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August 2018

Our new project: WELCOMMON Hostel, a new experience in responsible tourism

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We are part of the LE MAT Network- special place, people, value

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 HOSTEL; 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!).

The building, the rooms and places are accessible for disable persons. 

 

Our philosophy is that we want to be part of the social change we want to see happen. Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal has a strong commitment to building a better world through social and green innovation and the cooperative business model. We want to influence the direction of our society to become more sustainable and ecologically and socially fair.

Our vision is to bring close people from all over the world, to enable them to communicate, to be entertained and to explore the creative side of Athens. In the WELCOMMON Hostel we can introduce you to the world of Greece’s cultural, environmental and social organizations as well as of social economy. You can also contribute with your ideas and experience. It highlights the positive impact that cooperatives and social enterprises have on communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, making bridges between communities, social groups, newcomers and local people.

Our mission is to daily improve and develop our services, make our hostel more than convenient, friendly and live, artistic and social innovative. We can organise 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, islands or a mountainside, connect you with cycling groups, or let you know the secrets of culinary delights.

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!

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.

The WELCOMMON Hostel highlights the positive impact that cooperatives and social enterprises have on communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, making bridges between communities, social groups, newcomers and local people.

Anemos Ananeosis/Wind of Renewal has a strong commitment to building a better world through social and green innovation and the cooperative business model. We want to influence the direction of our society to become more sustainable and ecologically and socially fair.

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.

WELCOMMON HOSTEL

Kapodistriou 4, GR-Athens 10682,

www.welcommonhostel.gr, www.facebook.com/welcommonhostel

Combining the opening of the WELCOMMON Hostel with the art exhibition “TRAVEL”

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We started 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, were involved – we chosed 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 were 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” and “KASSIOS

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

Training of secondary education teachers on climate protection and energy saving

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It was an interactive, interesting, positive energy training seminar of secondary education teachers on climate protection and energy saving practices at school. According to the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)”, 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 seminar was held on the 19th of May and took place at the 1st Experimental Secondary School of Athens. A seminar with similar content will follow on the 9th of June and will involve the training of primary education teachers. 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). Responsible for the organization of both trainings is the social cooperative ”Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis”.

The training was implemented by various experts, including experienced teachers and schools’ consultants, environmental education directors, etc. The trainers had been 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 extended seminar that also took place in Athens during 12th -15th April 2018 (“Training of the Trainers”). The “Training of the Trainers” was implemented by a team of Greek experts and teachers together with instructors of the German Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU) with the coordination of ”Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis” and the Municipality of Athens.

 

In the 19th of May training were trained 95 teachers of secondary education. The 95 teachers had previously expressed their interest and were selected to participate in the program. The training lasted 6 hours and focused 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.

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

  10. 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. At the end of the program, a more comprehensive study that will be based on the collected research data will be articulated. This study will be used by the Municipality of Athens in order to formulate an action plan in the direction of energy saving and the development of sustainable practices in all the municipal schools.

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 aims to:

  • enhance the overall efforts to inform and raise awareness of students, teachers and parents and their involvement in climate protection and reduce energy waste,

  • reduce the energy footprint (of the electricity consumption) of the municipal school buildings (by 5%)

  • an overall effort to reduce the ecological footprint of the municipal schools

The duration of the program is 28 months (2017-2019) and aims to raise awareness on climate change and energy consumption in the municipal schools of Athens.

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.