WELCOMMON, a model center for housing and social inclusion

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WELCOMMON is a model center for housing and promoting the social inclusion of refugees and vulnerable groups, combining hospitality with multifaceted activities of social integration. It is located at 4 Kapodistriou St., in the Athens neighborhood of Exarhia, and is a cooperative scheme between the social enterprise Wind of Renewal (“Anemos Ananeosis”) and the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (EATA), in the framework of the relocation program of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The WELCOMMON building was overhauled in August and September 2016 and welcomed its first guests in October 2016. It will host about 150 refugees until the end of 2016, while the number will rise to 250 as of 2017.

WELCOMMON’s final shape is the product of an initiative by Wind of Renewal/ Anemos Ananeosis, with contributions by the Greek Forum of Immigrants, the Greek Forum of Refugees, ANASA cultural center and the communities of immigrants and refugees. It combines social innovation with experience gained from different models and good paradigms –particularly in the areas of local government, social entrepreneurship and civil society, as well as with the direct experience possessed by the other three organizations, which originate in and constitute part of the refugee and immigrant communities.

WELCOMMON’s goal is the provision of shelter to and the social inclusion of refugees, in close collaboration with the local community. It is a facility designed not just for the refugees, but meant to function with the refugees, and with benefits accruing to the local community.

The building housing WELCOMMON (a former clinic) is in the center of Athens, is accessible by urban transport and meets all the appropriate specifications for the safe accommodation of guests (fire extinguishing systems, safe balconies and staircase, accessibility for handicapped individuals, 24-hour entrance security e.a.).

Guests are selected by the UN High Commission for Refugees, in the framework of its relocation program and with priority given to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, families with children, the elderly etc.

WELCOMMON is presently in a position to offer:

  • Accomodation for 150-200 refugees for a maximum of 6 months, 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), clothing.
  • Social-Psychosocial support is provided by 3 social workers and 1 psychologist.
  • Primary health care by a nurse, with respect for the cultural and religious sensitivities of the refugees. We are in the process of setting up a network of Arabic-speaking volunteer doctors of various specializations.
  • Legal services for guests applying for asylum and persons needing international protection, in the framework of the asylum-processing procedures.
  • Social integration, through cooperation with organizations and services based in Greece and the relocation countries.
  • Non-formal education / creative activities for adults and children: language, music and painting classes etc.

In the near future WELCOMMON aims:

  • To offer opportunities for employment, by tapping the skills and aptitudes of the guests, through their participation in the running of the organization and in collaboration with other organizations and agencies.
  • To create a data base with the curricula vitae of refugees –both inside and outside- the facility so as to facilitate their employment in businesses seeking specific qualifications and skills.
  • To set up social enterprises with the participation of Greeks and refugees/ immigrants, in the following areas:

– Repair and reuse of clothing and footwear -which will create jobs for both refugees and the local population- and sale of clothing at reasonable prices.

-Renting of various products, such as baby items (cots, cradles and carriers), items for handicapped people, special equipment for the chronically ill (oxygen apparatuses, special beds, wheelchairs etc.) at reasonable rates.

-Multiethnic restaurant or/and grocery store.

WELCOMMON presently employs 28 professionals in the following areas:

Administration / Management / Secretarial support


Interpretation / cultural mediation


Social and psychosocial support

Legal aid

Primary health care

Building maintenance

Human resources

WELCOMMON’s operation is supported by volunteers from various countries (Greece, Germany, Spain, France, Ukraine, Egypt e.a.) that belong to two categories:

– Trainees or apprentices (practical training in vocations related to task in hand or academic research) – Solidarity volunteers with various skills (language teaching, child management, do-it-yourself, music, dance, painting).

You can support us:

Pireaus Bank: GR8301720180005018077868253, Eurobank: GR7202602440000180200876471

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal4 Kapodistriou St., 10682 Athens,  tel.: 2103810646

www.anemosananeosis.gr, windofrenewal@gmail.com

www.welcommon.gr, welcommon.project@gmail.com

How you could contribute to WELCOMMON project

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WELCOMMON – the community and hosting center for refugees – is a cooperation between ANEMOS ANANEOSIS/WIND OF RENEWAL (social cooperative) and Athens Development and Destination Management Agency of Municipality of Athens, in the framework of the UNHCR’s relocation project.


It is based on the initiative of ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / Wind of Renewal social cooperative, and the cooperation with 3 other organisations:

  • Greek Forum of Refugees,
  • Greek Forum of Migrants
  • ANASA Cultural Centre, and the communities of refugees and migrants.


Seeking to offer proper accommodation but also much more Key aims: Social inclusion, empowerment and integration of refugees, cooperation with the local community. Not only for the refugees, but also, with the participation of the refugees themselves (in common). It is a win – win and integrated solution for the benefit of both the local population and the refugees


Let us inform you about the progress in the WELCOMMON project and how you could contribute in the facilitation of its implementation.

Project progress

The project has entered into the final phase of its preparation in order for WELCOMMON to be able to host 150-170 refugees.

WELCOMMON is housed in the Municipality of Athens. Its main features are:

–   Accommodation capacity of approximately 170 refugees.

–  More than 20 extra rooms for activities and workshops, training, painting, language lessons, meeting, offices and storage facilities.

–   Accessibility by public transportation.

The WELCOMMON project has been granted from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) of the City of Athens.


How an organisation could support WELCOMMON

Although basic needs of the project are covered by the funding of the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA) / City of Athens and UNHCR, we are seeking cooperations with organizations and citizens initiatives who are willing to “invest” in a visionary and realistic effort for covering needs:

  • of the refugees, eg special food for children, clothes, shoes, washing machines, refrigerators-cookers, medicines, medical appliances for the social clinic etc
  • of the community and hosting center WELCOMMON (improvement of the infrastructure, safety measures, energy efficiency of the building,

List of material needed:

  1. Medical appliances
  2. Medicines
  3. Washing machines
  4. Dryers
  5. Composting system for 100 kilos per day (1 piece)
  6. Refrigerators (12 pieces)
  7. Small cooking kitchen (12 pieces)
  8. Bed-side tables for rooms (60 pieces)
  9. Sofas
  10. Trash bins (big, small and for toilet)
  11. PC for meeting points and lessons
  12. Energy transition from oil to natural gas, energy efficiency of the heating/cooling system, led lighting and infrastructure for energy reduction in general
  13. Professional kitchen (infrastructure, items, )

Every contribution could be decisively. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you donate an amount we are committed to give you an invoice for the amount and to inform you how we have used the money. You could decide your self what you want to support from the whole package of need.

Thank you

Bank accounts of WIND of RENEWAL / ΑΝΕΜΟΣ ΑΝΑΝΕΩΣΗΣ for donations:

Pireaus Bank: GR8301720180005018077868253,  swift code PIRBGRAA

Eurobank: GR7202602440000180200876471, swift code ERBKGRAA

Contact details: windofrenewal@gmail.com and welcommon.project@gmail.com

Tel: 0030-2103810646, -2103803959

More info: https://anemosananeosis.gr/en





WELCOMMON a community center for refugees

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  • Hosting and integration of refugees
  • Active participation
  • Empowerment
  • Connecting with the local community
  • win-win approach


WELCOMMON is a cooperation between Anemos Ananeosis and Athens Development and Destination Management Agency of Municipality of Athens, in the framework of the UNHCR‘s relocation project.

The project is based on the initiative and the cooperation of four organisations:

  • Anemos Ananeosis
  • Greek Forum of Migrants
  • Greek Forum of Refugees
  • Anasa Cultural Center


4, Kapodistriou str., 10682, Athens

Find out more about WELCOMMON project here