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5 important european-level distinctions for Wind of Renewal, the cooperative which runs the WELCOMMON HOSTEL

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We are very proud that our social cooperative enterprise ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL has received 5 European-level distinctions for our innovation and contribution to the social economy.

  • A bronze prize in the competition @REVESNetwork #ExcellenceAwards2019

 Two years ago, we were awarded the Special Mention @REVESNetwork #ExcellenceAwards2017 for our #WELCOMMON project, which then involved the hosting and integration of vulnerable refugees.

We are very proud that our social cooperative enterprise ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL received the 5th European-level distinction for our innovation and contribution to the social economy. This time, we received the bronze prize in the competition @REVESNetwork #ExcellenceAwards2019 for our active participation in 4 major projects that show (social and green) innovation, they have a social impact to the local community:

  • WELCOMMON HOSTEL, an innovative hostel combining harmonious models of sustainable tourism with social and green economy and innovation, art and the environment. We created it with great effort, without subsidies and with the support of our friends. “We have transformed a former hospital into an innovative hostel that combines sustainable tourism with activities for climate protection and inclusion of migrants and local people in Athens”
  • The “Days of WELCOMMON” Social Empowerment and Integration Program, which we created when our innovative WELCOMMON housing and refugee integration center closed sharply. We then decided to rely on our own strengths, and to make Hostel financially sustainable so that we can self-finance our social and green activities
  • The YESClima program, to educate 11 young people on energy saving and application of natural air conditioning systems. An @EUKI_Climate program, in collaboration with the University of Cádiz at Spain, Secretariat for Future Studies of Free University of Berlin (Sekretariat für Zukunftsstudien Berlin an der Freien Universität Berlin), and the Provincial Energy Agency of Cadiz (APEC), Andalusia, in cooperation with the Municipality of Ag. Dimitriou
  • The CLIMATE SCHOOLS Berlin – Athens program, involving 73 schools, 197 teachers and thousands of students, is focused on awareness-raising, education and mobilization to protect the climate and save energy in schools. It is an @EUKI_Climate project implemented in collaboration with the Independent Environmental Foundation (Berlin), Respect for Greece and the City of Athens
  • European Citizen’s Prize 2018

It is a great honor for Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal to have been awarded the European Citizen’s Prize on 9th of October 2018, in the European Parliament

 

 

 

  • A Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal and its project WELCOMMON center for housing and social inclusion of vulnerable refugees was honored on June 8, 2017 with the “Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017, which aims to strengthen synergies between local / regional authorities and social economy actors, and to highlight the achievements of such cooperation. The evaluation committee consisted of representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament, the Regional Committee and Social Economy Europe.

    

The French Federation of Social Inclusion Enterprises invited ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL to participate in it’s national Congress organized in November 16-17, in Marseille, and presented  the WELCOMMON center for housing and social inclusion of refugees as a “good example of social inclusion in Euro-Med area.

  • One of the best examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area

We are awarded as one of the 3 best examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area (2017 Euro-Med Dialogue Award) by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Fondazione Mediterraneo. The Bestowing Ceremony took place in Tallinn (16/12/2017) with the support of the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

#SocialEconomy Windofrenewal #Inspiring #Transformations #SocialEconomy #sustainable #FutureofEurope @EUKI_Climate #YESClima#ClimateSchoolsBe.Ath Welcommonhostel #WELCOMMONHOSTEL Days of Welcommon

Barcelonactiva @samataxi065551 Liberi Nantes @BrusselsCLT PolisenÖrebro

Funding the Cooperative City

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Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis will organise a discussion with Levente Polyak  (urban planner, researcher and policy adviser) on”Funding Cooperative City”,  the importance of self-organised, locally rooted, inclusive and resilient community networks and civic spaces. It is a journey from Lisbon, Madrid and Rome, via Liverpool, Rotterdam and Berlin, through Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest, Funding the Cooperative City highlights different strategies of fundraising and investment

When: Wednesday 27.3.2019, on 19.00, (registration 18.30)

Where: WELCOMMON HOSTEL, Kapodistriou 4, Αthens 10682

The discussion will be in Greek and English and is part of “Green and Social Innovation”, a series of public events organised by Wind of Renewal in cooperation with Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Greece

Registration: windofrenewal@gmail.com (name, last name, email, organization)

Funding the Cooperative City   is a book based on years of research to explore experiments in community-led urban development in European cities. Situated in the post-welfare transition of European societies within the context defined by austerity measures, unemployment, the financialisation of real estate and the gradual withdrawal of public administrations from social services, this book aims at highlighting the importance of self-organised, locally rooted, inclusive and resilient community networks and civic spaces. In a journey from Lisbon, Madrid and Rome, via Liverpool, Rotterdam and Berlin, through Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest, Funding the Cooperative City highlights different strategies of fundraising and investment; self-organisation, resistance and cooperation with institutions; and explores the ways citizen initiatives, cooperatives, non-profit companies, community land trusts, crowdfunding platforms, ethical banks and anti-speculation foundations step out of the regular dynamisms of real estate development and arrange new mechanisms to access, purchase, renovate or construct buildings for communities.

  

Levente Polyak is urban planner, researcher and policy adviser. He has worked on urban regeneration programmes for the New York, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Budapest municipalities. He taught at «Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest» (MOME) and Budapest University of Technology and Economics) (BUTE (Budapest) and (TU Wien), was visiting fellow at Columbia University and the ENSA Paris-Malaquais and holds a PhD in Sociology from the Central European University. He is editor of Cooperative City, co-founder of Eutropian Research & Action (Vienna-Rome) and member of KÉK- Contemporary Architecture Centre (Budapest). He has been working as expert in URBACT networks and Urban Innovative Actions projects. In the past years, he has been researching new organisational and economic models of community-led urban development projects and methodologies of civic ecosystem-building, co-authoring the books Vacant City, Civil Város and Funding the Cooperative City.

    

Workshop on “current issues and needs of refugees in Greece”

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Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal organised a workshop on “current issues / needs of refugees in Greece”, on Tuesday 5th of March 2019, at the Welcommon Hostel.
 
In cooperation with Dimitris Sanas from Solidarity Now Athens we had a presentation about employability/ opportunities for refugees and migrants. Giorgos Kanaris (Solidarity Now) introduced us the services of the “Solidarity Social Center Athens” especially the part of the employability couselor, how to focus on the skills and capabilities of a person and create together a plan of action to open ways for integration in greek labour market.
After that there was time to pose questions and continued the workshop by Antonio Cardia from the Greek Forum of Migrants. We discussed together with representatives of the Afghan and Georgian community in Athens about the diverse needs and problems but also talked about solutions and ways of inclusion in greek society.
The attendees of this workshop were
– students from the Vanderbilt University (USA),
– refugees of Wind of Renewal’s program for social inclusion,
– our international volunteers and
– other people working in this field.
 
Anemos Ananeosis (Wind of Renewal) hosted this workshop as part of a series of discussions and events titled “Green Social Innovation“, supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation Greece, to inform and discuss different needs of the refugees and migrants in Greece.
 
#welcommonhostel @windofrenewal #volunteers #solidaritynow#employability #refugees #migrants #greekforumofmigrants #vanderbilttfc #socialimpact #socialventures #vanderbilt #athens #socialinclusion #refugeecommunities #withrefugees #refugeeneeds #workshop

Children (and not only) participated, played, learned about climate protection and energy saving

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It was Saturday 20th October 2018. In Athens. An interactive public event of the “OPEN SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION & ENERGY SAVING, Climate Schools Be.At.” program was organized with the aim to raise the awareness of the educational community on climate protection and energy saving.

The large hall of Serafio Center (the new Sports, Culture and Innovation Center of the City of Athens) was filled with hundreds of children, teachers and parents, but also with floor games, experiments, activities, a “shadow theater” that functioed with energy produced by cycling, information booths from Environmental Education Centers, Environmental Organizations, the program Resilient Athens” of the City of Athens, the Social Cooperative “Wind of Renewal”, WWF Greece, Greenpeace Greece, Mediterranean SOS, Organization Earth, the program “Open Schools” of the Municipality of Athens, the Center for Renewable Energy Sources – CRES, and 4 Environmental Education Centers – (from Lavrio, Argyroupoli, Drapetsona and Elefsina)!

The children listened, but mainly played, learned, took stimuli to act for the climate, to protect the climate and contribute to energy saving. They learned to use the devices included in the training suitcases of the program, played with enthusiasm the CRF and WWF floor games, experimented at Greenpeace and STEM booths, made queues to get into the Maker Space of the program “Designed for Better Learning”, planted sprouts with Organization Earth, cycled to feed with energy the creative shadow theater.

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The event was welcomed by Mr G. Kaminis, Mayor of Athens, Mrs M. Iliopoulou, Deputy Mayor for the Child, Mrs L. Myrivili, Deputy Mayor of Green Resilience and Climate Change, Mr Kostis Ougrinis and Mrs Marianthi Liapi from the “Transformable Intelligent Environments Lab” of the Technical University of Crete, Mr N. Chrysogelos President of the Social Cooperative “Wind of Renewal”, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Mr Kostis Kontogiannis, academic director of the program. The attendees were education consultants, environmental education officers, over 300 teachers (primary and secondary education) and parents, hundreds of primary and secondary school pupils and refugee children with the accompaniment of volunteers involved in non-formal education and social inclusion programs organized by “Wind of Renewal” in WELCOMMON HOSTEL.

The event marked the beginning of the second phase of the program OPEN SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION & ENERGY SAVING, Climate Schools Be.At.“, which concerns the activities of students, teachers and parents in 73 Athens School for climate protection and energy saving. It was preceded by the design of the educational material and the methodology through the cooperation of Greek and German teachers, the training of trainers and the training of 201 teachers from the schools participating in the program. The next public event of the program is on February 7th and May 7th, 2019, in Technopolis.

The program is supported by the European Climate Initiative @EUKI_Climate, which is a financing tool for the German Ministry of the Environment. The event was organized by the Municipality of Athens, the Social Cooperative “Wind of Renewal, the German Initiative Respect for Greece and the German Indepented Institute for Environmental Issues UfU, which are the partners of the project, with the support of the Athens Radio 9.84

4 important awards for Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal in one year

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4 important awards in one year

  • WELCOMMON was honored on June 8, 2017 with the “Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017, which aims to strengthen synergies between local / regional authorities and social economy actors, and to highlight the achievements of such cooperation. The evaluation committee consisted of representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament, the Regional Committee and Social Economy Europe.

 

  • The French Federation of Social Inclusion Enterprises invited ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL  to participate in its national Congressorganized in November 16-17, in Marseille, and presend the WELCOMMON center for housing and social inclusion of refugees as a “good example of social inclusion in Euro-Med area.

 

  • We are awarded as one of the 3 best examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area(2017 Euro-Med Dialogue Award) by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Fondazione Mediterraneo. The Bestowing Ceremony took place in Tallinn (16/12/2017) with the support of the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

 

  • It is a great honor for Anemos Ananeosis/Wind of Renewal to have been awarded the European Citizen’s Prize on 9th of October 2018, in the European Parliament

 

Climate Action-2d training of 200 teachers on climate protection and energy saving

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Second training of teachers on climate protection and energy saving in the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS Be.At)”

The new school year began with the …second training of primary and secondary education teachers in the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS Be.At)”!

On Friday 14th and Saturday 15th of September 2018 the 2nd Training of the teachers took place at the 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Athens. The training had a total duration of 14 didactic hours divided in both days. There participated a total of 102 primary and 96 secondary teachers. The participants formed 10 groups and each group had two trained trainers. The training was formed in 7 units and each group followed them on a different order.

Unit A: Team reconnection – Proposals on how to integrate the program into school life – How to set up key groups: Energy Council, Energy Team, Energy Inspectors – Getting familiar with the worksheets and the methodology of educational research.

Unit B: Climate Change: Cognitive background, educational approaches, world game and other educational activities, visual related material (movies, cartoon etc.).

Unit C: Getting familiar with the measuring instruments

 

Unit D: Energy tour, mapping, drafting of the school’s energy profile (case study of the hosting 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Athens).

Unit E: Action plan for energy saving regarding lighting, heating, cooling, appliances (case study 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Athens). Study data from the electricity, oil and gas consumption of the participating schools. Discussion on the energy profiles of participating schools that teachers have already completed.

Unit F: Disclosure – program visibility (class-school-community), visilibility campaign, public events.

Unit G: Getting familiar with the program’s Moodle platform and the deliverable material.

Evaluation of the 2nd Training: The majority of the participants were very satisfied with the experiential learning activities (i.e. world game) and the practice with the measuring instruments (infrared thermometer, room thermometer, CO2 meter device, luxmeter, kettle and electric stove for comparison of energy consumption using energy meter and a set of lamps – (led, economy, incandesce). They also expressed their satisfaction with the overall collaboration between the schools. In general they feel confident to begin the implementation of the program activities at their schools.

The program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS 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 raise awareness of the educational community, local communities and municipalities, for climate protection and energy transition. The program also aims to increase 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, Research and Religious Affairs.

The program was evaluated and selected for funding by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), which is a financing instrument of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The overarching goal of  EUKI is 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.

The 1st step of the training schedule was the initial training of 19 trainers, on climate & energy issues and climate action in schools, realised by Greek and German trainers (Wind of Renewal, experts, the german Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen / UfU) in Athens (12th -15th April 2018).

The 2d step was a 6 hours training of 200 teachers (19th May 2018 for the secondary education, 9th June 2018 for the primary education) as well as a study visit of 6 teachers in Berlin (17th – 24th June 2018).

The 14 hours training was the 3d step of the training schedule. Now the 200 educators are prepared, trained and with educational and supportive material,  ready for #ClimateAction in schools in collaboration with the pupils and their parents.

For more information concerning the previous activities and trainings of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS Be.At” please follow the links below:

  • OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)

https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/climate_schoolsbe-at2/

  • “Training of the Trainers” on climate protection and energy efficiency

https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/euki-training5/

  • Primary education teachers are excited to participate in CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At

https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/climateschoolsatbe5/

  • Training of secondary education teachers on climate protection and energy saving

https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/semnar-b-educ-4083-2/

  • 6 school teachers visit Berlin for climate protection and Climate Schools

https://anemosananeosis.gr/en/study-visitberlin-2/

WELCOMMON, 1′ video: Why we are different, what we are doing with refugees

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#Welcommon, a model hosting and social inclusion center for #refugees in #Athens, working for and #withrefugees, for the benefit of #local #communities and vulnerable persons. Why we are #different, what we are doing for the #coexistence and the #cooperation between #cultures

#WELCOMMON is an innovative community center for hosting and promoting social inclusion of refugees. It is a structure not only for refugees but with refugees for the benefit of the local community as well. It is implemented by the social enterprise Wind of Renewal (“Anemos Ananeosis”) in cooperation with Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA), in the framework of the refugees’ relocation program of the Municipality of Athens and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). It is funded partially (hosting and functional costs) by the European Union.

WELCOMMON, welcommon in common a model hosting and social incl…

#Welcommon, a model hosting and social inclusion center for #refugees in #Athens, working for and #withrefugees, for the benefit of #local #communities and vulnerable persons. Why we are #different, what we are doing for the #coexistence and the #cooperation between #cultureTo WELCOMMON είναι ένα διαφορετικό μοντέλο φιλοξενίας και κοινωνικής ένταξης των προσφύγων που εφαρμόζουμε στην Αθήνα. Μια ολοκληρωμένη προσέγγιση που συνδυάζει την κάλυψη των βασικών αναγκών των προσφύγων (διαμονή σε αξιοπρεπείς συνθήκες, ποιοτική διατροφή) με κάλυψη των εξίσου απαραίτητων αναγκών (μη τυπική και τυπική εκπαίδευση, κοινωνικο-ψυχολογική υποστήριξη, πρωτοβάθμια φροντίδα υγείας, κοινωνικοποίηση, προετοιμασία για κοινωνική κι επαγγελματική ένταξη, διάλογος πολιτισμών, σύνδεση με την τοπική κοινωνία μέσα από την καθημερινότητα). Είναι πιο ολοκληρωμένη προσέγγιση που δεν εντάσσεται μέσα σε απλοικά σχήματα: Hotspots ή διαμερίσματα, άθλιες συνθήκες διαμονής ή ιδρυματοποίηση/αποθήκες ψυχών. Αντιθέτως, εμείς στο WELCOMMON προετοιμάσουμε και ενδυnaμώνουμε τους ανθρώπους ώστε να μπορούν να σταθούν στα πόδια τους και να οργανώσουν ξανά τη ζωή τους.@windofrenewal ΑΝΕΜΟΣ ΑΝΑΝΕΩΣΗΣ/WIND OF RENEWAL, UNHCR GREECE, EATΑ

Posted by Welcommon on 18. október 2017

WELCOMMON, welcome in common, hosting and social inclusion of refugees

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WELCOMMON, an innovative project for hosting and social inclusion of refugees

www.anemosananeosis.gr , www.welcommon.gr

Kapodistriou 4, GR-Athens 10682

Tel 00302103803959, 00302103810646, welcommon.project@gmail.com

 

#WELCOMMON is an innovative community center for hosting and promoting the social inclusion of refugees. It is implemented by the social enterprise Wind of Renewal (“Anemos Ananeosis”) in cooperation with the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (EATA). The project is funded by EU through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) under the “Relocation Scheme Program” delivered in the City of Athens.

  

WELCOMMON means “Welcome in common”, not only for the refugees, but also, with the participation of the refugees (in common) and in cooperation with the local communities, a solution for the benefit of both the local population and the refugees (a win-win approach).

Welcommon offers to the refugees:

  • decent-safe accommodation, food and cover for basic needs
  • Psycho-social support
  • care for the children and the most vulnerables
  • social integration
  • cultural training/artistic workshops, visits to art exhibitions, parks…

Welcommon offers to the local community:

  • jobs (31 at the moment) and participation of volunteers (more than20 are supporting our daily work continuously)
  • professional training
  • professional specialization
  • a boost to the local market
  • social innovation
  • cooperation between Greek and other European initiatives, institutions, universities, local authorities

The building

          

Wind of Renewal/Anemos Ananeosis has rented the WELCOMMON building (a former clinic) for 9 years. The building is located in the central Athens (4 Kapodistriou St.), has 7 floors and an area of 3200 square meters. Its central location and its accessibility by the public transport contributes to avoiding the marginalization of the refugees and facilitates the participation of local people in its activities.

The WELCOMMON building was overhauled in August and September 2016. Wind of Renewal renovated and refurbished the building throughout, adapting it to its new requirements and giving it a “second life”.  Mostly repaired and second-hand furniture have been used, combining social and environmental responsibility.

 

It meets all appropriate specifications for the safe and decent accommodation of guests:

  • 66 rooms most of them with private bathroom
  • fire-extinguishing systems
  • safe balconies and staircase
  • accessibility for handicapped individuals
  • 24-hour entrance security
  • facilities for gatherings, tutorials, artistic and other activities
  • Wifi and TVs in each floor
  • Washing machines, driers and refrigerators (common use)

The building can host up to 200 refugees and 15 volunteers from abroad.

Professionals as well volunteers have contributed to this hard work –completed in less than a month-and-a-half at a cost of less than €50,000.

 

The structure of WELCOMMON

WELCOMMON presently employs 31 professionals in the following areas:

  • Administration / management / secretarial support
  • Reception
  • Interpretation / cultural mediation
  • Social and psychological support
  • Primary health care
  • Building maintenance
  • Human resources
  • Education/training/capacity building
  • Security

Many of our employees, previously in the ranks of the unemployed, have experience on refugee issues.

 

 

Synthesis of Welcommon’s guests

WELCOMMON welcomed its first guests on 12th of October 2016. Guests are selected by the UN High Commission for Refugees, in the framework of its relocation program and asylum seekes and with priority given to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, families with children, the elderly, handicaped etc.  The majority are Syrians (90%) and children (65-80%), often accompanied by only one parent, usually the mother.

Welcommon hosts 160-170 people.  On 11/12/2016, 91 of them are underage:

  • 10 babies up to 1 year old
  • 11 from 1,5 to 3
  • 17 from 3,5 to 6
  • 33 from 6,5 to 12
  • 20 from 12,5 to 18

We are also hosting 6 pregnant women, some of them from 16 to 18.  We have already seen the first 2 births from a mother 16 years old and a mother 18 years old hosted in Welcommon!

     

    

Health issues

All our guests undergo the Mantoux test (for tuberculosis). We also ensure that all children are vaccinated so they can attend the formal education system (school or nursery structures), according to Greek legislation. We have established a close cooperation with doctors hired by the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency, in the framework of its refugee program.

In all cases, we strive to provide services to the refugees in cases of urgent health needs. We organize their medical records so they have at their disposal all relevant data, whether they resettle in another country or stay in Greece.

   

In cooperation with the community of Syrians living already in Greece, we are in the process of setting up a network of Arabic-speaking volunteer doctors of various specializations. We are also developing close ties with social clinics.

Social workers and interpreters accompany our guests to doctors and hospitals. Welcommon covered the whole cost for medicines and vaccinations through donations.

   

Welcome classes and education/training of children, a basic need

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.

  

At WELCOMMON we provide support at three levels:

  • Enrolment in the Greek formal education systembased on the existing public structures and their age (kindergarten, primary, secondary and high school). Before they begin attending school classes, we provide them with the health checks and vaccinations necessary, according to Greek legislation. We believe their attendance is very important, not only for gaining knowledge and skills but also for their social life in the future and their adaptation to social realities.
  • Opportunities for non-formal education,training and empowerment with social skills, despite limited appropriate resources. We have organized “classes” with the participation of refugees and volunteers as teachers. Proper facilities are provided inside WELCOMMON itself with the support of technical infrastructure. We try to develop innovative ways of teaching and learning languages using computers and e-learning methods. We are also looking for cooperation with other organizations in the form of workshops and classes for language learning (Arabic, Greek, English, German), mathematics, science, painting, photography, music. We are also in contact with specialists, sports clubs and other experienced organizations that can offer opportunities for participating in sports activities.
  • Empowering parents (often single) to be fully able to take proper care of their children, offering them a place for gradual rehabilitation as well as social, psychological and pedagogical support. This is obviously something that takes time and needs more human and financial resources which we are lacking at the moment.

Our first priority is to enroll as many children as possible in neighboring schools, according their age. But due to lack of vacancies it was possible -up to now- to enroll only few of the children in schools (only 8 of a total 91).  For this reason and in order to give both to children and parents the opportunity to return in a “normal” daily life, we are planning an integrated program of non formal education activities. At the moment, a lot of activities are organized and implemented with the valuable contribution of our volunteers and include languages lessons (german, english, greek), pottery, painting, cinema and dance classes. Also, usually on Sundays, we organize visits to interesting sites of Athens, parks and art exhibitions.

Since 2017, we have expanded the non formal education activities for children but also for adults, so that all of them during their stay in Welcommon to 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.

 

We can afford the rooms and places for such an education and training activity, as we have transformed the rooms of a whole floor (2nd) in small classes. It is true, that we need more human and financial resources in order to be able to offer such services to all the children. Therefore we are seeking foundations and citizens who would like to support our plan.

Resources – fundraising – donations

Although the basic costs for hosting the refugees in WELCOMMON are 90% covered through the cooperation with the Athens Development and Destination Managerment Agency, in 2016 and 2017 – there are many other costs not covered by this grant (for health care issues, education, social inclusion etc).

We are seeking donations and more resources in order to promote social inclusion, 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.

Catering

 Three meals per day are offered. Our first priority is to provide food, in line with our guests’ individual nutritional requirements, according to age, state of health or religious persuasion. Due to the large number of babies and children and to their special nutrition needs, we had to offer extra food stuff such as infant milk (formula), fresh milk, yogurt, fresh fruits and juices. In addition we purchased 3 refrigerators and placed them in the communal areas of the floors, in order to store the fruits, the milk or other food.

 

Entertainment

We organize very often live music nights thanks to musicians-volunteers playing Arabic, Mediterranean and Greek music. All, but mainly the children participate and enjoy very much hearing music and dancing.

 

 

As the majority of our guests are underage, we had to purchase an amount of toys for different ages. We selected those that can be used not only to provide fun but also educate. In addition as we organize several artistic classes, we had to purchase the necessary materials, such as papers, markers, pencils, brushes, canvas, pottery tools and other crafts materials.

For the entertainment, but also for the daily briefing, of the adults we purchased satellite TVs and placed 1 at the gathering place of each floor.

As we organize cinema afternoons, 2 per week for adults and 2 per week for children, we had to buy the relevant equipment, such as projectors, speakers etc. Some of them are second hand.

Other activities: repairing the clothes – washing machines

We purchased two sewing machines and sewing materials and made available a room next to the clothing “store” so that guests can repair the clothes.  As some of our guests are tailors and dressmakers, we asked them to organize the place and the materials and also to help or to instruct those who are interested. This process is a tool for empowerment with skills and abilities as well as a means for capacity building and a return to a normal daily life.

In addition we bought 4 washing machines and 4 driers which are placed in the basement and are available to the guests who can use them to wash their clothes, according to a weekly schedule.

       

Some more future plans     

In the near future WELCOMMON aims:

To offer opportunities for employment, by tapping the skills and aptitudes of the guests, mainly the asylum seekers who will remain in Greece, 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.
  • Food and catering

To develop a network and permanent cooperation with similar initiatives and structures at regional, national and European level, as well as in other neighboring countries, for an exchange of experiences and good practicesthrough regular meetings, seminars and workshops, thus building bridges between different cultures, societies and activities.

 

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

WELCOMMON, an innovative project for hosting and social inclusion of refugees

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#WELCOMMON is an innovative community center for hosting and promoting the social inclusion of refugees. It is implemented by the social enterprise Wind of Renewal (“Anemos Ananeosis”) in cooperation with 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 building

Wind of Renewal/Anemos Ananeosis has rented the WELCOMMON building (a former clinic) for 9 years. The building is located in the central Athens (4 Kapodistriou St.), has 7 floors and an area of 3200 square meters. Its central location and its accessibility by the public transport contributes to avoiding the marginalization of the refugees and facilitates the participation of local people in its activities.

   

The WELCOMMON building was overhauled in August and September 2016. Wind of Renewal renovated and refurbished the building throughout, adapting it to its new requirements and giving it a “second life”.  Mostly repaired and second-hand furniture have been used, combining social and environmental responsibility.

  

It meets all appropriate specifications for the safe and decent accommodation of guests:

  • 66 rooms most of them with private bathroom
  • fire-extinguishing systems
  • safe balconies and staircase
  • accessibility for handicapped individuals
  • 24-hour entrance security
  • facilities for gatherings, tutorials, artistic and other activities
  • Wifi and TVs in each floor
  • Washing machines, driers and refrigerators (common use)

The building can host up to 200 refugees and 15 volunteers from abroad.

Professionals as well volunteers have contributed to this hard work –completed in less than a month-and-a-half at a cost of less than €50,000.

 

The structure of WELCOMMON

WELCOMMON presently employs 29 professionals in the following areas:

  • Administration / management / secretarial support
  • Reception
  • Interpretation / cultural mediation
  • Social and psychological support
  • Primary health care
  • Building maintenance
  • Human resources
  • Education/training/capacity building
  • Security

Many of our employees, previously in the ranks of the unemployed, have experience on refugee issues.

More than 20 volunteers are supporting our daily work continuously.

   

Synthesis of Welcommon’s guests

WELCOMMON welcomed its first guests on 12th of October 2016. Guests are selected by the UN High Commission for Refugees, in the framework of its relocation program and asylum seekes and with priority given to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, families with children, the elderly, handicaped etc.  The majority are Syrians (90%) and children (65-80%), often accompanied by only one parent, usually the mother.

At the moment (11/12/2016) Welcommon hosts 162 people.  91 of them are underage:

  • 10 babies up to 1 year old
  • 11 from 1,5 to 3
  • 17 from 3,5 to 6
  • 33 from 6,5 to 12
  • 20 from 12,5 to 18

We are also hosting 6 pregnant women, some of them from 16 to 18.  We have already seen the first 2 births from a mother 16 years old and a mother 18 years old hosted in Welcommon!

   

Health issues

All our guests undergo the Mantoux test (for tuberculosis). We also ensure that all children are vaccinated so they can attend the formal education system (school or nursery structures), according to Greek legislation. We have established a close cooperation with doctors hired by the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency, in the framework of its refugee program.

In all cases, we strive to provide services to the refugees in cases of urgent health needs. We organize their medical records so they have at their disposal all relevant data, whether they resettle in another country or stay in Greece.

In cooperation with the community of Syrians living already in Greece, we are in the process of setting up a network of Arabic-speaking volunteer doctors of various specializations. We are also developing close ties with social clinics.

Social workers and interpreters accompany our guests to doctors and hospitals. Welcommon covered the whole cost for medicines and vaccinations through donations.

  

Welcome classes and education/training of children, a basic need

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.

At WELCOMMON we provide support at three levels:

  • Enrolment in the Greek formal education system based on the existing public structures and their age (kindergarten, primary, secondary and high school). Before they begin attending school classes, we provide them with the health checks and vaccinations necessary, according to Greek legislation. We believe their attendance is very important, not only for gaining knowledge and skills but also for their social life in the future and their adaptation to social realities.
  • Opportunities for non-formal education, training and empowerment with social skills, despite limited appropriate resources. Such facilities are provided inside WELCOMMON itself with the help of volunteers, but we also looking for cooperation with other organizations in the form of workshops and classes for language learning (Arabic, Greek, English, German), painting, music. We are also in contact with specialists, sports clubs and other experienced organizations that can offer opportunities for participating in sports activities.
  • Empowering parents (often single) to be fully able to take proper care of their children, offering them a place for gradual rehabilitation as well as social, psychological and pedagogical support. This is obviously something that takes time and needs more human and financial resources which we are lacking at the moment.

   

Our first priority is to enroll as many children as possible in neighboring schools, according their age. But due to lack of vacancies it was possible -up to now- to enroll only few of the children in schools (only 8 of a total 91).  For this reason and in order to give both to children and parents the opportunity to return in a “normal” daily life, we are planning an integrated program of non formal education activities. At the moment, a lot of activities are organized and implemented with the valuable contribution of our volunteers and include languages lessons (german, english, greek), pottery, painting, cinema and dance classes. Also, usually on Sundays, we organize visits to interesting sites of Athens, parcs and art exhibitions.

For 2017, we plan to expand the non formal education acitivities for children but also for adults, so that all of them during their stay in Welcommon to 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.

We can afford the rooms and places for such an education and trainning activity, as we are going -by the mid of January – to transform the rooms of a whole floor (2nd) in small classes. It is true, that we need more human and financial resources in order to be able to offer such services to all the children. Therefore we are seeking foundations and citizens who would like to support our plan.

     

Resources – fundraising – donations

Although the basic costs for hosting the refugees in WELCOMMON are 80% covered through the cooperation with the Athens Development and Destination Managerment Agency, in 2016 – and we hope to see this cooperation extended in 2017 – there are many other costs not covered by this grant.

We are seeking donations and more resources in order to promote social inclusion, 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. 

 

Catering

Three meals per day are offered. Our first priority is to provide food, in line with our guests’ individual nutritional requirements, according to age, state of health or religious persuasion. Due to the large number of babies and children and to their special nutrition needs, we had to offer extra food stuff such as infant milk (formula), fresh milk, yogurt, fresh fruits and juices. In addition we purchased 3 refrigerators and placed them in the communal areas of the floors, in order to store the fruits, the milk or other food.

 

Entertaiment

We organize very often live music nights thanks to musicians-volunteers playing Arabic, Mediterranean and Greek music. All, but mainly the children participate and enjoy very much hearing music and dancing.

 

As the majority of our guests are underage, we had to purchase an amount of toys for different ages. We selected those that can be used not only to provide fun but also educate. In addition as we organize several artistic classes, we had to purchase the necessary materials, such as papers, markers, pencils, brushes, canvas, pottery tools and other crafts materials.

For the entertainment, but also for the daily briefing, of the adults we purchased satellite TVs and placed 1 at the gathering place of each floor.

As we organize cinema afternoons, 2 per week for adults and 2 per week for children, we had to buy the relevant equipment, such as projectors, speakers etc. Some of them are second hand.

 

Clothing – shoes – basic needs

Clothing and shoes in good condition, donated by citizens, institutions and social agencies, are classified and made available to our guests according to their needs.

We purchased two sewing machines and sewing materials and made available a room next to the clothing “store” so that guests can repair the clothes.  As some of our guests are tailors and dressmakers, we asked them to organize the place and the materials and also to help or to instruct those who are interested. This process is a tool for empowerment with skills and abilities as well as a means for capacity building and a return to a normal daily life.

In addition we bought 4 washing machines and 4 driers which are placed in the basement and are available to the guests who can use them to wash their clothes, according to a weekly schedule.

        Some more future plans     

In the near future WELCOMMON aims:

To offer opportunities for employment, by tapping the skills and aptitudes of the guests, mainly the asylum seekers who will remain in Greece, 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.
  • Food and catering

To develop a network and permanent cooperation with similar initiatives and structures at regional, national and European level, as well as in other neighboring countries, for an exchange of experiences and good practices, through regular meetings, seminars and workshops, thus building bridges between different cultures, societies and activities.

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

Contacts: windofrenewal@gmail.com or welcommon.project@gmail.com

tel:               00302103803959 or 00302103810646