of 150 of our guests are between the most vulnerable refugees: 9 people with special needs, 55 people with severe health problems, 17 people with psychiatric problems. We are also hosting 14 newborns and some pregnant women.

It is a structure not only for (the most vulnerable) refugees but with refugees for the benefit of the local community as well.

We want to sustain WELCOMMON long term

WELCOMMON is implemented by the social enterprise Wind of Renewal (“Anemos Ananeosis” – WoR) and until the end of February 2018, in cooperation with Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA), and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). It is funded for the period 1/9/2016-28/2/2018 partially (hosting and functional costs) by the European Union.

We fully support the hosting of refugees in appartments. But not all of them are ready or able to do this immedfiately after their stay in a hotspot.  Maybe for many, the most vulnerable, a transition, enough time and a supportive environment (of a structure like WELCOMMON) are needed in order to be able to suceed in this, to see this happen. Otherwise they will stay excluded and isolated in a appartment without hope and solutions for many of their problems.

Therefore, we are looking for different ways/resource in order to sustain the function of WELCOMMON long term. The current cooperation with the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens and UNHCR and the partially funding by EU is about to finish by the end of February 2018. Funding for such an integrated project is difficult. There are not open calls, at the moment, either at the European or at national level for an innovate and integrated center offering both decent / safe housing and opportunities for empowerment, social inclusion and job integration of the most vulnerable refugees although it is needed now more than ever.

We are different

WELCOMMON differs from most others, because it aims in an integrated way in reception and housing (in decent conditions) of refugees in need of long term care but also in supporting their social  and job integration. At the same time, it is an excellent example of empowermentcoexistencedialogue between the cultures  and cooperation until now between:

– 160-170 refugees from 18 different countries/nationalities, a total of 540 since the opening of the center in October 2016, most of them very vulnerable, people who have suffered in their own skin the violence,

– 160 volunteers from 4 different continents (Europe, Africa, Asia and America) who participated in many activities for and with the refugees, gaining experiences and feelings, having the opportunity to understand better and respect the different cultures. It is also an important experience for them and an opportunity to acquire know-how (much more if they have relevant knowledge or work professionally in relevant fields).

– 32 employees, most of them long-term unemployed Greek citizens, some enthusiastic – but with no experience in job – youngsters, a number of migrants living in Greece for many years and 1 new comer- refugee. We make sure we have interpreters and social mediators for everyone.

– the local authorities, the local community, educational institutions and organizations from all over the world.

How did we formulate the project

In order to shape our project, we cooperated with communities and  organizations representing migrants and refugees  in our country (Greek Migrants Forum, Greek Refugee Forum, Syrians living in Greece and others). In addition, we studied the existing (good and bad) examples of similar projects. Our plan differs from most others, because it aims in an integrated way of reception and housing (in decent conditions) of refugees who need  long term care and support, but also in supporting their social  and job integration.

Welcommon offers:

To refugees

– Decent and safe housing, food and coverage of  basic needs.  We also meet the nutritional needs of the guests, as accurately as possible, depending on age, health status or cultural perceptions. Guests can wash their clothes in the washing machines and tumblers that exist in the center, or use sewing machines to repair them.

– Psychosocial support. 3 social workers , 1 psychologist and  1 chlid-psycholigist are working in the center. We support systematically and on many levels the preparation, intercultural education and social inclusion of our guests – for us they are not only numbers and papers – in cooperation with organizations and services based in Greece or in the countries of resettlement.

– Primary medical care and systematic support (medical records file, interpreting, escort) for secondary care, if necessary, with respect to the cultural and religious sensibilities of the guests, especially since the populations we host now are among the most vulnerable ones and with multiple needs. Primary medical care is provided on a daily basis by WELCOMMON’s nurse and midwife, who have a close cooperation on a voluntary basis with the Spanish Red Cross and arab-speaking  doctors.

– Non-formal education of children as well as adults, such as: continuous and innovative language courses (Greek, Arabic, English, German and more), painting, music, photography, theatercreative activities for adults and childrensports, dancing. We help and prepare the children who have been out of school for many years to be able to attend attend the greek  school immediately. We are very proud for our “arabic class” as well as for the tutoring lessons (language lessons and help with the lessons in school) for children that participate in the formal Greek educational system.  The walls of our building are slowly being transformed to a “gallery” with “exhibitions” of paintings done by our guests at WELCOMMON.

To local community

– Innovative services and new organizational models that help address social issues in a way that benefits both vulnerable social groups and society as a whole. These models could be applied to other vulnerable groups, such as long-term unemployed greeks, socially excluded people with socio-psychological difficulties and people with special needs.

– New jobs creation in WELCOMMON, directly for about 32 people up today, who upgrade their knowledge, experiences and skills so as to be able to respond to new demands of their profession (e.g. teachers, social workers, psychologists etc.). In fact, we offer a kind of continuous practice and vocational training through working at WELCOMMON (both for employees and for volunteers from Greece and around the world). We offer work opportunities in a complex and multicultural-multilingual environment, with refugees from 18 different countries and volunteers from many different countries, with a multitude of different skills and abilities, with different cognitive and cultural backgrounds. We seek systematic cooperation with other institutions (universities, international organizations, social organizations, municipalities,professional bodies) from Greece and abroad, while we host seminars and exchanges practices in fields such as social services, psychological support, education, accommodation of refugees and other vulnerable groups, thus strongly contributing to professionals’ expertise.

– Boosting  of the local economy and market as all the resources being spent for the operation of WELCOMMON, return to the greek ecomony and the local market

Social integration – socialization

As part of the process of social inclusion and cultural / environmental awareness of the refugees, we organize visits to museums, art venues, parks and public spaces.

Since almost every one of our guests speaks different language, we emphasize in art as it works therapeutically and can unite people. We want refugee but also local children to get familiarized with art in their daily live. We emphasise both on organized visits to museums and exhibitions, as well as on artistic activities in our own center.

3 important awards in one year

(a) WELCOMMON was honoured on June 8, 2017 with the “Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017, which aims to strengthen synergies between local / regional authorities and social economy actors, and to highlight the achievements of such cooperation. The evaluation committee consisted of representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament, the Regional Committee and Social Economy Europe.

(b)  The French Federation of Social Inclusion Enterprises invited WELCOMMON to participate in their national Congress organized in November 16-17, in Marseille, as was selected as a “good example of social inclusion in Euro-Med area.

(c)   We are awarded as one of the 3 best examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area (2017 Euro-Med Dialogue Award) by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Fondazione Mediterraneo, Italy. The Bestowing Ceremony took place on 16 December 2017 at the Estonian Film Museum with the support of the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

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

– Documentary “Working With Refugee Communities in Greece”, by the “In place of War” (IPOW) in cooperation with Anna Lindh Foundation

 Bibiche, from Kongo, “What you really know about the refugees

 Beshir, from Syria, “What you really know about the refugees

 Ghassan, from Syria, “What you really know about the refugees

 –  We are more than papers

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

How you could support and help us

Taking into consideration the above, we would be glad to provide you with further information of our work if you would like to support us

Thank you

For donations:

ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΠΕΙΡΑΙΩΣ / PIRAEUS BANK

Beneficiary: ANEMOS KOINONIKI SYNETAIRISTIKI EPICHEIRISI;

IBAN: GR83 0172 0180 0050 1807 7868 253

Branch: ΠΛΑΤΕΙΑ ΑΤΤΙΚΗΣ

BIC: PIRBGRAA

ZEW-Klima: With new energy against youth unemployment

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ZEW-Klima: With new energy against youth unemployment

What is about?

The project „Zukunftschancen Energiewende und Klimaschutz“(ZEW-Klima: With new energy against youth unemployment) aims to explore the conditions for energy transition and climate protection measures in the selected regions of Athens, Greece and Cádiz, Spain. Further, it aims to analyse the employment opportunities for unemployed young people in the respective regions that result from the development of renewable energy and climate protection. Consequently, the necessary qualification requirements for the realisation of employment opportunities are also to be determined and poured into broad curricula.

Partners involved in ZEW-Klima

  • Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis, Greece

  • University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin, Germany

  • University of Cádiz, Spain
  • Secretariat for future studies Berlin, Germany

  • Naturschutzzentrum Ökowerk Berlin e.V., Germany

  • Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH, Germany

  • WRE Hellas S.A., Greece

Why this program? 

The youth unemployment is particularly high in Southern European countries: 45.5 % of young people aged from 18 to 25 are affected in Greece and 48.7 % in Andalusia, Spain. At the same time, these countries have enormous potentials for the deployment of renewable energy. 

In this way, we anticipate being able to examine the promising approach of tackling the problem of youth unemployment in the target regions through adequate qualification measures, which at the same time have a positive impact on the energy transition and climate protection effects. These findings can be used to provide key actors (education institutions, political leaders, companies, social institutions) in the target regions with a sound understanding of the challenges of youth unemployment, energy poverty and the development of renewable energy, including, where appropriate, state and European programmes such as Youth Guarantee (“Jugendgarantie”) or Employment Initiative (“Beschäftigungsinitiative”). The necessary involvement and support of political actors is covered by ZEW-Klima as well.

A practical implementation of the findings on employment effects and specific qualification requirements can contribute to the long-term and sustainable use of the results of the project. With its scientific foundation and justification, the approach of ZEW-Klima provides the basis for a structured and strategic procedure in the target regions. An implementation project can be set up following ZEW-Klima, which has already been sketched in basic terms in the project idea “European youths working on energy transition” and must now be enriched with appropriate content: A qualification of young people from the two selected regions in the field of renewable energy/ climate protection can be achieved based on educational requirements and framework curricula developed by ZEW-Klima. Further, there is the possibility to carry out trainings in Germany, which has a respectively developed education systems and access to many projects, companies and activities in terms of energy transition.

To secure and spread the acquired competencies in a sustainable way, training for consultants can be included in the economical and efficient use of energy in households, small businesses and communal facilities. The aim is to apply modern instruments such as energy contracting to permanently integrate municipal consultants into networks in which they can work on their own funds. For example, to maintain the qualification approaches developed through ZEW-Klima for the future, its efforts can be institutionalised in the form of an energy agency.

The project „ZEW-Klima – Zukunftschancen Energiewende und Klimawandel“ is funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project funding instrument by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. It does so through strengthening across-border dialogue and cooperation as well as exchange of knowledge and experience.