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WELCOMMON HOSTEL, an innovative proposal for sustainable tourism, with social impact

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The WELCOMMON Hostel is a hostel in the center of Athens, an innovative proposal for sustainable tourism, innovation, art, social and job integration based on the idea of “community”, initiated by the social cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL.

The WELCOMMON Hostel is a seven-floor facility for people of all ages. We would like to welcome you during your visit to Athens. We can also help you plan your stay in the city. WELCOMMON is not just a hostel, it is also part of a social experiment, a center for innovation and art, as well as social and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees.

We can organize your study trip in the city and provide details about interesting social events and groups; we can also supply you with all necessary information onother Greek cities, an island or a mountainside; we can connect you with cycling groups, or let you know the secrets of culinary delights, we can host your seminar orworkshop; we can also host a painting exhibition or a cultural event.

Be sure to CONTACT US before arriving in Athens, let us know about your needs and your interests!

The Hostel, Welcome in Common

You have a variety of options for accommodation in WELCOMMON; you may like to share an eight-bed dormitory with your friends or other travelers; or you may prefer to stay in a five-bed room, a four-bed room, a three-bed roomtwin ordouble bed room or a single; you may need a cheap room or you may be willing to pay a little more for some extra perks; or you may like to go for a room with a balcony. Regardless of what you select, all rooms are comfortableclean andattractive; a lot has been artistically designed with reused items, always with yourcomfort in mind.

WELCOMMON HOSTEL belongs to the Greek Youth Hostel Association, – a network of 21 youth hostel in Grece, member of the HOSTELLING INTERNATIONAL network

Hostelling International is a worldwide network of Not-for-Profit Youth Hostel Associations

Hostelling International (HI) is a charity that manages a federation of not-for-profit youth hostel associations. Its Youth Hostel Associations such as YHA, Stayokay and DJH combined provide a network of hostels in more than 80 countries. They believe that exploration and travel lead to a better understanding of other cultures, and in turn that creates a peaceful, smarter, and more tolerant world. This is and has been HI mission for almost 100 years. HI operates ‘for good and not-for-profit’ which means your stay should be cheaper while contributing to something amazing — any surplus of funds is reinvested in affordable hostelling and not shareholders.

Booking your hostel stay on hihostels ensures HI can continue to help its Youth Hostel Associations provide safe and clean HI Hostels for young people to enjoy for years to come. Book direct with HI Hostels and support this mission – we typically have the best prices!

Hostelling International Greece
The social cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL runs the WELCOMMON HOSTEL. We are committed to work for the promotion of the education of all young people. We care for this, it is not only words, it is every day practice with the support of many volunteers all over the workssured Standards for comfort, so you can rely on a consistent level of services and facilities wherever you stay. HI Hostels enable you to meet people of different cultures, backgrounds and experiences, and provide a rich resource for learning and for building a better, more peaceful world.
 
The Greek Youth Hostels Association accepts the criteria set by HI:
“to promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world, and as an ancillary thereto to provide hostels or other accommodation in which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions, and thereby to develop a better understanding of fellow men at home and abroad”.
 
Unique, diverse, cosmopolitan and sustainable
Just as there are diverse types of people, so there are numerous Youth Hostels throughout Greece. The GRYH has developed special labels and ranges of offers for various groups of guests. These labels are “Family Friendly Hostel,” “Active Hostel”, “Green Hostel”, “Fun Hostel”, “Charming Hostel” and “Group Friendly Hostel”. With our labels and specified categories such as culture, nature, sports, relaxation and discover we hope to make it a little easier for our guests to choose the perfect Greek Youth Hostel for their particular travel needs. Experience the great community
Hostelling International Greece
HI Hostels is the brand name of more than 90 Youth Hostel Associations in 90 countries, operating over 4,000 hostels world-wide. What makes HI different from other hostel operators is a focus on quality over quantity: all member countries are required to meet HI’s internationally-agreed Assured Standards for comfort, so you can rely on a consistent level of services and facilities wherever you stay. HI Hostels enable you to meet people of different cultures, backgrounds and experiences, and provide a rich resource for learning and for building a better, more peaceful world.
 
The Greek Youth Hostels Association accepts the criteria set by HI:
to promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world, and as an ancillary thereto to provide hostels or other accommodation in which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions, and thereby to develop a better understanding of fellow men at home and abroad”.
Unique, diverse, cosmopolitan and sustainable
Just as there are diverse types of people, so there are numerous Youth Hostels throughout Greece. The GRYH has developed special labels and ranges of offers for various groups of guests. These labels are “Family Friendly Hostel,” “Active Hostel”, “Green Hostel”, “Fun Hostel”, “Charming Hostel” and “Group Friendly Hostel”. With our labels and specified categories such as culture, nature, sports, relaxation and discover we hope to make it a little easier for our guests to choose the perfect Greek Youth Hostel for their particular travel needs.
 
The social cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL runs the WELCOMMON HOSTEL. We are committed to work for the promotion of the education of all young people. We care for this, it is not only words, it is every day practice with the support of many volunteers all over the work

Be sure to CONTACT US before arriving in Athens, let us know about your needs and your interests!

Social Economy Europe: The future of the EU policies for the Social Economy: towards a European Action Plan

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Social Economy Europe produced recently a document on “The future of the EU policies for the Social Economy: towards a European ActionPlan“. This document defines a series of axes and actions that may serve as a basis for elaborating a European Action Plan for the social economy. The proposals included in this document take into account the very important work that has been carried out by all EU institutions and particularly by the European Commission in recent years to support the development of the social economy. Furthermore, these proposals are the result of a consultation process in which all Social Economy Europe members have actively participated.

What Social Economy can bring to the European Union

The Council of the European Union defined the social economy as a key driver of economic and social development in Europe. According to the European Economic and Social Committee’ study on the Recent evolutions of the Social Economy in the European Union there are 2.8 million social economy enterprises and organisations in the European Union, that employ 13.6 million people and represent 8% of the EU’s GDP. Therefore, the social economy is a crucial part of the EU socio-economic landscape. The social economy refers to a wide diversity of enterprises and organisations -cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises, paritarian institutions of social protection etc.- that share common values and features such as the primacy of the individual and the social objective over capital, a democratic governance, and the reinvestment of most of the profits/ surpluses to carry out sustainable development objectives, services of interest to members or of general interest.

The social economy is formed by enterprises and organisations of all sizes -ranging from SMEs to large companies and groups- that operate in all the economic sectors such as: industry, education, healthcare and social services of general interest, agri-food, ethical and cooperative banking, insurance, renewable energy, re-use and recycling, retail and consumption; housing, tourism, culture and leisure, building, professional services, digital economy, etc. Because of its strong social commitment, the social economy offers innovative solutions to the main economic, social and environmental challenges of our time.

In short, the social economy is an enterprise model for the future of Europe that, thanks to its defining values and principles, contributes to several key objectives of the EU.

The social economy is “a European success story” that has increasingly gained political visibility as a sector that constitutes an important pillar notably in terms of employment and social cohesion across Europe and as key actor for the achievement of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, setting up the sustainable development goals. In this sense, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Economic and Social Committee, Member States, the Commission Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship and social economy representative organisations have consistently called for the development of an ambitious European policy for the social economy with adequate resources proportionate to its socio-economic weight in the European Union.

In 2016, the European Commission adopted the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative containing a section on social economy and social enterprises. On that basis, the Commission has set up and implemented (in 2017 and 2018) a series of actions for the social economy and social enterprises, structured in five pillars:

1. Access to funding;

2. Access to markets;

3. Improving framework conditions;

4. Social innovation, technologies and new business models;

5. International dimension

However, the implementation of these important actions will come to an end in 2018. In this context, social economy representative organisations, led by Social Economy Europe; the European Parliament’s Social Economy Intergroup, the European Economic and Social Committee and an important number of Member States are calling on the European Commission to take a step forward towards a European Action Plan for the social economy. This Action Plan shall serve to boost the visibility of social economy enterprises and organisations; support them to generate social and technological innovations; improve their access to finance and EU funding; remove the legal obstacles impeding their ability to grow and operate in the Single Market on an equal footing with other types of companies; as well as inspiring public authorities from the EU and its neighbouring countries to promote the growth of the social economy as a driver of economic and social progress for all.

Furthermore, this Action Plan should also serve to boost the uptake of new technologies in social economy enterprises and organisations. Digitalisation, blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence, among other emerging technologies, represent an enormous opportunity for the growth of social economy companies and for the creation of social economy start-ups in Europe. By adapting to this technological revolution, social economy enterprises will bring their values of solidarity, democracy and sustainability to the new economy.

A European Action Plan for the social economy, with a proposed duration of 5 years (2020-2025), shall be a key tool to systematically incorporate the social economy into the different socio-economic policies of the European Union, as well as into its actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The objectives of this proposal for an Action Plan are the following:

Objective 1 Recognise the social economy as a transversal actor in the main socioeconomic policies of the European Union: Social economy enterprises and organisations operate in all the economic sectors and represent an important part of the European economic and corporate landscape (more than 10% of all EU business), demonstrating that the diversity of enterprise models enhances the competitiveness of our economies. Therefore, the social economy should be taken into account by the European institutions, Member States and all public authorities in the design of their socio-economic policies.

Objective 2 Promote the convergence and coordination of the different public authorities involved in the promotion of the social economy by defining strategic objectives and benchmarks at EU level: Various administrations at local, regional, national and EU level are directly involved in the regulation and promotion of the social economy. Therefore, it would be important to set-up a European policy framework for the social economy to enhance the coherence, complementarity and coordination of the different policies and regulations, remaining respectful of the principle of subsidiarity.

Objective 3 Foster a conducive ecosystem for the growth of the social economy in Europe, improving its contribution to key EU objectives and allowing social economy enterprises to take full advantage of the single market and of EU funds and financial instruments: The social economy has been one of the drivers of European integration, offering innovative solutions to address evolving socio-economic challenges. The EU institutions should initiate appropriate actions to foster the development of the social economy and to unlock all its potential for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth at the service of European citizens.

In line with these three objectives, this policy proposal includes 20 policy measures and 64 actions structured in 7 pillars:

1. Establish a common understanding of social economy enterprises and organisations in Europe

2. Improve the visibility of social economy enterprises and organisations and of their values and characteristics

3. Measure and further document the weight of the social economy and its effective contribution to the socio-economic development of the European Union

4. Provide in the framework of the European Single Market a conducive ecosystem for the growth of social economy enterprises and organisations, supporting them to access to finance and scale up, and by establishing the necessary legal framework, allowing them to fully operate trans-nationally in the Single Market.

5. Further integrate the social economy in EU funds and programmes, such as the ERDF, ESF Plus and the cohesion funds

6. Foster the role of the social economy in the external action of the European Union

7. Consolidate and strengthen a permanent and structured dialogue between EU institutions and the Social Economy

About Social Economy Europe

Social Economy Europe (SEE) was created in November 2000 under the name of CEP-CMAF -the European Standing Conference of Cooperatives, Mutuals, Associations and Foundationswith the purpose of establishing a permanent dialogue between the social economy and the European Institutions. In 2008, CEP-CMAF changed its name and officially became the “Social Economy Europe”.

SEE members are the European organisations of mutual and cooperative insurers, non-profit healthcare players, health mutuals and health insurance funds; industrial and service cooperatives; foundations, associations of general interest, work integration social enterprises, paritarian institutions of social protection, ethical banks and financiers, and the European Cities and Regions for the social economy.

At national level, SEE represents the national social economy organisations of France (ESS-France), Italy (National Third Sector Forum), Portugal (CASES), Spain (CEPES) and Belgium (ConcertES). Social Economy Europe’s mission is to:

– Represent the interests of the social economy in the European Union so that the main EU policies promote and take into consideration this enterprise model;

– Promote the dialogue and the inter-cooperation between its members and develop new services of common interest;

– Boost the visibility of the economic and social impact of the social economy and of the values and principles that define this virtuous enterprise model;

– Support the Member States and the national organizations aiming to promote the development of the social economy.

SEE believes in a European Union that is determined to promote economic and social progress of its Member States, and that acknowledges its key role as global social economy leader. SEE believes in:

– A diverse economy at the service of people.

– A democratic, sustainable and inclusive economy, strongly committed to society;

– A more favourable ecosystem for the development of the European social economy, that will keep offering innovative solutions in response to societal demands.

– The social economy’s active participation in the development and implementation of the main socio-economic policies of the European Union.

6 school teachers visit Berlin for climate protection and Climate Schools

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In the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)”, a second study visit was made to Berlin. Six primary and secondary school teachers participated in it during the period 17-24 June 2018. Below is a brief description of the work of the study visit.

Day 1

Visit to Carl-Friedrich-von-Siemens-Gymnasium

Carl-Friedrich-von-Siemens-Gymnasium is an all-day public high school in a green area in Berlin’s northwest suburbs. 550 students, aged from 12 to 15 attend the school (6 grades). All students must have graduated with a minimum grade from the primary school and must also have received a positive recommendation from their teacher. The school personnel cosists of 52 teachers, 3 trainees, 3 secretaries and 3 social workers.

The school is active in environmental projects for 5 years and holds the Berliner Klima Schule, Eco Schools and MINT (STEM) certificates. It participates in ERASMUS Plus programs  together with other Eco Schools, focusing on sustainability.

Good environmental practices in the school include, among others, sorting waste into separate bins in each class and corridor (paper, plastic, composite) as well as interventions in the building such as the installation of temperature regulators on each radiator and motion sensors to turn the lights on in the corridors, marked switches, bicycle parking to encourage green travel, etc.

Additionally, environmental programs are carried out as part of the extracurricular activities of the school (2 hours per week). Some of the actions that the environmental team of the school carries out are the organization of a sustainable Christmas bazaar, the publication of an information brochure on the environmental symbols used in consumer products, etc., in the schoolyard the students maintain a small habitat with a pond and plants, build birdhouses and participate in the maintenance of beehives.

Energy saving practices

 

Environmental activities in the schoolyard

  

Students’ environmental projects

Day 2

Visit to Quentin-Blake-Europe-School  

Quentin-Blake-Europe-School is an all day public primary school with 420 students, 35 teachers and 15 educators who help with the lesson and supervise students in their leisure time. It has classes for bilingual students who are taught the main lessons in English and German-speaking students who are taught English only as a foreign language. There are educational clubs in the school, one of which concerns Environmental Education.

Great importance is given to shaping and exploiting the schoolyard, which is shared with the children of the Special School. The schoolyard consists of football and basketball courts, a children’s playground, a wall and a climbing net, shelters, playing in the mud with water from a hand pump and sand. In addition, students borrow kinetic development games, e.g. skates, which they return with the sound of the manual bell. Finally, there is a group of senior students responsible for noticing and resolving crises during breaks.

The school with its environmental activities has won the Berliner Klima Schulen and Klimaschutz-Zertifikat certificates. These actions include:

  • “Green Wednesday” and “Green Week”, during which students are motivated to transport to and from school without a car.
  • Recycling in separate colored bins.
  • Lights with motion sensors in the corridors.
  • Composting
  • “Energy Saving Officers”: 2 students remind the teacher of the necessary actions at the end of the lesson (eg. room ventilation, turn off switches)
  • “School vegetable garden”: Pupils plant, maintain, harvest and sell their products,
  • “Garden” with pond and ornamental plants.

  

The schoolyard

   

Good practices on energy saving projects

 

Green Wednesdays & Green Week

  

School vegetable garden & Artificial lake ecosystem

Visit to the KunstStoffe Upcycling Center

The aim of the KunstStoffe Upcycling Center is to change the relationship between the citizen and the use of the objects, to promote wider ecological goals, and to stimulate the local economy through collaborative networks with companies, schools, universities, artists and cultural centers. Its ultimate goal is to strengthen the resilience of the local community.

  

At the KunstStoffe Upcycling Center

At KunstStoffe we visited all the storage areas with the materials to re-use and our visit was completed with a short construction workshop with materials of our choice.

DAY 3

Workshop on palm oil in the botanical garden (BNE Zentrum)

The seminar was attended by high school students during the project week. It was divided into three phases:

  • The first phase was introductory and included activities aiming to activate students on the topic and to inform them about the basic uses of palm oil (raw material for food, for cosmetics and biofuel).
  • In the second phase the students were divided into groups and they had to stop by some workstations doing the corresponding activities. The activities highlighted various aspects of the subject, such as working conditions in palm plantations, deforestation, annual consumption and other environmental and social issues.
  • The third phase was held in the greenhouse of the botanical garden which is one of the largest in the world. The students worked in groups and by using a worksheet they did activities in order to realise how many species of flora and fauna are affected by deforestation for the creation of palm tree plantations.

  

Seminar on palm oil – 1st phase

Seminar on palm oil – 2nd phase

  

Seminar on palm oil – 3rd phase

Attending a course on teaching methods and measurements at BNE Zentrum

During the two-hour seminar, teaching methods were discussed together with how they can be used in energy saving programs. In addition, practical work took place on using the measuring instruments (temperature, brightness, humidity).

Temperature, illuminance & relative humidity measurement tools.

Meeting to promote collaboration and networking

Τhe meeting was attended by representatives of schools, institutions and organizations, including Respect for Greece (RfG). During the meeting, the possibility of future collaborations between Greek schools and German organizations was discussed.

 

Co-operation & network meeting

DAY 4

Visit to the environmental education center Gartenarbeitsschule (GAS)

Το Gartenarbeitsschule (GAS) is a center for environmental education, which is open from 7:00 to 15:00. It employs 2 educators, a gardener and many volunteers (beekeeper, cooks, gardeners, a trainer-engineer by profession-, trainee teachers) and receives about 30,000 visitors per year. There are environmental programs implemented for the students in the surrounding areas on nutrition, energy, beekeeping, herb cultivation, vegetable and tree growing. Its 30.000 square meters include arable land, training rooms, a kitchen-dining room, a greenhouse, a specially designed outdoor area, a fenced area for animals (rabbits, etc), beehives and an experimental lab.

Students adopt an area of arable land with vegetables and herbs. They are responsible for planting, grooming and harvesting (spring – early autumn). In the training rooms they participate in activities and games for recycling and through experimental and exploratory methods they learn about life of living organisms (e.g. snails). In addition, in the kitchen-dining room the children cook their organic produce with the help of volunteer cooks. In the hives the children learn about bees and honey with the help of the volunteer beekeeper. In the same area there is an insect house.

In the experimental lab students are trained on renewable energy sources. At first, the concepts of renewable and non-renewable energy sources are clarified and also the way electricity is produced from ready-made experimental constructions is explored. Then, they either carry out experiments on wind energy with fans or construct paper models of solar cars from recyclable materials.

We had the chance to watch students in the first grade of high school consttructing solar cars. Each student

  • Got a package with the necessary material
  • Carved the contact points
  • Cut the outline of the car, painted it
  • Assembled the rest of the parts
  • Placed the two solar panels

The students got out of the lab and observed the movement of the wheels, that is the conversion of the solar energy into kinetic energy. It is worth mentioning that during the whole process the students got help from both their teacher and the trainer.

On one of the roofs of Gartenarbeitsschule there are placed photovoltaic panels connected to a digital price table for CO2 in Kg, electricity production in kW, total solar output in kWh. The students observe the prices and discover the conversion of solar energy into electricity as well as the amount of CO2 that is not emitted into the environment.

Greenhouse & outdoor learning spaces

 

Planting places for vegetables and herbs

   

Beehives & other insect hosting constructions

Educational project  for snails

Recycling, composting and nutrition projects

 

Educational projects for alternative forms of energy

 

Construction of paper solar car model 

DAY 5

Visit to Robert-Havemann-Gymnasium

We visited one of the laboratories of Robert-Havemann-Gymnasium in northern Berlin. This lab is located in the ground floor of the school, it was created by a Physics Department’s initiative, and it consists of three thematic labs: “Energy lab”, “Solar energy lab” and “Renewable energy lab”. Its equipment (modern experimental devices) was funded by donations and prizes after participation in competitions. Apart from the Robert-Havemann’s students, students from other schools can visit it as well. It is also used for training teachers on relevant topics.

The laboratory’s manager (among the many energy conversion devices that were existing),  presented  us the fuel cell, power generation by cycling, geothermal heat exchangers, etc. After touring the premises, we went to the ” learning about energy lab” where we participated in a small solar car assemblage workshop. Our trainers handed out the parts of the small car to us, which we progressively assembled, following the worksheet instructions. Finally, after putting the photovoltaic panels outdoors, in order to get charged by the sun, we activated our solar cars.

    

Energy laboratories at the Robert-Havemann Gymnasium

  

Construction of small solar cars

Evaluation

The second study visit to Berlin ended with an evaluation meeting between the two German project managers and the six Greek participants.

First of all, there was an evaluation table, titled “Happiness Radar”, depicting three faces in the left vertical column and the elements to be evaluated were mentioned in the horizontal line (each day of the study visit, time frame and duration, language and translation, coordination and communication, variety). Teachers completed the evaluation table according to their degree of satisfaction.

Study visit evaluation meeting

Subsequently, they discussed the visits they liked most, such as those that took place in the schools, the botanical garden, the environmental center and the energy lab.  In total, of all the visits two were the least satisfying. One of them was the visit to the Upcycling Center, which could last less. The other one was the meeting for co-operation with representatives of institutions and schools, that did not have the expected result, as there was no participation of primary school educators and a small participation of secondary educators, that couldn’t achieve sufficient further networking between schools of the two countries.

Αξιοσημείωτη ήταν η οργάνωση και η συνέπεια συνολικά σε αυτήν τη δεύτερη εκπαιδευτική επίσκεψη στο Βερολίνο. Η μετάφραση στα αγγλικά ήταν πολύ καλή και χρήσιμη γεγονός που διευκόλυνε την επικοινωνία μεταξύ μας. Επιπλέον, υπήρξε ποικιλία στο καθημερινό πρόγραμμα επισκέψεων.

Τέλος, στην ολομέλεια έγιναν ορισμένες προτάσεις από τους εκπαιδευτικούς όπως η ανάγκη για περισσότερη εμβάθυνση σε επιστημονικά ζητήματα, καθώς και ο διαχωρισμός των μελών σε ομάδα πρωτοβάθμιας και σε ομάδα δευτεροβάθμιας για μια μέρα ώστε κάθε ομάδα να επισκεφθεί χώρους προσανατολισμένους στο αντικείμενό της.

 

In overall, the organization and the consistency of this second study visit to Berlin was remarkable. Also, the translation from German to English was quite satisfactory and helped  the communication among the participants a lot. In addition, there was a variety of schools visits.

Finally, suggestions were made by the Greek team, such as the need for further deepening on scientific issues and the separation of the group members into primary teachers and secondary teachers for one day, in order for each group to visit more places that meet more their professional interests.

In overall, the organization and the consistency of this second study visit to Berlin was remarkable. Also, the translation from German to English was quite satisfactory and helped  the communication among the participants a lot. In addition, there was a variety of schools visits.

Finally, suggestions were made by the Greek team, such as the need for further deepening on scientific issues and the separation of the group members into primary teachers and secondary teachers for one day, in order for each group to visit more places that meet more their professional interests.

Teachers-authors

Michalis Fotiadis, Maria Boumpouka, Vasiliki Gkitzia, Dimitra Gavana, Pantelis Tsolakos, Argyro Tsokou

The program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL 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 the mobilization of the educational community, local communities and municipalities for climate protection and energy transition as well as to 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.

The program has a duration of 28 months (2017-2019) and aims to raise awareness on climate change and energy consumption in the schools’ communitie of the Municipality of Athens (MoA).

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

  • enhancing the overall efforts to inform and sensitize students, teachers and parents and their involvement in climate protection and reduce energy waste,
  • the reduction of the energy footprint of school buildings (by 5%),
  • an overall effort to reduce the ecological footprint.

 

Our new project: WELCOMMON Hostel, a new experience in responsible tourism

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We are part of the LE MAT Network- special place, people, value

The WELCOMMON Hostel is a hostel in the center of Athens, an innovative proposal for sustainable tourism, innovation, art, social and job   integration based on the idea of “community”, initiated by the social cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL.

The WELCOMMON Hostel is a seven-floor facility for people of all ages. We would like to welcome you during your visit to Athens. We can also help you plan your stay in the city. WELCOMMON is not just a hostel, it is also part of a social experiment, a center for innovation and art, as well as social and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees.

We can organize your study trip in the city and provide details about interesting social events and groups; we can also supply you with all necessary information on other Greek cities, an island or a mountainside; we can connect you with cycling groups, or let you know the secrets of culinary delights, we can host your seminar or workshop; we can also host a painting exhibition or a cultural event.

Be sure to CONTACT US before arriving in Athens, let us know about your needs and your interests!

The Hostel, Welcome in Common

You have a variety of options for accommodation in WELCOMMON HOSTEL; you may like to share an eight-bed dormitory with your friends or other travelers; or you may prefer to stay in a five-bed room, a four-bed room, a three-bed room, a twin or double bed room or a single; you may need a cheap room or you may be willing to pay a little more for some extra perks; or you may like to go for a room with a balcony. Regardless of what you select, all rooms are comfortable, clean and attractive; a lot has been artistically designed with reused items, always with your comfort in mind.

How is WELCOMMON Hostel different?

WELCOMMON Hostel means welcome in common – together. It is not only an opportunity to stay in a good place in Athens, the Greek capital; it is also a way to:

enjoy your stay in the city,

discover its social, cultural and environmental side,

exchange experiences and ideas,

learn and “share”; you can participate in activities we organize (art exhibits, non-formal education, music events, visits to cultural sites and activities, etc…) or you can organize something yourself (e.g. a concert, painting classes or even give a speech!).

The building, the rooms and places are accessible for disable persons. 

 

Our philosophy is that we want to be part of the social change we want to see happen. Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal has a strong commitment to building a better world through social and green innovation and the cooperative business model. We want to influence the direction of our society to become more sustainable and ecologically and socially fair.

Our vision is to bring close people from all over the world, to enable them to communicate, to be entertained and to explore the creative side of Athens. In the WELCOMMON Hostel we can introduce you to the world of Greece’s cultural, environmental and social organizations as well as of social economy. You can also contribute with your ideas and experience. It highlights the positive impact that cooperatives and social enterprises have on communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, making bridges between communities, social groups, newcomers and local people.

Our mission is to daily improve and develop our services, make our hostel more than convenient, friendly and live, artistic and social innovative. We can organise your study trip in the city and provide details about interesting social events and groups. We can also supply you with all necessary information on other Greek cities, islands or a mountainside, connect you with cycling groups, or let you know the secrets of culinary delights.

Training for social and employment issues

Although the hostel is no longer a refugee hosting center and has been refurbished into a modern facility, two floors of the WELCOMMON Hostel are used as an open center for social empowerment and inclusion. The aim is to create new employment opportunities for everyone in areas such as upcycling, ethnic cuisines, culture, green / cyclic economy, energy efficiency and others. Our societies must not accept generations being lost, we must not leave young persons, Greeks, migrants, refugees behind.

We offer classes (e.g. for language, painting, puppet show, music etc) with the support of volunteers to refugees, migrants, local people, tourists; we work for the empowerment and training of our guests and design interactive workshops for the professional training and promotion of the abilities and qualifications of refugees, especially the young persons, along with Greek nationals, in order to be able to find their way in our societies for the benefit of our societies.

As a visitor of Athens you could participate in an event or even present a topic to other guests or visitors in our WELCOMMON Hostel, in our meeting corners, in our “classrooms”, or during drinking a juice, a coffee or a herbal tea in our café or in our socializing bar and restaurant “In Common”. It is real!

We are part of the social change we want to see happen

Athens is a city in crisis but at the same time one can see a real change if one decides to be part of the social and ecological change. We have decided to be part of this social change.

In the WELCOMMON Hostel we can introduce you to the world of Greece’s social economy and you can learn about its strengths and weaknesses. You can also contribute with your ideas and experience.

The WELCOMMON Hostel highlights the positive impact that cooperatives and social enterprises have on communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, making bridges between communities, social groups, newcomers and local people.

Anemos Ananeosis/Wind of Renewal has a strong commitment to building a better world through social and green innovation and the cooperative business model. We want to influence the direction of our society to become more sustainable and ecologically and socially fair.

Discover the other side of the city

Your stay in the WELCOMMON Hostel is also a chance for you to discover what is going on in the city. You could join initiatives working for the transformation of the city and its environmental protection, you could contact human rights groups or initiatives working with the unemployed, young people or for the inclusion of the refugees. There is an interesting, hidden side of the city, a real live and fresh city within the city; our community is ready to host you and work with you.

You help us boost the social impact of our project

When you choose to stay with us you contribute to the employment of a fantastic group of people, consisting of a number of long-term unemployed Greeks, migrants and refugees who have settled in Greece.

The first step is crucial: we want to be financially and socially sustainable, we try to improve our services, to make our hostel more convenient, friendly and live, more artistic and social. But the next step is also very important to us; we are committed to investing any profits in social and environmental improvements, in the transition to an energy-efficient and green economy, in creating a new center for the most vulnerable; we also aim to contribute to reducing the energy poverty of households, offering them know-how and support so that they can exit a difficult situation through social empowerment and energy efficiency.

You can feel the history of WELCOMMON

The WELCOMMON Hostel has a quite uncommon, interesting history. For many years the building was used as a public clinic. During the Greek economic crisis, in February 2013, the clinic was shut down and merged with a bigger hospital. We, the social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal –working for the promotion of the social and green innovation and economy– began renting the building in August 2016. We refurbished it in order to transform it into an innovative center – WELCOMMON – for the hosting and social inclusion of the most vulnerable refugees. The project was not simply meant to be for the refugees but with the refugees –working with them for their benefit, as well as that of the neighborhood and the local community. It became one of the most innovative and creative centers for hosting, empowering and socially including refugees, based on the idea of “empowerment through the community”. It was supported by the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens and the UNHCR. But these agencies decided that refugees should be hosted only in apartments, there is no need for transition structures. Read about this HERE. The center closed in March 2018.

We decided to start refurbishing the seven-floor facility located in the centre of Athens, and to transform it into a HOSTEL, but not just any kind of hostel! Now we are running the WELCOMMON Hostel, a social hostel combining sustainable tourism with social and cultural activities and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees. We aim for Welcommon to be a social experiment, a centre of innovation and art, and for social and employment integration. And of course a hub where travellers can get insider’ information to organize their trip in the city, discover interesting social events and groups, but also information on other Greek cities, Islands or villages.

Learn about our history, contribute to the change

You can learn about our model, a community model, for the protection but also the inclusion of refugees, migrants and Greeks. It is a model we could adjust for vulnerable social groups, too. Although the center for refugees closed, you can experience some of our new activities, participating in workshops, language and painting, photo exhibitions, video or info-material. But you can also meet some of our previous guests, working now for the WELCOMMON Hostel, being part of our new community.

WELCOMMON HOSTEL

Kapodistriou 4, GR-Athens 10682,

www.welcommonhostel.gr, www.facebook.com/welcommonhostel

Combining the opening of the WELCOMMON Hostel with the art exhibition “TRAVEL”

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We started our new journey with WELCOMMON Hostel, as well as the development of other “trips” that we continue (the social and green economy, social innovation in health, energy saving and climate protection in schools, social inclusion, the energy transition and) or completed (such as the innovative WELCOMMON refugee center). We thus decided to symbolically combine the officially opening of the WELCOMMON Hostel with an art exhibition with the theme “TRAVEL”. Which means a trip for recreation, a journey of immigration or refuge, a journey to new ideas, a trip to the past, a trip to nature, a trip to art and creation, a real trip, a virtual trip or reading a book, a trip together with friends or self-awareness journey, a journey to colors, senses, music.

  

 

  

  

In the “TRAVEL” exhibition, creators from Kassos island, were involved – we chosed Kassos because it is an island that knows well these various aspects of the “journey”. Take part: Alexandros Giorgos, Varkaxidis Kostas, Glytsi Angela, Dagleris Thanasis, Kilimandzou Athena, Magou – Karachaliou Litsa, Nikolaaraki Ioanna, Rukunaki Maria Blacksmith Sophia, Halkitis Lilian, Hanuška Olga, Chatziantoniou Rea, Fountis Konstantinos

  

The works of the Kassiotis creators were exhibited from June 14th to June 30th in the special “Dialogue Hall” that we have created at WELCOMMON HOSTEL to host exhibitions, events, meetings, seminars, workshops. It is also the first stop on a collaborative journey started by the social cooperatives “ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL” and “KASSIOS

You can contact us from HERE, and even book in advance your accommodation.

Training of secondary education teachers on climate protection and energy saving

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It was an interactive, interesting, positive energy training seminar of secondary education teachers on climate protection and energy saving practices at school. According to the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)”, 200 teachers from 65 primary, secondary, high school and technical education schools of Athens and neighboring areas will be trained so that they will be able to take action and make research in their schools to raise awareness of the educational community and change behaviors to achieve energy saving.

The seminar was held on the 19th of May and took place at the 1st Experimental Secondary School of Athens. A seminar with similar content will follow on the 9th of June and will involve the training of primary education teachers. The 200 teachers from both primary and secondary education will participate in a total of 24 hours of training (6 hours in the spring of 2018, followed by 14 hours in September and 4 hours in May 2019). Responsible for the organization of both trainings is the social cooperative ”Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis”.

The training was implemented by various experts, including experienced teachers and schools’ consultants, environmental education directors, etc. The trainers had been trained in the principles, methodology and objectives of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)” on a 4 days extended seminar that also took place in Athens during 12th -15th April 2018 (“Training of the Trainers”). The “Training of the Trainers” was implemented by a team of Greek experts and teachers together with instructors of the German Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU) with the coordination of ”Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis” and the Municipality of Athens.

 

In the 19th of May training were trained 95 teachers of secondary education. The 95 teachers had previously expressed their interest and were selected to participate in the program. The training lasted 6 hours and focused on the following topics:

  • Theoretical input on energy and climate change.

  • Familiarization with methods of creating an action plan for each school in order to save energy and raise the awareness of the school community in climate change.

  • Familiarization with methods of coordinating energy-saving actions (organizing an energy group, energy council, energy tour at the school, etc.).

  • Implementation of energy saving soft measures at school.

  • Introduction to recording and processing data methods.

The methodological process of the implementation of the program has been structured on the basis of the following 10 steps:

  1. Define an energy group for the school

  2. Define an energy council for the school

  3. Organize an energy tour of the energy council

  4. Study of the energy situation of the school (raise awareness on climate change issues)

  5. Energy tour at the heating room of the school with the energy team

  6. Data processing-Action Plan for energy saving and raise awareness on climate change

  7. Create a campaign to promote the implementation of the action plan in the school community

  8. Apply energy saving measures

  9. Make proposals for changes to the building’s infrastructure

  10. Evaluate overall implementation of the program

The implementation of the program will be followed by a research framework. Aim of the research is to track the pilot implementation of the program. At the end of the program, a more comprehensive study that will be based on the collected research data will be articulated. This study will be used by the Municipality of Athens in order to formulate an action plan in the direction of energy saving and the development of sustainable practices in all the municipal schools.

The program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL 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 the mobilization of the educational community, local communities and municipalities for climate protection and energy transition as well as to 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.

The program aims to:

  • enhance the overall efforts to inform and raise awareness of students, teachers and parents and their involvement in climate protection and reduce energy waste,

  • reduce the energy footprint (of the electricity consumption) of the municipal school buildings (by 5%)

  • an overall effort to reduce the ecological footprint of the municipal schools

The duration of the program is 28 months (2017-2019) and aims to raise awareness on climate change and energy consumption in the municipal schools of Athens.

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

Inaguration of the operation of the WELCOMMON Hostel and Art exhibition “Travel”

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WELCOMMON Hostel opens its doors officially on 14/6, alongside the opening of an art exhibition on “TRAVEL”.

We start our new journey with WELCOMMON Hostel, as well as the development of other “trips” that we continue (the social and green economy, social innovation in health, energy saving and climate protection in schools, social inclusion, the energy transition and) or completed (such as the innovative WELCOMMON refugee center). We thus decided to symbolically combine the officially opening of the WELCOMMON Hostel with an art exhibition with the theme “TRAVEL”. Which means a trip for recreation, a journey of immigration or refuge, a journey to new ideas, a trip to the past, a trip to nature, a trip to art and creation, a real trip, a virtual trip or reading a book, a trip together with friends or self-awareness journey, a journey to colors, senses, music.

In the “TRAVEL” exhibition, creators from Kassos island, are involved – we chose Kassos because it is an island that knows well these various aspects of the “journey”. Take part: Alexandros Giorgos, Varkaxidis Kostas, Glytsi Angela, Dagleris Thanasis, Kilimandzou Athena, Magou – Karachaliou Litsa, Nikolaaraki Ioanna, Rukunaki Maria Blacksmith Sophia, Halkitis Lilian, Hanuška Olga, Chatziantoniou Rea, Fountis Konstantinos

The works of the Kassiotis creators will be exhibited from June 14th to June 30th in the special “Dialogue Hall” that we have created at WELCOMMON HOSTEL to host exhibitions, events, meetings, seminars, workshops. It is also the first stop on a collaborative journey started by the social cooperatives “ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL” (initiator of the WELCOMMON Hostel) and “KASSIOS

You can contact us from HERE, and even book in advance your accommodation.

 

  

   

The WELCOMMON Hostel, a new experience in responsible tourism

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The WELCOMMON Hostel is a hostel in the center of Athens, an innovative proposal for sustainable tourism, innovation, art, social and job integration based on the idea of “community”, initiated by the social cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL.

The WELCOMMON Hostel is a seven-floor facility for people of all ages. We would like to welcome you during your visit to Athens. We can also help you plan your stay in the city. WELCOMMON is not just a hostel, it is also part of a social experiment, a center for innovation and art, as well as social and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees.

We can organize your study trip in the city and provide details about interesting social events and groups; we can also supply you with all necessary information on other Greek cities, an island or a mountainside; we can connect you with cycling groups, or let you know the secrets of culinary delights, we can host your seminar or workshop; we can also host a painting exhibition or a cultural event.

Be sure to CONTACT US before arriving in Athens, let us know about your needs and your interests!

The Hostel, Welcome in Common

You have a variety of options for accommodation in WELCOMMON; you may like to share an eight-bed dormitory with your friends or other travelers; or you may prefer to stay in a five-bed room, a four-bed room, a three-bed room, a twin or double bed room or a single; you may need a cheap room or you may be willing to pay a little more for some extra perks; or you may like to go for a room with a balcony. Regardless of what you select, all rooms are comfortable, clean and attractive; a lot has been artistically designed with reused items, always with your comfort in mind.

How is WELCOMMON Hostel different?

WELCOMMON Hostel means welcome in common together. It is not only an opportunity to stay in a good place in Athens, the Greek capital; it is also a way to:

enjoy your stay in the city,

discover its social, cultural and environmental side,

exchange experiences and ideas,

learn and “share; you can participate in activities we organize (art exhibits, non-formal education, music events, visits to cultural sites and activities, etc…) or you can organize something yourself (e.g. a concert, painting classes or even give a speech!).

Training for social and employment issues

Although the hostel is no longer a refugee hosting center and has been refurbished into a modern facility, two floors of the WELCOMMON Hostel are used as an open center for social empowerment and inclusion. The aim is to create new employment opportunities for everyone in areas such as upcycling, ethnic cuisines, culture, green / cyclic economy, energy efficiency and others. Our societies must not accept generations being lost, we must not leave young persons, Greeks, migrants, refugees behind.

We offer classes (e.g. for language, painting, puppet show, music etc) with the support of volunteers to refugees, migrants, local people, tourists; we work for the empowerment and training of our guests and design interactive workshops for the professional training and promotion of the abilities and qualifications of refugees, especially the young persons, along with Greek nationals, in order to be able to find their way in our societies for the benefit of our societies.

As a visitor of Athens you could participate in an event or even present a topic to other guests or visitors in our WELCOMMON Hostel, in our meeting corners, in our “classrooms”, or during drinking a juice, a coffee or a herbal tea in our café or in our socializing bar and restaurant “In Common”. It is real!

Discover the other side of the city

Your stay in the WELCOMMON Hostel is also a chance for you to discover what is going on in the city. You could join initiatives working for the transformation of the city and its environmental protection, you could contact human rights groups or initiatives working with the unemployed, young people or for the inclusion of the refugees. There is an interesting, hidden side of the city, a real live and fresh city within the city; our community is ready to host you and work with you.

You help us boost the social impact of our project

When you choose to stay with us you contribute to the employment of a fantastic group of people, consisting of a number of long-term unemployed Greeks, migrants and refugees who have settled in Greece.

The first step is crucial: we want to be financially and socially sustainable, we try to improve our services, to make our hostel more convenient, friendly and live, more artistic and social. But the next step is also very important to us; we are committed to investing any profits in social and environmental improvements, in the transition to an energy-efficient and green economy, in creating a new center for the most vulnerable; we also aim to contribute to reducing the energy poverty of households, offering them know-how and support so that they can exit a difficult situation through social empowerment and energy efficiency.

You can feel the history of WELCOMMON

The WELCOMMON Hostel has a quite uncommon, interesting history. For many years the building was used as a public clinic. During the Greek economic crisis, in February 2013, the clinic was shut down and merged with a bigger hospital. We, the social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal working for the promotion of the social and green innovation and economy– began renting the building in August 2016. We refurbished it in order to transform it into an innovative center – WELCOMMON – for the hosting and social inclusion of the most vulnerable refugees. The project was not simply meant to be for the refugees but with the refugees –working with them for their benefit, as well as that of the neighborhood and the local community. It became one of the most innovative and creative centers for hosting, empowering and socially including refugees, based on the idea of “empowerment through the community. It was supported by the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens and the UNHCR. But these agencies decided that refugees should be hosted only in apartments, there is no need for transition structures. Read about this HERE. The center closed in March 2018.

We decided to start refurbishing the seven-floor facility located in the centre of Athens, and to transform it into a HOSTEL, but not just any kind of hostel! Now we are running the WELCOMMON Hostel, a social hostel combining sustainable tourism with social and cultural activities and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees. We aim for Welcommon to be a social experiment, a centre of innovation and art, and for social and employment integration. And of course a hub where travellers can get insider’ information to organize their trip in the city, discover interesting social events and groups, but also information on other Greek cities, Islands or villages.

Learn about our history, contribute to the change

You can learn about our model, a community model, for the protection but also the inclusion of refugees, migrants and Greeks. It is a model we could adjust for vulnerable social groups, too. Although the center for refugees closed, you can experience some of our new activities, participating in workshops, language and painting, photo exhibitions, video or info-material. But you can also meet some of our previous guests, working now for the WELCOMMON Hostel, being part of our new community.

We are part of the social change we want to see happen

Athens is a city in crisis but at the same time one can see a real change if one decides to be part of the social and ecological change. We have decided to be part of this social change.

In the WELCOMMON Hostel we can introduce you to the world of Greece’s social economy and you can learn about its strengths and weaknesses. You can also contribute with your ideas and experience.

What was different with WELCOMMON center for refugees

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WELCOMMON, was an accommodation and social inclusion center for refugees, initieted by the social cooperative, ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL,  featured four important innovations:

1.Overhauling of old building in the center of the urban fabricWe rented and upgraded –at minimum cost and with voluntary work –a 3200 mbuilding in the centre of Athens that had remained closed since 2013 (ex hospital). We overhauled it and created a model community centre with a hosting capacity of up to 160-180 refugees. In total, 600 refugees from 22 countries (half of them kids) were hosted between October 2016 and February 28, 2018 (when the centered closed), upgrading and revitalizing the Exarcheia neighborhood (near Kanigos Square).

2.Accommodation for the most vulnerable groups of refugees and in need of urgent care, such as: people with chronic diseases, serious psychological disorders, disabilities, victims of torture, sexual abuse and trafficking, pregnant women and families with newborns. The residents of Welcommon included 40 newborn babies and a number of pregnant women.

3.Μodel facility for empowerment and care, based on the idea of ‘’community’’ and combining safe accommodation with social inclusion and job integration of people with high vulnerability. We provided a social clinic, psycho-social support, non-formal education, support for kids who needed to register in Greek schools, social support services and job integration processes. Our “community model” can be suitable also for other communities and neighborhoods – especially areas that have collapsed socially and economically and need to berevitalized on a new basis. It was organized on the basis of the needs of the community and was successful thanks to wide participation and extensive collaborations.

4. Search for solutions for decent work both for refugees/immigrants and unemployed Greeks, in common /together with them and in innovative sectors.

The WELCOMMON center was our proposal for the role that the social economy could play in inclusion issues, combining the hosting of vulnerable persons with new models of social inclusion, empowerment and mobilization of people in need in general, not just refugees. We cooperated with many social organizations –including 15 universities, students and more than 230 volunteers from all over the world during the operation of the center. Many social groups, MEPs and MPs, international organizations and representatives of municipalities visited us.

It was a project in cooperation with the UNHCR and the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens. It was a pity that the two institutions decided on January 18, 2018 to “discontinue the collective accommodation in WELCOMMON starting March 1, 2018, in order to focus on accommodation in apartments, which facilitates independent living. After their decision to stop financing the housing program for the refugees we decided to try to continue our innovative work by financing our initiatives through the Hostel rather than depend on third actors. We are committed to striving for maximizing the benefit for society. We are active in social, human and environmental rights, we can’t do less than needed in our times. We are convinced that acting in common on an integrated plan we can solve problems in a win-win manner.