Category

Χωρίς κατηγορία

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

By | Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments

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.

.

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

By | Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments

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

By | Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments

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

By | Actions, Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments

#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

By | Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments

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

By | Actions, News, Χωρίς κατηγορία | One Comment

#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

Simel Esim (ILO): Cooperatives, resilience to crises

By | Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments

Translation of an interview of Simel Esim (ILO) on , to crises including on a Greek online news outlet

http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/ilo-in-the-media/WCMS_538200/lang–en/index.htm?shared_from=shr-tls

Cooperatives, resilience to crises

The Greek Magazine Efsyn interviewed ILO specialist on Cooperative, Simel Esim, on the role of cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises in crisis response including with regard to refugees.

Analysis | 12 December 2016

Can the social and solidarity economy to help countries like Greece to overcome the already protracted economic recession?

It has been observed across the world that in times of economic crisis the existing cooperative and other social and solidarity economy structures grow in terms of numbers of members, supporters, volunteers, beneficiaries and service users.

This applies equally to different types of cooperatives, for instance financial, retail and housing cooperatives, among others. New social and solidarity economy initiatives are created during such times at local levels. Governments and development agencies also rediscover cooperatives as part of timely and relevant community driven response strategies to these challenges.

But the social and solidarity economy cannot, and in fact should not, be expected to assume the role of the state in the provision of goods and services. It would be unrealistic to imagine the social and solidarity economy as a magic wand that once activated will put an end to crises. The formula is more like that of tens of thousands of initiatives, big and small, public and private, some more successful than others, converging together in partnership toward creating a critical mass that reaches a tipping point.Yes, but are not cooperatives themselves beaten by economic crisis?

The International Labour Organization has conducted research documenting how cooperatives have fared in terms of their resilience to the global economic and jobs crisis. This report reviews the performance of financial cooperatives, looking in particular at the aftermath of the 2007-2008 crisis and the continuing long austerity period. It documents ways financial cooperatives have proven to be more resilient tha their non-cooperative counterparts pointing to the specificities of the cooperative model of enterprise.
How can cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises support refugees in a sustainable way?

The number of refugees has reached record levels around the globe. Many host country governments’ systems in provisioning goods and services have become overwhelmed. So it has become necessary for national and local governments in host countries to partner with local community based solutions. Provision of goods and services through local cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises can help refugees escape the vicious circle of poverty and find a job, while distributing the available resources more fairly within the local economy and for the local communities.
Are there any specific examples?

There are examples of cooperatives that have been set up specifically for refugees, or refugees joining existing cooperatives in growth oriented sectors of the host country’s economy as workers and members.

We have seen refugee women, for example in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon come together in business groups to market their products in local community markets in Lebanon which helped generate incomes and create bridges between refugee and host communities.

In many countries, existing cooperative have moved to assisting refugees. In Italy alone, social cooperatives provide services to 18,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with services and projects in 220 welcome centres and 170 dedicated housing structures.

The UN World Food Programme has been procuring staple items for emergency food assistance to refugees through producer cooperatives in 20 countries.

In Germany, housing cooperatives have started reserving larger homes for refugee families and consciously renting them to Syrian refugees to help them integrate and benefit from the social support system.

Another example are 200,000 of the nearly one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, who have settled in the Akkar region in the north of the country, doubling the population of one of Lebanon’s poorest regions. Here, the agricultural sector constitutes a major source of income, employing one-fourth of the workers. UNDP and ILO have supported the establishment and growth of a Green House Nursery cooperative, which treats, grows and sells seeds at an affordable price in the region. The cooperative benefits 200 Lebanese farmers and Syrian refugees.
Recently the Greek lawmakers voted for a new law on social and solidarity economy. Are you aware of the changes the new law brings? Did the ILO make any proposals?

The very tight deadlines for consultation around the drafts was not sufficient to allow the ILO to provide an official response on the law. Clearly it is the Greek people who own this law. Hence the national consultations between the government, social partners and cooperatives and social and solidarity economy entities, networks and platforms are critical. It was therefore great to hear Dr Rania Antonopoulos, the Greek Alternate Minister for Combatting Unemployment, indicate her readiness to engage with the Greek cooperative and social economy partners to further improve the law.

A number of European cooperative and other social and solidarity economy partners provided inputs to the Greek government on the draft law. In fact, cooperatives and other social economy actors from around the world continue to show great solidarity with Greece. The Italian cooperative movement has indicated its readiness to support Greek government in its work on developing legislation on worker buyouts. Spanish and Argentinian worker cooperatives, and French financial cooperatives also have declared their willingness to engage.

It is worth noting that the enabling environment for cooperatives and social economy is not just dependent on passing of a law but include activation of implementation mechanisms including the establishment of financing tools, development of technical assistance programmes and building new institutions and reforming existing ones.
The Greek government, social partners and cooperative and other social economy enterprises have the continued support and commitment of the ILO in this important endeavour.

The following article has originally been published in Efsyn Magazine in Greek , and has been translated into English from the original.

Working with refugees in Berlin and Athens – Good Practices

By | Actions, Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments
Working with refugees in Berlin and Athens – Good Practices
Seminar, 21-25 November 2016
Arbeit mit Geflüchteten in Berlin und Athen Beispiele ›guter Praxis‹
Wochenseminar, 21.–25. November 2016
Arbeit mit Geflüchteten in Berlin und Athen Fachleute aus Athen, die dort in der Flüchtlingsarbeit tätig sind, tauschen eine Woche lang Informationen und Erfahrungen mit Freiwilligen, Hauptamtlichen, Geflüchteten und politischen Entscheidungsträgern aus, die sich in Berlin für geflüchtete Menschen engagieren. Aus den Begegnungen können weiterführende Kooperationen entstehen. Und so hoffen wir, dass die Besuchswoche zum Aufbau einer Städtepartnerschaft »von unten« zwischen Athen und Berlin beiträgt.
Initiative Respekt für Griechenland und BildungsWerk Berlin den Hoenrch Boell Stiftung
Kontakt Bildungswerk:
Simon Cames | cames@bildungswerk-boell.de
Telefon 030 308 77 94 80
Kontakt Initiative »Respekt für Griechenland«:
Hilde Schramm | hilde.schramm@t-online.de
Telefon 030 833 44 72
Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Klaus Feldgen | feldgen@t-online.de
Mobil 0170 904 37 31
Anmeldung zu den Workshops
Wegen der Teilnehmerbegrenzung ist eine Anmeldung mit Angaben zur Tätigkeit in der Flüchtlingsarbeit erforderlich
reinhard.feld@respekt-für-griechenland.de
Programm im Detail
Arbeit mit Geflüchteten in Berlin und Athen Fachleute aus Athen, die dort in der Flüchtlingsarbeit tätig sind, tauschen eine Woche lang Informationen und Erfahrungen mit Freiwilligen, Hauptamtlichen, Geflüchteten und politischen Entscheidungsträgern aus, die sich in Berlin für geflüchtete Menschen engagieren. Aus den Begegnungen können weiterführende Kooperationen entstehen. Und so hoffen wir, dass die Besuchswoche zum Aufbau einer Städtepartnerschaft »von unten« zwischen Athen und Berlin beiträgt.
Montag | 21. November 2016
ANNÄHERUNGEN UNTER FREMDEN
❱ 14–15.30 Uhr | Begrüßung und Kennenlernen Bildungswerk Berlin der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sebastianstraße 21 | 10179 Berlin-Kreuzberg
❱ 17–21 Uhr | Begegnung und Zusammenarbeit von einheimischen und neu zugezogenen Künstlern
Einladung in den SALONwelcome Austausch über Kunst- und Kulturprojekte aus Athen und Berlin, an denen Geflüchtete beteiligt sind Zusammen mit:
Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Refugee Academy, Versschmuggel u.a. ZUsammenKUNFT – »Penthaus für schöne Formate« 16. Etage | Stresemannstraße 95–97 | 10963 Berlin-Mitte Kontakt: Bärbel Rothhaar | mail@baerbel-rothhaar.de – Nur für geladene Gäste
Dienstag | 22. November 2016
SCHULISCHE INTEGRATION VON FLÜCHTLINGEN
❱ Vormittags | Aufsuchende Erkundung von Willkommensklassen (in zwei Untergruppen) der Lenau-Grundschule (Kreuzberg), und des Robert-Blum-Gymnasiums (Schöneberg)

Robert Blum Gymnasium

❱ 14–16.30 Uhr
Workshop zur schulischen Integration von geflüchteten Kindern und Jugendlichen mit Lehrkräften, Freiwilligen und anderen Fachleuten
»aquarium« (Südblock) Skalitzerstraße 6 | 10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg

Dienstag |22. November 2016 | 19–21 Uhr
Benefizkonzert zugunsten von Model Hostel WElCommon
Klavierabend – Werke von Beethoven, Schubert, Georgiades, Mussorgsky mit den Pianisten Marios Papadopoulos (Oxford) und Lennart Speer (München)
Wortbeitrag von Nikos Chrysogelos, Initiator und Leiter von Model Hostel WELCommon, einem wegweisenden Wohnprojekt im Zentrum von Athen
Festsaal des Rathauses Charlottenburg Otto-Suhr-Allee 100 10587 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Eintritt frei, Spenden erbeten
Kontakt und Reservierung: Herbert Nebel nebelherbert@t-online.de

Konzert

Mittwoch | 23. November 2016
FLÜCHTLINGSUNTERKÜNFTE
❱ 10–11.30 Uhr | Aufsuchende Erkundung (in zwei Gruppen) der Flüchtlingsunterkunft Zeughofstraße des Diakonischen Werks sowie der Gemeinschaftsunterkunft (für Frauen) des Nachbarschaftsheims Schöneberg e.V.
❱ 17–21:30 Uhr | Workshop zu Flüchtlingsunterkünften, Bürgerengagement und Nachbarschaft
Mit dem Berliner Flüchtlingsrat, Willkommensinitiativen und anderen Fachleuten. Im Blick: Beispielhafte Flüchtlingsunterkünfte in Berlin und Athen (u.a. Model Hostel WELCommon). Erfahrungsaustausch zur Integration in den Stadtteil und zur Rolle von Freiwilligen.
Der Architekt Volkmar Nickol stellt das »Pankower Modell« vor.
Bildungswerk Berlin der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sebastianstraße 21 | 10179 Berlin-Kreuzberg Donnerstag
 
24. November 2016
QUALIFIZIERUNG VON FLÜCHTLINGEN
❱ 9–13 Uhr | Workshop zur Integration in Beruf und Arbeit Ihre Arbeit mit Geflüchteten stellen vor: Beratungs- und Betreuungszentrum (BBZ) in Moabit, Oberstufenzentrum (OSZ) für Kraftfahrzeugtechnik in Charlottenburg,
Carl-Legien-Schule (Berufsschule) in Neukölln, JOG (Jugend ohne Grenzen), private Bildungsträger, Selfempowerment-Projekte
 
❱ 15–18 Uhr | Workshop zu Vorbereitung und Einstieg ins Studium, Anerkennung von Abschlüssen Angebote und Förderkonzepte für Flüchtlinge
Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung WZB Reichspietschufer 50 | 10784 Berlin-Tiergarten
Freitag | 25. November 2016
FLÜCHTLINGSSITUATION UND FLÜCHTLINGSPOLITIK
❱ Vormittags | Empfang durch den Präsidenten des Berliner Abgeordnetenhauses
Ralf Wieland und Gespräch zur Flüchtlingspolitik der Stadt Berlin mit Landespolitikern Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin Niederkirchnerstraße 5 | 10117 Berlin-Mitte
 
Freitag | 25. November 2016 | 19–21 Uhr
Kein Land in Sicht zur Situation von Geflüchteten in Griechenland
Informations- und Diskussionsveranstaltung in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bündnis Griechenlandsolidarität Berlin
Referenten: Moawia Ahmend, Präsident von Greek Forum of Migrants
Eleni Petraki, Greek Asylum Service, Sprecherin
Karl Kopp, Europa-Referent von Pro Asyl Passionskirche (Kulturkirche)
| Marheinekeplatz 1 10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Kontakt: Reiner Schiller-Dickhut | schiller-dickhut@web.de
                 Georg Brzoska | georg.brzoska@gmx.de
Initiative Respekt für Griechenland und BildungWerk Berlin des Heinrich Boell Stiftung 
Das Workshop-Programm wird realisiert aus Mitteln der Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin
Kontakt Bildungswerk: Simon Cames | cames@bildungswerk-boell.de Telefon 030 308 77 94 80
Kontakt Initiative »Respekt für Griechenland«: Hilde Schramm | hilde.schramm@t-online.de Telefon 030 833 44 72
Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Klaus Feldgen | feldgen@t-online.de Mobil 0170 904 37 31
Anmeldung zu den Workshops
Wegen der Teilnehmerbegrenzung ist eine Anmeldung mit Angaben zur Tätigkeit in der Flüchtlingsarbeit erforderlich
reinhard.feld@respekt-für-griechenland.de
Programm im Detail www.initiative-respekt-fuer-griechenland.de

WELCOMMON a community center for refugees

By | Χωρίς κατηγορία | One Comment

What?

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

Who?

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

Where?

4, Kapodistriou str., 10682, Athens

Find out more about WELCOMMON project here