Monthly Archives

March 2017

Education Programm for Syrian refugees in Athens- WELCOMMON

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WHO ARE WE?

WELCOMMON is an innovative community center in Athens, Greece hosting and promoting the social inclusion of refugees.

It was set up by the social enterprise Wind of Renewal (“AnemosAnaneosis”) in cooperation with the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (EATA), under the framework of the relocation program of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

   

WHAT DO WE DO?

In 2016 Welcommon rented and refurbished a building in the centre of Athens to provide a home and community centre for refugees.  It hosts up to 200 refugees and 15 volunteers.  Priority is given to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, families with children, the elderly, handicapped, victims of torture etc.  The majority are Syrians (90%) and children (65-80%), often accompanied by only one parent, usually the mother.

The refugee children have remained out of an education system for between two and five years. Some of them have been prevented from ever attending school. This, combined with the fact that they are away from home, living in camps and moving from one place -or country- to another, under very difficult conditions, results in a lot of problems. It is essential for them to return to a formal as well as to a non-formal education and training system as soon as possible.

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Although the basic costs for hosting the refugees in WELCOMMON are 80% covered through the cooperation with the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency and UNHCR, there are many other costs not covered by this grant, and mainly costs for education and inclusion.

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WHAT WILL YOUR DONATION BE USED FOR?

Places in the formal Greek education system are very limited. Your donation will help us to expand both formal and non-formal education activities for children and adults. During their stay in Welcommon they have the opportunity to participate in a complete and integrated training program similar to the formal education program. Our aim is to provide basic knowledge, skills and capabilities similar to those provided by the formal education and additional social skills through creative activities and innovative learning methods.

Your donation will help to promote social inclusion, provide health services and materials, training, welcome classes and creative activities (e.g. painting, music, dancing, sports, language lessons, capacity building etc.), as well as environmental management, energy efficiency and the maintenance of the 3200 sq.m. building. 

We aspire to contribute not only to relief efforts but also in the form of education and social inclusion strategies and practices.

We would like to see a real change in the hosting policies implemented in our country and the development of a holistic strategy for the refugees in Greece.

Bank accounts:

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal

Pireaus Bank: GR8301720180005018077868253   BIC: PIRBGRAA

Eurobank: GR7202602440000180200876471   BIC: ERBKGRAA

For Welcommon project

Our article in Housing Europe for energy poverty in Greece

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This article was published in Housing Europe http://www.housingeurope.eu/blog-913/energy-poverty-in-greece

A policy paper “Energy poverty in Greece; Social innovation proposals to tackle the phenomenon” was recently published by the Heinrich Βöll Foundation Greece in collaboration with the social cooperative Wind of Renewal and ΙΝΖΕΒ – Institute of Zero Energy Buildings.

In this policy paper, the factors comprising the multi-faceted problem of energy poverty are being introduced as well as its social, economic and environmental consequences. Policies and good examples for dealing with the phenomenon from various European countries are being presented. The main focus is on a series of proposals for tackling the problem in Greece. More specifically, these proposals demonstrate the need for a holistic approach of green, social innovation that, in conjunction with the adequate documentation of the phenomenon, can provide viable solutions, with respect to the current circumstances of Greece. The proposals focus in four main areas: changes in policy, information and education, increase of the energy efficiency of buildings and the use of renewable energy sources.

The whole study is available in Greek here and a summary in English here

The policy paper supports the approach that we need schemes based on the application of energy efficiency measures and orientation towards the benefit of citizens, the protection of public health, and the improvement of economic indicators at the community, municipal, regional, and country level through the creation of new jobs.

The proposals are intended to represent sustainable solutions for the indirect increase of house-hold income, rather than the introduction of subsidies, with the aim of simultaneous contribution to the national and European objectives regarding the protection of the environment and climate change. The schemes could also utilize European financial instruments and funding options, synergies and networking among stake-holders through collaborative energy associations, innovative business models and social housing.

Nikos Chrysogelos

President of WIND of RENEWAL

www.anemosananeosis.gr

windofrenewal@gmail.com

 

 

Energy poverty in Greece; Social innovation proposals to tackle the phenomenon

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We would like to inform you of the publication of the study “Energy poverty in Greece; Social innovation proposals to tackle the phenomenon” which was concluded by the Heinrich Βöll Foundation Greece in collaboration with ΙΝΖΕΒ – Institute of Zero Energy Buildings and the social cooperative Wind of Renewal.

In this study, the factors comprising the multi-faceted problem of energy poverty are being introduced as well as its social, economic and environmental consequences. Policies and good examples for dealing with the phenomenon from various European countries are being presented. Also, we are putting forward a series of proposals to tackle the problem in Greece. More specifically, these proposals demonstrate the need for a holistic approach of green, social innovation that, in conjunction with the adequate documentation of the phenomenon, can provide viable solutions, with respect to the current circumstances of Greece. The proposals focus in four main areas: changes in policy, information and education, increase of the energy efficiency of buildings and the use of renewable energy sources.

You may find the executive summary of the study on energy poverty in pdf format, which is available in English here. The whole study is also available in Greek here.

Educational & activities program at WELCOMMON

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The “Welcommon”, a model center for housing and inclusion of refugees, is a cooperation between the Social Cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS /WIND OF RENEWAL and the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (EATA). The project functions under the framework of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Relocation program for refugees.

WELCOMMON is in the position to offer:

  • Accommodation for 170-200 refugees in 66 rooms and additional facilities for gatherings, tutorials, artistic activities etc.
  • Cover for basic needs: Food, in line with the guests’ nutritional requirements and habits (e.g., age, state of health, religion).
  • Social-Psychosocial supportis provided by 3 social workers and 1 psychologist.
  • Primary health care by a nurse. We are also in the process of setting up a network of Arabic-speaking volunteer doctors of various specializations.

At WELCOMMON we also provide support for formal and non-formal education to the children at three levels: enrollment in the Greek formal education system,  opportunities for non-formal education, training and empowerment of social skills, empowering parents (often single) for taking proper care of their children. A lot of activities are organized and implemented with the contribution of volunteers.  

Refugee children have remained out of an education system for between two and five years. Some of them could never attend school. This, combined with the fact that they are for a long period away from home, leaving in camps and moving from one place -or country- to another, most of the time under difficult conditions, results in a lot of problems. Therefore it is essential for them to return to a formal as well as to a non-formal education and training system as soon as possible.

Through the last five months of the project WELCOMMON, we are happy that we have achieved to structure both a formal and informal educational program. The experience we got so far, proved that the need is focused on the kids, since they consist almost half of the population that we host at the moment. Although we did not limited only to the kids but adults as well.

Given  that so far we were mostly working with cases in the Relocation program, the limited time of their residency, create the need of the program where kids will be kept active but would also be motivated to structure a normal daily life and at the same time to get prepared for the life in the countries will be relocated.

According to the Asylum seekers, we focused from the beginning to register all the kids to the local primary school in order to get into the formal educational system. Furthermore, with regards to the teenagers and adults, considering their skills or past profession, with the help of the social workers, we aim to build a professional profile that will be used in order to promote their capacity for job seeking.

At this point it is worth mentioned that our aim is to provide a number of activities according to people’s preference but at the same time the need, based on innovative methodologies.

As it is presented on the table below, the program is structured in two axis, educational and psychosocial activities.

CHILDREN                       TEENAGERS/ADULTS
Non-formal Educational Program

 

Arabic “school”:

Runs by one of the residents for kids aged between 6 to 12 years old and includes: Arabic Lessons, Mathematics, English lessons

The school is daily for 3 hours, 6 d/week

In partnership with other organisations, structures and day centres, many of our residents attend Greek, English and German classes
 

 

 

 

 

German lessons: Provided by a volunteer

To ages 6+ years old,

3 days/week

 

Greek lessons: Provided in Welcommon by a volunteer especially to women claimed asylum and just gave birth and are not able to move out of the structure.

2 days/week

Tutoring: Referred to the kids that go to the Greek school as a mean to help them at school

6-10 years old, 2 hours every day

English class: Provided by a volunteer to young kids based on specific topics

(every day conversations)

Use of computer for language lessons: e-learning using computer and YouTube. For the future, Skype sessions for discussions on one topic with volunteers from other countries

Every day for different groups and nationalities

Use of computer for language lessons: e-learning using computer and YouTube. For the future, Skype sessions for discussions on one topic with volunteers from other countries

Every day for different nationalities / languages

Activities schedule

 

General education/Art/creativity/ Class: Run by educator and volunteers, daily, starting 14.00-21.00 for ages 1-12 years old.

The program includes several activities with a more educational background.

City tours

Visits to museum, parks, galleries every weekend

For adults and children

 

 

 

 

 

Music lessons:

For the ages 8-15 years a volunteer provides 1 hour music lessons.

Cooperation with Greek schools (eg Music school of Ilion and other schools) for common projects

Environmental education

Slide show and field visits for environmental education (eg for marine environment, parks, sea turtle, recycling etc)

Theatre: Provided by volunteers to kids aged 8-13 years old

3 days/week

 Board Games: With the instruction of a volunteer, especially teenagers have the chance to play board games and to chat in English with the volunteer about topics they are interested to.

 

  Football: Provided by a volunteer- professional football trainer to two age groups:

5-12 years old

13+ years old

This activity runs at least 2 days/week at the yard of the local school

 

 

 

Art Class: Run by volunteers, daily, for ages 1-10 years old, girls-boys

 

Painting Class: Under the supervision of a painter, are provided painting lessons followed by special technics, knowledge of materials etc to teenagers aged 14+ years old.

The class runs 2 days/week

 

 

 

 

 

  Photography and video lessons

Under the supervision of a photographer, are provided photography/video lessons to teenagers aged 12+ years old.

The class runs 1 day/week

 

 

 

Cinema

Movies in Arabic, run by volunteers and refugees for ages 1-10 years old

Nights on 21.00-22.00 and on weekend evenings

 Cinema

Movies in Arabic, run by volunteers and refugees for teenagers and adults on weekend evenings


FUTURE PROPOSED ACTIVITIES:

  • Fairytales followed the Hakawati method
  • Workshops /training for women and asylum seekers in Greece

Bank accounts:

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal

Pireaus Bank: GR8301720180005018077868253   BIC: PIRBGRAA

Eurobank: GR7202602440000180200876471   BIC: ERBKGRAA