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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

Working with refugees in Berlin and Athens – Good Practices

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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

Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2016, Athens 25-27 November

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Following the Social Entrepreneurship Forum (SEF) 2014 and 2015, the SEF 2016 will take place on 25 – 27 November in Athens.

The SEF is an open platform for the promotion of social entrepreneurship based on shared values, principles and features. The main purpose of the SEF is to stimulate the dialogue among social economy enterprises, stakeholders and support organizations, to boost efficient networking and cooperation, to develop appropriate dedicated financial-economic tools, as well as to contribute in the self-organisation of the community. The Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2015 reached a Code of Conduct for Social Enterprises.

For 2016 the emphasis will be put on:

  • Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship in Greece – the next day
  • Building the ecosystem for social enterprises
  • Social impact
  • Creation of support organisations
  • Financial-economic tools
  • Networking of initiatives and social enterprises which are assuming an active role in tackling the refugee crisis

Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2016

Agricultural University of Athens & Impact Hub Athens

25-27 November 2016

Draft schedule

Friday 25/11/16 (Agricultural University of Athens)
16:30 – 17:00 Registration
17:00 – 17:30 Welcoming and Opening:

Yiorgos Alexopoulos, Senior Researcher Euricse – GECES

Yiorgos Papadoulis, Rector of Agricultural University of Athens (tbc)

17:30-20:00 Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship in Greece – future steps
17.30 – 17.45 Introductory speech by Vassilis Bellis, General Director of Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA)
 

 

 

Discussion Panel

17:45 – 19:00

 

Developments and Perspectives of Social Economy – Policy, Legislation, Finance

Moderators:

Yiorgos Alexopoulos, Senior Researcher Euricse-GECES

Popi Sourmaidou, Social Cooperative Enterprises Network of Central Macedonia

Ourania Antonopoulou, Alternate Minister of Labour (tbc)
Representative of European Commission (tbc)
Riccardo Aguglia (EIF)
Representative of Region of Attica (tbc)
  Simel Esim, Head, Cooperatives Unit, International Labour Organization (ILO)
  Representative of REVES
 

 

 

 

 

Discussion Panel

19:00 – 20:30

The perspective of Social Economy under the prism of social economy actors

Moderators:

Vassilis Bellis, General Director of Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA)

Olga Theodorikakou, KLIMAKA and Klimax Plus

Eleni Papatheodosiou, President of Social Cooperative Enterprises Network of Central Macedonia
Kostas Nikolaou, Representative of PROSKALO
Sotiris Koipidis, President of Panhellenic Federation of KOISPE
Representative of Cooperative Bank of Karditsa
  Dimitris Kokkinakis, Impact Hub Athens

 

 

Saturday 26/11/16 (Agricultural University of Athens and Impact Hub)
9:30 – 10:00 Registration (Agricultural University of Athens)
  Building the ecosystem of Social Enterprises
10:00 – 10:30 Documentary on the Social Economy Ecosystem; the example of Karditsa
10.30-10.40 Introductory speech by Nikos Chrysogelos, President of Wind of Renewal
10:40 – 13:00 Parallel Workshops
  1.         Internal operation – Code of Conduct – Social Impact

Moderators: Thanassis Belidis, Social Cooperative Enterprises Network of Central Macedonia

Stefanos Mitrikas, Social Cooperative Galinos

Konstantina  Zoehrer, GECES Member/ Researcher 180 Moires

  2.         Networking and Representation (Economic partnerships, networking and tools)

Moderators: Nikos Chrysogelos, President of Wind of Renewal, Kostas Nikolaou, Representative of PROSKALO, Vassilis Bellis, General Director of Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA)

13:00 – 14:00 Light Lunch
14:00 – 16:00 Parallel Workshops
  3.         Supporting Organizations for the development of Social Entrepreneurship

Moderators: Vassilis Bellis, General Director of Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA)

Popi Sourmaidou, Social Cooperative Enterprises Network of Central Macedonia)

  4.           Market creation and financial tools for social enterprises (proposals for the improvement / creation of financial tools)

Moderators: Yiorgos Alexopoulos, Senior Researcher Euricse – GECES, Konstantina  Zoehrer, GECES Member/ Researcher 180 Moires

16:30 – 17:00 Break
17:00 – 18:30 Presentation of the results and discussion on the future steps of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum
19:30 – FUCK UP NIGHT! Learning from our failure @ Impact Hub
 Sunday 27/11/16 (Impact Hub Athens)
9:30-10:00 Registration
10:00 – 11.30

 

 

 

11.30-14.00

Social entrepreneurship and inclusion of refugees

Brief presentations

·      Nikos Chrysogelos, Wind of Renewal

·      Jan Olsson, European Network of Cities and Regions for Social Economy (REVES)

·      Simel Esim, Inernational Labour Organisation (ILO)

·      Representative of the European confederation of industrial and service cooperatives (CECOP ) (tbc)

·      Representative of UNHCR (tbc)

World Cafe

Networking of initiatives and social enterprises from Greece and abroad which deal with various aspects of the refugee issue, with the participation of:

–       WELCOMMON: housing and social inclusion project for refugees

–       Solidarity Salt, Vivian Karavia and Elissabeth Koulouri

–       Athens Development and Destination Management Agency

–       Social Cooperative Enterprises Network of Central Macedonia, Eleni Papatheodosiou

–       ILO Refuggee response work in Turkey

–       PRAKSIS (tbc)

–       METADRASI (tbc)

–       ANTIGONE / OIKOPOLIS (tbc)

–       The Elpída Home for Refugees (tbc)

Μoderators: Nikos Chrysogelos, Wind of Renewal

Sofia Lamprou, Impact Hub Athens

14.00-14.30

Conclusions – Recommendations – Next Steps of Social Entrepreneurship Forum

15.00-16.00 Optional site visit: WELCOMMON housing and social inclusion project for refugees

WELCOMMON, a model center for housing and social inclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

WELCOMMON is presently in a position to offer:

  • Accomodation for 150-200 refugees for a maximum of 6 months, in 66 rooms and additional facilities for gatherings, tutorials, artistic activities etc.
  • Cover for basic needs: Food, in line with the guests’ nutritional requirements and habits (e.g., age, state of health, religion), clothing.
  • Social-Psychosocial support is provided by 3 social workers and 1 psychologist.
  • Primary health care by a nurse, with respect for the cultural and religious sensitivities of the refugees. We are in the process of setting up a network of Arabic-speaking volunteer doctors of various specializations.
  • Legal services for guests applying for asylum and persons needing international protection, in the framework of the asylum-processing procedures.
  • Social integration, through cooperation with organizations and services based in Greece and the relocation countries.
  • Non-formal education / creative activities for adults and children: language, music and painting classes etc.

In the near future WELCOMMON aims:

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

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

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

-Multiethnic restaurant or/and grocery store.

WELCOMMON presently employs 28 professionals in the following areas:

Administration / Management / Secretarial support

Reception

Interpretation / cultural mediation

Security

Social and psychosocial support

Legal aid

Primary health care

Building maintenance

Human resources

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

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

You can support us:

Pireaus Bank: GR8301720180005018077868253, Eurobank: GR7202602440000180200876471

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

www.anemosananeosis.gr, windofrenewal@gmail.com

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

How you could contribute to WELCOMMON project

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

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

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

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

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

Project progress

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

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

–   Accommodation capacity of approximately 170 refugees.

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

–   Accessibility by public transportation.

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

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How an organisation could support WELCOMMON

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

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

List of material needed:

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

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

Thank you

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

Pireaus Bank: GR8301720180005018077868253,  swift code PIRBGRAA

Eurobank: GR7202602440000180200876471, swift code ERBKGRAA

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

Tel: 0030-2103810646, -2103803959

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

 

 

 

 

CECOP & CICOPA sent a letter to the Greek Minister of Labour on cooperatives

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First Greek law covering both social cooperatives and worker cooperatives to be discussed soon at the national parliament

CECOP and CICOPA, the International Organisation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives, have recently sent a joint letter to the Greek Alternate Minister of Labour, Ms. Rania Antonopoulos, after consulting a network of international experts in worker cooperative and social cooperative legislation.

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5 August 2016

The Greek government has prepared a draft law on Social and Solidarity Economy and the development of its agencies, which will soon be discussed by the Greek parliament. While part of the law is on the wider social and solidarity economy (which includes all cooperative sectors, mutuals, associations and foundations), most provisions actually aim at defining and regulating social cooperatives and worker cooperatives. It will become the first law regarding both social cooperatives and worker cooperatives in the country.

Two previous successive laws on social cooperatives already exist and are both in force, one from 1999 regulating exclusively social cooperatives involved in the integration of psychiatric patients and is too narrow to be really effective, and one from 2011 which is broader but presents a series of problems which the present draft law attempts to solve.

The new draft law certainly has strong points compared to the 2011 law, but still presents a series of weak points which are a matter of concern and should be improved. For this purpose, CECOP and CICOPA, the International Organisation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives, have recently sent a joint letter to the Greek Alternate Minister of Labour, Ms. Rania Antonopoulos, after consulting a network of international experts in worker cooperative and social cooperative legislation.

In the letter, both organisations have made a series of proposals for modification, including:
 Differentiating the wider social and solidarity economy part of the law from the one focusing on social and worker cooperatives, possibly by passing separate pieces of legislation;
 Inserting in the Greek legislation (in this draft law or another law) the cooperative definition, values and principles enshrined in theStatement on the Cooperative Identity and inserted fully in ILO Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation n°193 (2002), which the Greek Government (like the Governments of all present members of the European Union) has formally approved;
 Enshrining the definition and key characteristics of social cooperatives as formulated respectively in the CICOPA 2011 World Standards of Social Cooperatives and the CICOPA 2003 World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives ;
Defining tax-related provisions, in particular regarding the employment of disadvantaged persons and the change of ownership in worker buyouts;
Providing the option that social cooperatives be multi-stakeholder, namely with different categories of members;
Differentiating more clearly, in the second degree structures of social cooperatives and worker cooperatives, representative associations from entrepreneurial consortia;
Instituting audit functions covering the proper implementation of the cooperative modus operandi, to be exercised by the representative associations through their own auditors in the case of affiliated cooperatives, and by the State in the case of non-affiliated ones, similarly to what is already in force in several EU countries.

2nd WORKSHOP ON: “Energy Poverty in Greece and the contribution of green and social innovation to address the problem”

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Energy poverty constitutes a serious social problem in many European countries with multiple effects both on health and on the overall poverty, and affects more than 100.000.000 European citizens. In 2015, about 10% of EU citizens, experienced delays in the payment of public utilities bills (37% in the most affected member states). In 2014, 12% of EU citizens lacked sufficient heating in their homes 2014 (60% in the most affected member states), while 16% of the EU population resided, in accordance with the SILC statistics, in houses with dripping roofs and wet walls (33% in the most affected member states).

On Wednesday 29 June 2016, the 2nd workshop took place within the context of the development of the Policy Paper: “The status of Energy Poverty in Greece and the contribution of green and social innovation to address the problem”. The main objective of the workshop was the exchange of views and ideas with national and EU stakeholders.

This initiative is the result of cooperation between the Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece, the social cooperative “Wind of Renewal” and the Institute for Zero Energy Buildings, which are active in the fields of ecology, energy efficiency and sustainable development, while both the first and the second workshop were supported by Athens Resilience and Sustainability office.

During the first part of the workshop the available national and European programs and innovative financial tools that could help to overcome energy poverty were discussed, in the light of social and green innovation. A significant number of experts and scientists dealing with this issue accepted the invitation – both from Greece and abroad. More specifically in the first part presented:

Ada Ámon – E3G
Energy efficiency as infrastructure and its role in alleviating fuel poverty

Adrian Joyce – Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign
Energy Poverty – The view from Brussels

Michalis Goudis – Housing Europe
Warm homes for all; How to tackle the challenge of our generation

Dr George Koutitas (CEO) – Gridmates Inc.
The smart giving of energy

• Dr Kostas Konstantinou – Anatoliki A.E.
Energy Services Companies in Greece

Alexis Panagiotopoulos – Ministry of Economy, Development & Tourism
Sources of financing in the context of the programming period 2014-2020

Nikos Gonis– Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Innovative financial tools and successful examples of their exploitation

Dr Evangelos Marinakis – National Technical University of Athens
Enhancing energy efficiency in buildings: needs and priorities for innovative investment tools

Evi Tzanakaki – Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Savings
Local authorities as a catalyst in tackling energy poverty

Constantinos Liveris – Employees Association of Social Housing (OEK)
Utilization of social housing in Greece

In the second part of the workshop the draft of the Policy Paper was presented and an open discussion followed with the participation of representatives from universities and municipalities as well as researchers, students and citizens.
Emphasis was given on the contribution of the green and social innovation in dealing with the phenomenon and proposals and comments on the draft were submitted.

The discussion was coordinated by Nikos Chrysogelos, president of social cooperative “Wind of Renewal”, Alice Corovessi and Eleftheria Touloupaki from the Institute of Zero Energy Buildings, Olga Drossou and Kyriaki Metaxa from the Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece.
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Conference «Social Policy and Social Innovation in Healthcare»

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Conference

«Social Policy and Social Innovation in Healthcare»

28 & 29 May 2016

P.E.D.A. conference room, 4, Kotsika str., Athens

The social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal, the City of Athens, the Union of Municipalities of Attica (P.E.D.A.) and the Greek Green Cities Network are organising a conference on Social Innovation in Healthcare, focused mainly on in-home health care services. The conference will be held on 28 & 29 May 2016 at P.E.D.A. conference room (4, Kotsika str., Athens). The two-day event is under the auspices of the Hellenic Regulatory Body of Nurses and is organising with the support of the European Commission Representation in Greece and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Athens.

The aims of the conference are:

  • to present the Greek and European reality concerning the social innovation in the health sector, with emphasis on implemented pilot projects in-home health care services
  • to highlight the role of municipal clinics, social clinics and social pharmacies in reforming the current health care system,
  • to debate on the accreditation of social enterprises on health services and in-home health care services,
  • to contribute in the promotion of new approaches, good practices and social investments in actions which combine conventional social policy and social innovation in healthcare.

The conference addresses to the Greek doctors and nurses, the staff of municipal social services, the staff and volunteers of municipal clinics, social clinics and social pharmacies, the civil society organizations, mainly the patient organization, the students of relevant disciplines, as well as to the political and administrative staff of the Ministry of Health.

For registration and more information please contact: windofrenewal@gmail.com , (+30)2103803959

 

Programme

Saturday, 28 May 2016

09.30-10.00         Registration

10.00-10.10         Welcome speech by the President of the Union of Municipalities in Attica Hercules Gotsis

10.10-10.20         Introductory remarks by Aris Peroulakis, Deputy Head, European Commission Representation in Greece

10.20-12.00         Session Α: «Inhome healthcare services and the national health system – specialized actions, pilot projects, local initiatives»

10.20-10.30         Stratis Chatzicharalampous, Representative of the Ministry of Health

10.30-10.40         Athina Kalokairinou, Professor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

10.40-10.55         Athina Delidaki, Dora Pappa, General Oncology Hospital of Kifisia “Agioi Anargyroi”

10.55-11.05         Spyridoula Tsaroucha, nurse, “Merimna”

11.05-11.15         Dr. Aliki Tserkezoglou, Scientific Director, Galilee Palliative Care Unit

11.15-11.25         Dorothy Garoni, Psychologist-Psychotherapist, KLIMAKA

11.25-12.00         Q&A

Moderation        Savvakis Papadouris, Internist Oncologist, Stratos Tsellas, nurse, General Oncology Hospital of Kifisia “Agioi Anargyroi”

12.00-12.20         Coffee break

12.20-13.30         Session Β: «The European experience in inhome healthcare services and nursing, and community health systems»

12.20-12.35         Representative of European cooperative for in-home healthcare services and nursing (tbc)

12.35-12.50         Dr. Barbara Stiegler, Psychologist, expert in gender equality and in-home health care

12.50-13.05         Helmut Wallrafen, Director of SOZIAL-HOLDING, Municipality of Mönchengladbach, expert in in-home health care

13.05-13.30         Q&A

Moderation        Nikolaos Gavalakis, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Athens

13.30-15.15         Session C: «The role of local authorities and civil society on social innovation in healthcare: the European and Greek experience»

13.30-13.40         Eleftherios Ioannidis, Mayor of Kozani, President of the Greek Green Cities Network

13.40-13.50         Maria Stratigaki, Vice-Mayor of Athens for Social Solidarity, Welfare & Equality

13.50-14.00         Eleni Kantzeli, Vice-Mayor of Agios Demetrios for Social Care

14.00-14.10         Dimitrios Papastergiou, Mayor of Trikkaion

14.10-14.20         Charisis Papageorgopoulos, Executive Healthcare Consultant of Municipality of Zografou

14.20-14.30         Dr. Eliza Ferekidou, University of Athens Medical School, Biologist, Voluntary Program “Health Allies”: Needs assessment of senior citizens – members of Friendship Clubs, of Municipality of Athens

14.30-14.40         Tassos Sapounakis, social policy consultant of the City of Athens, economist – consultant of local authorities

14.40-15.15         Q&A

Moderation        Nikos Chrysogelos, President, Wind of Renewal

15.15–16.05        Light lunch

16.05-17.40         Session D: «The role of the civil society in the social innovation in healthcare »

16.05-16.15         Monika Dendrinou, Representative of the Association of In-home healthcare in Syros (skype)

16.15-16.25         Maria Kataki, Representative of the Annoussakio Foundation, Kissamos Ctete (skype)

16.25-16.35         Ioanna Georgakopoulou, Psychologist, Institute of Mental Health of Children and Adults

16.35-16.45         Avra Panagopoulou, Health Visitor, Head of the Office for Health Protection and Promotion, Municipality of Zografou

16.45-17.00         Achilleas Vassilikopoulos, Yiorgos Kesisoglou, Scientific Association for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support “SYMPLEFSI”

17.00-17.10         Dr Christos Kleisiaris, Assistant Professor in Primary & Home Care Nursing, Nursing Department, Technological Educational Institute of Crete. “Health outcomes and perspectives of using wireless community networks in a community-dwelling population: An example from Sarantaporo.gr”

17.10-17.40         Q&A

Moderation        Eleftherios Ioannidis, Mayor of Kozani, President of the Greek Green Cities Network

17.40-18.30         Session Ε: «Social and Green Innovation in Health»

17.40-18.00         Athanasios Atsalis, Sevastanos Moirasgentis, Christos Tourkolias

18.00-18.15         Ioannis Paravantis, Assistant Professor, University of Piraeus

18.15-18.30         Q&A

Moderation        Nikos Chrysogelos, President, Wind of Renewal

 

 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

11.00-13.00         Parallel working groups

Working group 1: «The synergies and the role of the central state , the civil society organizations and health personnel on in-home health care services»

Moderation        Stratis Chatzicharalampous, Representative of the Ministry of Health

Working group 2: «Institutional and regulation aspects of the operation of in-home healthcare in Greece»

Moderation        Stratos Tsellas, nurse, General Oncology Hospital of Kifisia “Agioi Anargyroi”

13.00-13.30         Conclusions – Closure

Energy Poverty in Greece and the contribution of green and social innovation to address the problem

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                 Druck                                    WoR                INZEB

“The status of Energy Poverty in Greece and the contribution of green and social innovation to address the problem”.

Athens, May 4th 2016

A recent study conducted by the European Parliament showed that 36% of Greek households were experiencing energy/fuel poverty during 2013, in other words facing difficulties maintaining comfort conditions in their homes.

Three organizations, the  Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece, the social enterprise Wind of Renewal and the Institute of Zero Energy Buildings, active in the fields of ecology, energy savings and sustainability are joining their forces with the aim of publishing a policy paper with reference to “The status of Energy Poverty in Greece and the contribution of green and social innovation to address the problem”.

Within this context, the aforementioned organizations in collaboration with the Athens Resilience and Sustainability office, organised the 1st workshop with the aim to enhance the dialogue among key stakeholders as well as to exchange ideas with focusing on the minimization of the energy poverty phenomenon in Greece. The workshop took place on April 20th 2016, and was the first of a series of preparatory actions in order to collect as much information and suggestions as possible, to be incorporated in the policy paper.

Participatory procedures gave the opportunity for an open discussion among representatives of institutional, academic and social/civil organizations, who responded positively to the invitation.  The dialogue was structured around 7 questions related to the causes and characteristics of the phenomenon, of energy poverty, and another 8 pertaining to policy change proposals and the active participation of the addressed citizens.

Representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, the Technical Chamber of Greece, the Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Savings, the National Observatory of Athens, the Technical Assistance for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Greece – GIZ, attended the workshop on behalf of various institutional sectors.

The Academic sector was represented by professors from the University of Athens, the National Technical University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Technical Education Institute of Athens. The workshop was also attended by representatives from municipalities located within the Attica Prefecture. More specifically, the Athens Resilience and Sustainability Office – Municipality of Athens, the Municipality of Agios Dimitrios, the Municipality of Egaleo and the Municipality of Nea Smirni.

Furthermore, representatives from the Greek Ombudsman – Independent Authority, the Employees Association of Social Housing, the Citizen’s Inspectorate for Sustainable Development, Greenpeace and the Hellenic Passive House Institute contributed to the discussions, while a number of students, researchers, journalists, MEP’s associates and citizens were present and joined the dialogue.

A second workshop will follow in mid-June where the first draft of the policy paper will be presented. Stakeholders from various sectors will have the opportunity to provide feedback which may be incorporated prior to its finalisation. The final edition of the policy paper is scheduled to be presented in September 2016.