WELCOMMON HOSTEL: we offer accommodation and education for refugees in Athens during COVID-19

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About the Welcommon project during COVID-19

For the past 2 weeks Greece has been in lockdown (again), which means that everyone is supposed to stay home. Unfortunately some people don’t have a home and if it wasn’t for the Welcommon Hostel’s decision to remain open, a number of refugees would be left living (again) in the streets. InWELCOMMON HOSTEL we host  50 people during this lockdown-2.

Today, we are looking for funding or donations https://gogetfunding.com/welcommon/ to support two social projects:

  1. Housing of vulnerable refugees in the Welcommon Hostel during COVID-19 and especially lockdown2
  2. Providing intercultural classes and activities (language skills, job preparation, art therapy, etc.)

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal was founded as a social cooperative in Athens in 2014. Born out of a desire to promote social and green innovation and economy, climate protection, energy transition, environmental awareness, intercultural dialogue, welcome refugees – providing safe accommodation and social inclusion. The WELCOMMON HOSTEL is an innovative hostel with social and green impact created and run by our social cooperative since July 2018, initially intended to be self-financed by tourism, and with a vision to bring people from all over the world together, by providing educational and intercultural activities for refugee communities in Athens, local Greeks and travelers. As a cooperative we don’t share profits, if there is we invest it in new jobs, social, climate and green activities. For 1,5 year (9/2016-2/2018) Anemos Ananeosis provided accommodation in dignity, empowerment and non-formal education for more than 600 refugees in the WElCOMMON, a centre for refugees based on the “empowerment through building communities” model.

What’s the problem and how are we addressing it?

As of June 2020, even the sustainable tourism collapsed and at the same time thousands of recognized refugees and asylum seekers in Greece have been facing eviction from the greek government / EU funded accommodation, as a result of a new government plan, which has already left many refugees homeless in the midst of a global pandemic. This includes many vulnerable asylum seekers, such as survivors of sexual violence, torture and ill treatment, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases, pregnants and mothers with new borned babies.

The vision for the Welcommon Hostel, opened in 2018, was to be a sustainable solution to host all the travelers. If you’ve ever come into the Welcommon you probably felt that it is a special place, a place where you can meet people, learn from them… it is a community. Special place, people, values.

Five floors of the seven storey building can provide accommodation to up to 167 people.

Two floors of the Welcommon hostel are dedicated to our social activities, providing opportunities to guests, international volunteers and refugees to collaborate and learn together. Our hostel is also a place for social and cultural exchange. Here, Greek locals, refugees, volunteers and tourists come together to eat, to drink, to discuss or to play card games.

Accommodation to volunteers

We offer accommodation to volunteers coming from all over Europe and the world – some of them #EuropeanSolidarityCorps participants – to participate in our activities and provide the space for the intercultural lessons and activities. Since 2016, more than 330 volunteers participated in organising non formal education language classes, art therapy courses and socializing events with over 1500 refugees. The aim is to promote social inclusion and support refugees in restarting their lives and help them to become more independent but also to promote collaboration, respect and learning each other.

Housing of vulnerable refugees during COVID-19

With the current situation in the camps and the streets of Athens and during COVID-19, it became vital to offer emergency and long-term accommodation for refugees, not only lessons. This is why we are open for collaboration and looking for resources, common projects and/or donations to finance this initiative. Therefore, during this new lockdown we are hosting 50 people from Afghanistan, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Palestine, Congo etc. Our objective is to find resources to host 60 to 80 people currently living in the street or in camps and support their return to society, focusing on vulnerable. Recenlty, we hosted the 51st newborn baby (and her family), and soon we will host the 52d one, since September 2016.

 

Intercultural classes and activities during COVID-19 and lockdown

Our plan, is to provide accommodation for refugee communities, but also to  help them with education, empoewerment and integration by providing educational and intercultural activities and job preparation even during COVID-19 and lockdown-2.

Our activities during COVID-19: The activities came to a complete stop during the Covid-19 lockdown-1 (March – May 2020) and restarted in limited capacity in June 2020 because of the small number of volunteers and lack of financial resources. Throughout the summer extra volunteers brought their enthusiasm and motivation to the project. From June to November 2020 (before the lockdown2) we offered the posibility to 110 refugees to participate in non-formal education, intercultural lessons. Most of the participants in the courses are teenagers and women.

Our activities during the lockdown-2: Since the 7th of November 2020, we had to cancel the courses for refugees from outside the hostel (camps and appartments) participating in the classes, because of the restrictions in mobility and of the health protocols. Our volunteers are re-organising the life in the hostel with activities, classes, daily chores, cleaning, etc… In the end, this lockdown is a good opportunity to get to know each other and to share our stories, our skills. We created a new schedule for the about 50-60 residents (refugees) of the Welcommon Hostel with different kinds of language classes (english, french, german, art) and projects for teenagers, children and adults! The children living in the hostel during COVID-19 and lockdown learn  language, painting, maths with the help of our volunteers in the kids rooms! To make the best out of this lockdown and make it a productive time,  the volunteers also organised all the resources that we have at the hostel to be able to be more efficient for the classes.

Why we need your help?

Since reopening the hostel in June, we have hosted in our hostel a few tourists by moslty refugees and asylum seekers, including many vulnerable cases, thanks to the collaboration with organizations such as Greek Council of Refugees, Greek Refugees Forum, women organisation DIOTIMA.

Unfortunately both us and other NGO’s active in Athens have limited resources, and can only manage to help a certain amount of people, while many more people, including many vulnerable refugees are still homeless, and living in streets of Athens.

But lockdown means no tourism, which means no income, which means it is difficult to pay the total cost (rent, bills, taxes and fees, cleaning material and personnel, laundry, staff, consumables. colors, papers etc). We need an amount – additional to what we can finance – of at least 450 Euro for 2 persons for a month, which means that we need your help!

We need your help to keep the project going!

To financially support us: https://gogetfunding.com/welcommon/

or direct to our bank accounts:

ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL

Cooperative Bank of Karditsa

ΙΒΑΝ GR 7608900100003010003540200

Swift Code STKAGRA1

————————————————-

ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL

Piraeus Bank

IBAN: GR83 0172 0180 0050 1807 7868 253

Piraeus’s BIC code is PIRBGRAA

Don’t forget to send us (windofrenewal@gmail.com) your details. We need name, address, country, VAT No in order to be able to issue the receipt for your donation

And if you can’t donate, remember that sharing is caring! Thank you

#lockdowndiary #windofrenewal #welcommonhostel #socialwork #volunteering

 

 

 

Welcommon Project, Refugees Portraits: The story of Hamid. Love is whenever I play with my children

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Welcommon Project, Refugees Portraits

The story of Hamid: Love is whenever I play with my children

Portrait n°1 : Hamid

“I’m from Afghanistan. I’ve been in Greece for one year and one month. Two months in Athens. The rest of it in Moria. I decided to come to Greece because our lives were in danger in Afghanistan and also for the future of the kids.

Love is whenever I play with my children. It makes me happier than anything else. Everything is a memory with them. There is a particular story about a moment when we were terrified but we also love laughing about.

We were on a way from Turkey to Greece. One day we were in a park and it was a cold day and we put our 1,5 year old son in a box to keep him safe and warm. We were resting and fell asleep and at one point my wife realized that somebody was trying to take the box with our child. It was a person cleaning in the park. We realized we need to be more cautious since then!

I would like my children to become football players. That’s the only thing I would like them to become in the future.”

What is the WELCOMMON HOSTEL and the WELCOMMON project

The WELCOMMON Hostel is an innovative hostel run by the social cooperative enterprise Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal. We provide safe accommodation, promote social inclusion and propose non formal education to travellers who needs it. To do this we use our 7 storeys building with its 167 beds and its 2 floors dedicated to education and intercultural activities. If you’ve ever come into the Welcommon you probably felt that it is a special place, a place where you can meet people, learn from them… it is a community.
We  and various organisations are stepping up to provide emergency accommodation to as many families as we can in the Welcommon hotel during COVID-19. During this new lock down we are hosting a number of people from Afghanistan, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Palestine, Congo. Many of them children, women, young refugees.
Since the creation of the Welcommon Hostel in 2018, the aim has been to be self financed by sustainable tourism. All was going well since the Covid crisis reached Greece in March 2020. With the collapse of tourism and the various crises that occured since the spring, we and our collaborators find ourselves in a position of financial struggle.
That’s why today we need your help to take some of the burden away. Anything you can give will help, from a single euro to larger donations, to help keep the Welcommon Hostel open and the people we host out of the streets this winter. To financially support us: https://gogetfunding.com/welcommon/
And if you are not able to give, sharing this to as many people as possible is also a great help!

#tellyourstory #refugeeswelcome #refugeestories #WelcommonHostel #daysofwelcommon #WindofRenewal #WithRefugees #socialinclusion #empowerment #Athens #LeaveNoOneBehind #erasmus #EuropeanSolidarityCorps

Green Deal, European Youth Guarantee and youth employment: Opportunities and Challenges in Greece and Spain

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Online Event

The European Green Deal and the reinforced European Youth Guarantee: Will they help to tackle Youth Unemployment? Opportunities and Challenges with focus on Greece and Spain

12th November 2020
Time: 2-3.30 pm CEST

 The webinar is a collaboration of the World Future Council with the pilot projects GRÆDUCATION and EUKI YesClima and their partners. Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal is participating in the preparation of the event and the pannel of the discussion.

The event would like to discuss with participants and audience if and how a Green Sector offers a unique chance to involve young women and men endangered by economic exclusion, in particular by implementing the goals set out in the European Green Deal (EGD) and the corresponding National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). The online event provides a forum for EU parliamentarians, representatives of the national focal points of the Youth guarantee as well as young people and civil society working in this field to report on the specific situation in their countries. Best practices for measures, educational cooperation and policies will also be presented to initiate new ideas and to plan their implementation. The online event enables for discussions about the remaining tasks of the member states to develop programmes on how to (financially) implement the European Youth Guarantee in light of green recovery policies and the challenges of climate protection.

To be successful in reducing youth unemployment in light of the European Green Deal we will need strong European networks for an effective exchange of knowledge, sustainable cooperation and good policies. The online event aims to give an impulse to develop such networks and showcases some innovative policies.

Chair: Samia Kassid, Germany. Senior Programme Manager – Rights of Children and Youth, World Future Council.

Our Keynote Speakers
– Prof. Dr. Lina Gálvez Muñoz, MEP, Vice Chair of Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
– Max Uebe, European Commission, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion B1 Employment Strategy
– Dr. Spiros Protopsaltis, Governor of OAED Manpower Employment Organization Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Vice Chair of European Network of Public Employment Services, Greece

A moderated discussion with
– Nikos Chrysogelos, Wind of Renewal: Youth unemployment, EYG and the challenges in Greece
Silke Steinberg, FIAP, e.V.: GRÆDUCATION: a systemic approach for innovative, greennvocational training as change agent for labor markets (Best Practice)
Afroditi Strati, Young Voice from Greece
– Ms Sandra García Lopez, Public Employment Service, Spanish Youth Guarantee Coordinator
– Dr. Silke Karcher, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety / EUKI (Policy Example) (tbc)
– Prof. Dr. Francisco José Sánchez de la Flor (Universidad de Cádiz): YesClima: Lifelong Education (Best practice)
Mario Férnandez Ardanaz, Vice-President of the Provincial Government of Cádiz: Tackling Youth Employment in the province of Cádiz.
Paula García Rodríguez, Young Voice from Spain
Ian Menzies, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland: Scotland’s Youth employment strategy: Developing the young workforce (Policy Example)

In our web-event we will discuss if and how a Green Sector offers a unique chance to involve young women and men endangered by economic exclusion, in particular by implementing the goals set out in the European Green Deal (EGD) and the corresponding National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). The Green Recovery will create new business and service opportunities for which today’s youth will need to be prepared.The European Commission’s initiative to “reinforce the Youth Guarantee” aims to support young people in gaining work experience and developing skills as well as to boost employability for a green economy. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis will worsen employment opportunities, and it is feared that young women and men are hit hardest being excluded from qualified work. The exclusion of (not only!) the European youth from economic activities will increase intolerably, particularly in regions with an already high youth unemployment.

Therefore, the focus of the reinforced Youth Guarantee should also be on employment in innovative, emerging professions that are important for a sustainable Europe and in Subscribe Past Issues Translate creating jobs with a focus on “Green Skills”.

Today, youth make up 37 % of the global working-age population, but account for 60 % of the total unemployed. According to OECD, global youth unemployment rate is three times higher than for adults. The youth labour market is highly sensitive to economic cycles and in times of economic crisis youth employment is hit more strongly by economic shocks than adult employment. Young workers are often “first out”. During the 2008 crisis, one in ten jobs in Europe held by workers under 30 were lost. In Spain, Greece and Ireland, half of working young people lost their jobs between 2007 and 2014. Twelve years after that recession and despite economic recovery across the OECD, youth employment rate stagnated since 2010 and never recovered to pre-2008 crisis levels. Economic crises force young people into long-term unemployment, inactivity and discouragement which affects their long-term career prospects. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth labour market outcomes will be severe in developed, emerging, and developing countries. Economies with high rates of informal employment are particularly vulnerable to shocks. The lockdowns and the spread of the virus mean millions of young people lack social protection, income benefit in case of sickness, and are at risk through inadequate access to universal health care.

The reinforced Youth Guarantee will play a crucial role to tackling youth unemployment in Europe, especially in countries like Greece or Spain. The World Future Council and its partners, the Diputación de la provincia de Cádiz, Universidad de Cádiz, FIAP e.V. (Gelsenkirchen), the Sekretariat für Zukunftsforschung(Berlin) and Wind of Renewal (Greece), welcome the Commission’s initiative to “reinforce the Youth Guarantee” and have submitted in May 2020 a memorandum to the European Commission advocating for adequate training of young people to create new jobs that are in line with the European Green Deal. On top prevocational and vocational qualifications must be improved and should form part of the educational system.

About the World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) works to pass on a healthy and sustainable planet with just and peaceful societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, it focuses on identifying, developing, highlighting, and spreading effective, future-just solutions for current challenges humanity is facing, and promote their implementation worldwide. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil societies, academia, the arts, and the business world. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. It is an independent, non-profit organisation under German law and finance our activities with institutional partnerships and donations.

The World Future Council works on solutions to some of the most pressing challenges by finding and spreading exemplary laws and policies that have a proven record of producing positive impacts both for current and future generations, working with parliamentarians, policy makers and relevant stakeholders as well UN bodies at an international level. The World Future Council recognises the increased and urgent need of empowering youth regarding access to decent jobs, including green jobs. In 2019, the Future Policy Award, also known as the “Oscar for best policies”, highlighted exemplary laws and policies that foster enabling environments for youth so that they can develop their full potential, realize their dreams, and contribute to the success of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Future Policy Award worked in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Development Programme, with support of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organization, and Youth Policy Lab. www.worldfuturecouncil.org

GRÆDUCATION

IThe BMBF funded project GRÆDUCATION provides important solutions to this problem in Greece. Together with the Greek Employment Agency O.A.E.D. and the Greek Ministry of Education, FIAP e.V. and the German Greek Chamber of Industry and Commerce are initiating collaborations between German and Greek vocational educators to “green” technical training and qualifications. In addition, the focus is also on interdisciplinary, transformative aspects, which aim at the “green” empowerment of young people. www.fiap-ev.org, www.graeducation.org

EUKI YESclima

In the project YESclima (“Young Energy Experts working for climate-friendly Schools”, 2018-2020), 22 young women and men from Greece and the Spanish province Cádiz, have elaboratedg energy-audits and proposals to make school building more energy efficient, mainly with “smart” natural techniques and using solar energy. The project is managed by the University of Cádiz (leader), the Greek social cooperative enterprise “Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewals” (Athens), the “Sekretariat für Zukunftsforschung” (Berlin) and the Energy Agency of the province of Cádiz (all implementers). The project is integrated in the “European Climate Initiative” (EUKI), founded, and financed by the German Ministry for Environment, Natural Protection and Nuclear Safety. https://www.euki.de/euki-projects/yesclima/

Participants

We aim to reach out to policy makers, parliamentarians, EU-representatives, civil society, and youth working the field of youth employment.

Format

This is a virtual event held over Zoom. It may be streamed live on the World Future Council Facebook page. The event will be recorded and can be made available on the World Future Council’s website and Facebook page.

BACKGROUND

The BMBF funded project GRÆDUCATION provides important solutions to this problem in Greece. Together with the Greek Employment Agency O.A.E.D. and the Greek Ministry of Education, FIAP e.V. and the German Greek Chamber of Industry and Commerce are initiating collaborations between German and Greek vocational educators to “green” technical training and qualifications. In addition, the focus is also on interdisciplinary, transformative aspects, which aim at the “green” empowerment of young people. www.fiap-ev.org, www.graeducation.org

The World Future Council works on solutions to some of the most pressing challenges by finding and spreading exemplary laws and policies that have a proven record of producing positive impacts both for current and future generations, working with parliamentarians, policy makers and relevant stakeholders as well UN bodies at an international level. The World Future Council recognises the increased and urgent need of empowering youth regarding access to decent jobs, including green jobs. In 2019, the Future Policy Award, also known as the “Oscar for best policies”, highlighted exemplary laws and policies that foster enabling environments for youth so that they can develop their full potential, realize their dreams, and contribute to the success of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Future Policy Award worked in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Development Programme, with support of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organization, and Youth Policy Lab. www.worldfuturecouncil.org.

In the project YESclima (“Young Energy Experts working for climate-friendly Schools”, 2018-2020), 22 young women and men from Greece and the Spanish province Cádiz, have elaboratedg energy-audits and proposals to make school building more energy efficient, mainly with “smart” natural techniques and using solar energy. The project is managed by the University of Cádiz (leader), the Greek NGO “Wind of Renewals” (Athens), the “Sekretariat für Zukunftsforschung” (Berlin) and the Energy Agency of the province of Cádiz (all implementers). The project is integrated in the “European Climate Initiative” (EUKI), founded, and financed by the German Ministry for Environment, Natural Protection and Nuclear Safety. https://www.euki.de/euki-projects/yesclima/