Wind of Renewal and Welcommon Hostel: Youth active for social, cultural and climate activities

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Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal (Άνεμος Ανανέωσης) – our social enterprise, and Welcommon Hostel – our innovative hostel with social and ecological impacts – deliver real social and ecological impact in #Athens, Greece. We believe in being a part of the change we want to see in the world – and we want the young persons to be a part of it, too.

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

The WELCOMMON HOSTEL – run by the Wind of Renewal – is a hostel with social, cultural and green impact, a beacon of sustainable tourism in the heart of Athens but also a community centre for refugees, migrants, volunteers, travelers/tourists and local Greeks to come together, learn essential life and language skills and be empowered; and an inspirer and educator for climate change action, energy transition and environmental awareness.

In everything we do, we work in collaboration with anybody who wants to be part of the change they want to see in the world. This includes

  • the volunteers delivering our language classes, cultural activities and integration events;
  • the refugees and local Greeks who participate in them;
  • our guests in Welcommon Hostel;
  • the students and teachers engaged in our climate education and action projects.

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

Welcommon Hostel is a vibrant sustainable tourism destination in the heart of Athens. Our ambition is to fund our work to change the world sustainably from the income of the hostel, however we are not in this position yet. The aim of this project is to promote sustainable tourism, social and green innovation, social and circular economy, intercultural dialogue and climate/environment protection as well as social inclusion and cooperation with the local community. 

The Welcommon Hostel is an integrative hostel with social impact and at the same time a centre for social empowerment and innovation, a place for social, green and cultural events, activities, seminars and courses. Several events, projects, seminars and workshops are offered for and together with refugees, locals and travelers. We use five storeys of our seven-storey building in Exarcheia, Athens, to welcome visitors. The remaining two storeys are used for our programme of language classes, social inclusion and climate education and action.

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

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

Wind of Renewal is also a founding member of the Greek Forum of Social Entrepreneurship, a member of

  • REVES (European Network of Cities & Regions for the Social Economy),
  • Anna Lindh Foundation (a Euro-Med network for the promotion of intercultural dialogue)
  • REScoop.Eu (the European Federation of renewable energy cooperatives)
  • DIESIS Network


Our project has impact at three levels: 

  1. a) on migrants/refugees: familiarisation with new communities; 
  2. b) on communities: better knowledge and active involvement in positive actions which reduce the effect of misleading representations of migrations; 
  3. c) on policies: smart action involving different stakeholders which increase the capacity of policies to deal with changing realities.

The pursuit of social integration also includes activities in common with local groups, schools, youth organizations on improving the capacity of local communities to implement a soft approach to social orientation, guiding newly arrived persons into a better knowledge and understanding of societal background, and improving empathic relationships among groups and persons. 

Learning from each other is an important and interesting part of the green and social project. As many people with different knowledge and skills come together, we try to benefit from each other. This happens through workshops we are giving to each other and in our daily work and interactions. Young participants, volunteers, tourists, teen refugees participate in our social and environmental activities.

Welcommon Hostel, an extraordinary inclusive and sustainable hostel, centre for social and green innovation, socializing, intercultural dialogue

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Welcommon Hostel is an innovative hostel with strong social and green impact. It is located  in the center of Athens, at the heart of youth, social and cultural activities, easy to reach with public transportation, 400 meters from Omonoia Square and 900 meters from Syntagma Square, close to the archaeological museum, 3 minutes on foot from the public transport systems’ hubs (Omonoia and Kaniggos sq), in a  distance of 10 minutes on foot from Acropolis, Museum of Acropolis, Syntagma sq, the Parliament, Monastiraki flea market, Plaka neighborhood and Athens downtown, at the borders of the Exarchia neighborhood with many youth cafes and cultural activities.

It is the first hostel in Athens run by a Social Cooperative, Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal established in 2014 for the promotion of social and green economy and innovation, intercultural dialogue, climate action, green transition, sustainable tourism. Two of our flagship projects are, the Welcommon center for housing and empowerment of refugees (9/2016-2/2018) and a follow up, the Welcommon Hostel, from June 2018 until today.

Welcommon Hostel offers accommodation to people of all ages and all the travellers without discrimination. It is a hostel for sustainable tourism, an option for accommodation of social, cultural and environmental active persons and groups during their stay in Athens, as well as a centre for the promotion of intercultural dialogue, social and green innovation, social empowerment and inclusion, job integration of refugees.

Welcommon Hostel opened at the end of June 2018, after a general renovation of the building based on a re-use and green approach aimed at turning it into a youthful, comfortable and creative hostel.

We have received 11 international and European awards and distinguishes for our social and green impact, like:

  • SOSCARs 2021 EXTRAORDINARY Hostel Hero 2021  / 1st place at the global level,  for our social work during COVID-19 (by the Hostel World network)
  • CEB 2021 award, shortlisted in the 5 best social inclusion projects in Europe (by the Development Bank of the Council of Europe),
  • European Citizen’s Prize 2018 for our contribution in the promotion of the European values (by the European Parliament),
  • SOSCARs 2021 EXTRAORDINARY SUSTAINABLE Hostel 2021, shortlisted in the 5 best sustainable hostels at the global level (by the Hostel World network)
  • voted as the best social project in Greece for 2019-2021 in the framework of the social competition organized by the Greek network of the Euro Med “Anna Lindh Foundation”

Welcommon Hostel is part of the LE MAT Network for the promotion of sustainable tourism: special people, places, values. Anemos Ananeosis is a member of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the promotion of the intercultural dialogue, (the federation of the European energy cooperatives) as well as of the REVES network of authorities and social enterprises for the promotion of social economy and DIESIS network, the ecosystem of social economy. We have close collaboration with european netoworks like Social EConomy Europe, Rre-use etc.

Welcommon Hostel is also a member of the Hostel World’s network as well as of Greek Youth Hostels Association and Hostelling International, the global networks of hostels that enable travelers to meet people of different cultures, backgrounds and experiences, and provide a rich resource for learning and for building a better, more peaceful world.

Social activities / social impact:

Welcommon Hostel always hosts volunteers from various European – and not only – countries. Since 2016 we have hosted more than 400 volunteers from all over the world, for 2-12 months. Our volunteers run on a daily basis our social activities, such as: language lessons for adults and teenagers, art classes, social events, walking tours etc. Since 2018, and especially during COVID-19 we have hosted in Welcommon Hostel, in safety and dignity – although without a grant or funding project – more than 600 vulnerable, homeless refugees, while more than 8000 refugees, volunteers, tourists, students, Erasmus participated in our inclusive, intercultural and interactive courses, events, activities. We have close collaboration with human rights, environmental and social organizations, networks as well as with communities of refugees and migrants.

Eco-Sustainability / Green hostel

Gradually we turn the Welcommon Hostel into a demonstration building for sustainability, energy efficiency

  • we changed all the 2400 lighting to LED – energyefficient systems,
  • we have installed 20 solar panels for heating the water used by our clients,
  • we managed to reduce the consumption of energy, electricity, oil, and CO2 emissions up to 50-60%
  • We are looking to turn the hostel into an almost zero emissions building, in the future, by using hybrid solar panels for heating / cooling of the building and producing electricity for the hostel’ s needs.

We welcome any networking with organisations and institutions, even social investors willing to support and participate in our project

If you know organisations and institutions willing to collaborate with us and even support our efforts, please give us a contact. Although we are working for the social good and green transition, we are excluded from the COVID-19 measures in Greece (as we are not for-a-profit organisation and there is also discrimination against social cooperatives in almost all the financial measures by the government and the regional authorities, although much of the money if EU). As we want to be independent related to housing and empowerment of refugees but also to promoting green and climate action and projects, we created the Welcommon Hostel in order to finance our projects. COVID-19 and the impact on tourism and societies raised obstacles in our effort to self-financing our projects and social / green work. We survived but we need you help.

Please have a look:

Shortcutz Amsterdam International Audience Award – Athens screening in Welcommon Hostel

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Shortcutz Amsterdam International Audience Award – Athens screening in Welcommon Hostel

The Shortcutz Amsterdam International Audience Award Tour makes a stop in Athens, for the third consecutive year, with 7 short films by young Dutch filmmakers. The screening is organized once again by the organisation Balkans Beyond Borders in collaboration with Shortcutz AmsterdamAnemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal and the Welcommon Hostel, inviting the Athenian audience to get to know the new Dutch film scene and vote for their favourite film. The screening will take place on Thursday 19/01 at 20:00, at the Welcommon Hostel. The entrance is free.

Each year Shortcutz Amsterdam presents a selection of Dutch short films on a World Tour through its international network. After last year’s screening in Athens, we are pleased to be once again one of the 30 partner countries that will host the films, one of which will be awarded the Shortcutz Amsterdam International Audience Award, through a voting process by the viewers.

The films MR ZEE BEST FILM: :

  • Cage, Rumi Kaul, live-action, 7’12’’
  • Funkele, Nicole Jachmann, live-action, 16’09’’
  • Ιn between Glass and Walls, Razan Hassan, documentary, 14’25’’
  • Science Around Us, ARIV, live-action, 20’
  • Spotless, Emma Branderhorst, live-action, 15’41’’
  • The Smile, Erik van Schaaik, animation, 16’
  • What killed Timmy Benson, Nick Cremers, animation, 14’08’’

All films screened at Shortcutz Amsterdam are viewed by a Jury Team, consisting of some of the most respected names in the industry, who vote for the finalists. The winner of the 10th Shortcutz Amsterdam International Audience Award will be announced on January 22nd and streamed live on the Shortcutz Amsterdam website.

This year’s screening of the Shortcutz Amsterdam International Audience Award is held under the communication support of the Dutch Embassy in Greece.

Venue: Welcommon Hostel, Kapodistriou 4, Athens

Free Entrance

Facebook event: here

Meet the organizing team:

Balkans Beyond Borders is focusing on networking and promoting emerging young artists and is collaborating with Shortcutz Amsterdam to present the short film to the Greek audience, while participating in a global network of film creatives and cultural professionals.

Shortcutz Amsterdam is the only initiative in The Netherlands exclusively focusing on promoting new Dutch film talent and connecting up-and-coming filmmakers with established professionals. It promotes new Dutch cinema through its network of over 50 partners, festivals around the world, and several special affiliated events.

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal (WoR) is a social cooperative founded in Athens, in 2014, born out of a desire to help in social and green innovation and transition of Greece, promote social and green innovation and economy, intercultural dialogue and sustainable tourism. WoR has a strong commitment to building a better world through social and green innovation and the cooperative business model. WoR has received 11 international and European awards and distinguishes for its social, intercultural and innovative work for people, inclusion and sustainability.

The Welcommon Hostel, a project of Wind of Renewal, is combining sustainable tourism with social and cultural activities, job opportunities and integration for people with different social backgrounds. As a center for innovation and art, it aims to act as an experiment for ways in which culture, creativity and employment integration might cohabit in a ‘learn’ and ‘share’ approach, which encircles a multitude of activities like art exhibitions, music events, theater, cinema and cultural trips.