Wind of Renewal and Sifnos participants of the GRAPE project– Social economy and green transition

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GRAPE – Local Social Green Resilience Action Plans for small and peripheral territories

“GRAPE – Local Social Green Resilience Action Plans for small and peripheral territories” is a european project co-financed by the EU Commission under the SMP-COSME-2021-RESILIENCE-SEM Call (Grant Agreement n. 101074093).


The project aims at experimenting the co-construction of local plans for the green, social and digital transitions in four small and marginalised territories engaging social economy actors. Thanks to the lessons learnt, a tool will be designed, that could then be used also by other municipalities willing to follow the same path.


Effective resilience to climate change, pandemic, economic and social crisis is inherently local.

In the EU there are some 121 000 small municipalities (EUROSTAT, LAU2) often located in deprived area, with low budget capacities and far away from mainstream public development policies.

Here, often Social and Solidarity-based economy (SSE) actors and local community initiatives have a primary role in creating and managing economic and social activities and services, as the for-profit economy has left these areas to localise in more profitable ones or abroad.

Social and Solidarity-based Economy and local communities may therefore contribute to the territorial resilience through the experimentation of innovative solidarity-based solutions encouraging local stakeholders to cooperate and use their resources to tackle local challenges. Local resilience and local stakeholders’ participation are the key concepts of this project, willing to drive and boost environmental, energy, digital, social, and economic transitions of local communities in an ambitious, systemic and solidarity-based way, developing local solutions to local needs.


Smaller territories are a perfect laboratory to showcase in a reasonable time frame the impacts of such experimentation, at the same time contamination of good practices is easier at such a scale. Consequently, the project consortium is composed of 4 small complementary territories in 3 countries: Mirabella Imbaccari (IT), Malegno (IT), Bonares (ES), Sifnos (GR), together with an experienced European public authorities’ and SSE actors’ network (REVES) and a regional cooperative network (FAECTA).

For each territory, in addition to the respective municipalities, an SSE organisation has been involved: Fondazione di Comunità di Messina (leader partner) in Mirabella Imbaccari, Sol.Co. Camunia in Malegno, COOPINTE in Bonares and Wind Of Renewal in Sifnos.


The project will organise exchange missions and prepare 4 local action plans for a social green and digital transition.

The project is structured in three different phases: in the first phase, 3 Social Economy missions (SEM) will be organised in Mirabella Imbaccari, Sifnos and Bonares, hosting each time the representatives of all partners. The consortium will use peer learning methodology and case study methodology to lay the foundations for the cooperation between partners and territories.

The second phase, then, will involve all partners to build local social green resilience action plan in the 4 target territories, taking advantage of the inputs developed during the SEMs.

The third phase of the project is the co-construction of a European digital toolkit for small municipalities interested in the cooperation with social economy actors to develop together participatory local action plans for social, green and digital transition to boost territorial resilience.

Finally, a policy paper with recommendation will be issued to support small territories in drafting local resilience plans, learning from the experience of the GRAPE project.


We support Ukrainian women and children refugees in Greece – Crowdfunding campaign -Learn what we are doing, how you can support

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We stand with Ukraine and we support the Ukrainian women and children refugees in Greece. As the terrible war in Ukraine continues, there are millions of innocent people fleeing the violence with no place to go. It’s truly unimaginable. We can help. We can at least support the Ukrainian refugees in our countries, especially the women and children.

What we are doing for/with the Ukrainian women and children

  •  The social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal @WindRenewal and its innovative and inclusive Welcommon Hostel @WelcommonHostel work together with the Ukrainian Women in Greece @UkrainianWomeninGreece (УкраїнкивГреції) to support the women and children from Ukraine who arrived as refugees in Greece due to Putin’s invasion and the war in their country, with language classes, painting, theater, dancing and other creative activities. All the activities are implemented, free of cost and without any grant, thanks to the collaboration between Ukrainian women and Wind of Renewal’s young enthusiastic volunteers from all over the world (we have hosted more than 360 volunteers in the Welcommon Hostel since September 2016).
  • The two associations,  Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal and the Ukrainian Women in Greece are preparing a trip of the choir Gaudeamus and the Chamber girls’ choir of the KDML named after M.V. Lysenko 32 young people from Kyin/ Kiev to Athens. We have invited the choirs to participate in musical events of solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine. The trip will also be an opportunity for young people to stay 10-15 days away from the war that is destroying so many lives in Ukraine and killing innocent people.
  • Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal also offered to the Ukrainian Women in Greece – free of cost- place in the  Welcommon Hostel in order to be able to support the Ukrainian refugees in Greece.
  • In the Welcommon Hostel in Athens, we offer refugees a place to stay at a significantly reduced rate, if they have no alternative for housing

About the choirs

The Gaudeamus Chamber Choir of P.I. Tchaikovsky BFR NMAU is a famous one:

Art directors – Yulia Puchko-Kolesnyk and Ruben Tolmachov
Choirmasters – Vera Shemchuk and Vlad Tarakhan
Choir participants are high school students, graduates of M.V. Lysenko KDML and students of P.I.
Tchaikovsky State University.

The collective is a multiple laureate and winner of All-Ukrainian and International competitions.

The Chamber girls’ choir of the KDML named after M.V. Lysenko

Artistic director and conductor – Yulia Puchko-Kolesnyk

Choirmaster – Vira Shemchuk

It is a unique collective that unites the most talented voices from all over Ukraine. 32 sing in the choir girls aged 12-18 studying at the Kyiv state school Lysenko Music Lyceum. The choir has a long history and is unique traditions Under the leadership of Yulia Puchko-Kolesnyk, the well-known talented conductor, the choir reached the international level of performing arts, became the best girls choir of Ukraine and one of the best choirs in the world.

In the last 10 years, the choir participated in the most important European and domestic official events, won the highest awards at more than 20 international events choir competitions in 10 countries of the world and actively performs at the biggest stages of Europe.

If you would like to support the trip of the Ukrainian young persons to Athens, please donate to (don’t forget to add – Supporting a visit of young Ukrainian people to Athens)

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal

(Cooperative) Bank of Karditsa

ΙΒΑΝ GR 7608900100003010003.54020

Swift Code STKAGRA1


Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal

Pireaus Bank

IBAN: GR83 0172 0180 0050 1807 7868 253

Piraeus’s BIC code is PIRBGRAA

Send us your details to ( in order to be able to issue the receipt for your donation

Contact us:


More about the choirs:

Lessons and creative activities in Welcommon Hostel for / with Ukrainian Women and children, refugees in Greece


















































Painting – solidarity activity to Ukrainian people at the entrance of the Welcommon Hostel by other young refugees

















#StandWithUkraine #stopPutinWar

#solidarity #stopwarcrimes

Paula, volunteer: Welcommon Hostel is a really nice place where you can create a big and beautiful community

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I am Paula Galván

My experience as a volunteer with Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal in Welcommon Hostel was very rewarding. Just before coming to Athens, I finished my studies in the social field, and working on this project gave me a lot of new perspectives on a collective which I didn’t work before.

I could learn a lot about cultures from different countries, and about the migrant situation in Greece; especially in Athens. Also, I could meet lots of new people from countries around the world who became friends, and with whom we could share acknowledgement about the current situation.

If I talk about the hostel,  I could say it is a really nice place where you can create a big and beautiful community with the families and the young people living there. I stayed there for five months (November to march), and we were a group of nine volunteers at the same time.

We created a nice atmosphere with every person in the place; organizing language and art classes and also extra activities during the weekends and for the festivity dates.

I enjoyed my time in the project, because It changed my mind completely, giving me new principles and consciousness. As well, I can say that this experience taught me new professional and personal skills that I’ll use in my future jobs in the social field, like communication, collaboration, adaptability, teamwork and creativity among others.

11 european and international awards and distinctions for Wind of Renewal and Welcommon Hostel

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ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL has received 11 international and European-level distinctions for innovation and contribution to the social economy, social innovation, social and green impact.

– Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal has been awarded the European Citizen’s Prize 2018, by the European Parliament.  The European Citizen’s Prize recognizes initiatives that contribute to the promotion of EU values and fundamental rights, mutual understanding and closer integration between people in the EU, cross- border cooperation that builds a stronger European spirit.

– HOSTEL WORLD named in 2020 the WELCOMMON HOSTEL as one of the Hostel Heroes 2020, “a hostel that in the midst of the crisis is supporting the community coming together… building a better world!”.

– Welcommon Hostel was recognised as the most EXTRAORDINARY Hostel Hero 2021 by leading Online Travel Agent focused on the hostel market, Hostelworld. It was crowned most EXTRAORDINARY Hostel Hero by a panel of expert travel judges and more than 20,000 votes by hostel  travelers  all around the world.

– WELCOMMON HOSTEL was distinguished as the best social / intercultural action 2020-2021 in Greece during covid-19 – the competition was organized by the national network of “Anna Lindh Foundation“, the euro-med network for the intercultural dialogue.

– It was included in the short list of the finalists of the Central European Bank – CEB “social inclusion” award 2021,

– It was included in the short list (5 projects) of the HOSCARs “Extraordinary Sustainable Hostel” 2021

– It was selectd as one of the best 3 examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area (2017 Euro-Med Dialogue Award) by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Fondazione Mediterraneo.

– We have also received A Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017 and a bronze prize 2019 in the competition @REVESNetwork #ExcellenceAwards2019 and.

– The French Federation of Social Inclusion Enterprises invited ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL to participate in it’s national Congress organized 16-17/11/2018, in Marseille, and presented  the WELCOMMON center for housing and social inclusion of refugees as a “good example of social inclusion in Euro-Med area”.

– Welcommon Hostel was selected as one of the Best Of civil society initiatives of the Euro-Med Region and was presented during the “Long Night of Ideas” on 7/6/2021: how civil society in the Euro-Med was contributing to overcome challenges of our times

Hannah Neumann, MEP: “My trip to Greece” – and her visit to Welcommon Hostel

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Hannah Neumann, MEP: “My trip to Greece” and …her visit to Welcommon Hostel

This article is published by Hannah Neumann, a Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA, Germany) after her visit to Athens, and, between others, to Welcommon Hostel. Thank you Hannah

Online event: EU Green Deal and the Greek Green Deal

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EU Green Deal and the Greek Green Deal
Online eventMonday 20th of December | 14:00-17:00 CET

In July 2021, the European Commission presented a series of proposals to implement the Green Deal, the goal of making the European Union “climate neutral” by 2050. Since then, the European Green Deal has been both specialised and criticised for its weaknesses in terms of its social objectives. At Member State level, the landscape is even more blurred and often conflicting, with inadequate climate policies, lack of political will and citizens’ ignorance of the impending changes in their lives, for example in terms of employment, energy, housing and quality of life in cities, agri-food, etc.

Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece and the social cooperative enterprise Wind of Renewal / Anemos Ananeosis have tried to answer the question “What would a Green Deal for Greece look like?” by asking researchers, representatives of institutions and experts to submit their views in the homonymous online dossier. This initiative aims to co-shape a Green Deal that leaves no one behind and achieves the transition to a new productive-consumptive model. In this context, the two organisations, are organising the online event EU Green Deal and the Greek Green Deal, on Monday 20 December, 14:00-17:00 CET.

The event takes place on the occasion of the publication of the Policy brief “A Green Deal for Greece”. The online discussion aims to contribute to the information of Greek citizens and to trigger a fruitful dialogue between a wide range of civil society actors and competent authorities on this strategy, the opportunities and challenges for its implementation in Europe, as well as in Greece.

The debate, which is the first of a series of others that will follow, is with the support of the European Parliament Office in Greece.

The event will be held in Greek and English, with simultaneous interpretation, and will be broadcasted live here and here

Registration here

For more information, please contact:
– Nikos Chrysogelos, Wind of Renewal,
– Kyriaki Metaxa, Heinrich Boell Foundation Greece

PROGRAM |14:00-17:00 CET

14:00 – 14:15 Welcome, Greetings:

  • Constantinos Tsoutsoplides, European Parliament in Athens
  • Michalis Goudis, director Heinrich Boell Foundation Greece

14:15 – 15:15 A European Green Deal for all

  • Emmanuella Doussis, Professor at the University of Athens, UNESCO Chairholder on Climate Diplomacy “Geopolitics of the European Green Deal”
  • Alexandra Geese, MEP Greens/EFA, “Green Deal and gender budgeting
  • Elsa Durieux, Senior Officer, Sustainable Finance, Smart Cities and Business – ICLEI (tbc)


15:15 – 16:25 A Green Deal for Greece

  • Athena Dimou, Assistant to the Director and President of the BoD – Programs’ monitoring at National Observatory of Athens – CLIMPACT project “The need to link research with decision-making centers to address the Climate crisis. Examples of collaborations at national and regional level
  • Vlassis Oikonomou, Managing Director – Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy Foundation “Heating decarbonization in Greece and the role of energy efficiency”
  • Nikos Chrysogelos, former MEP, chair of Wind of Renewl: “Green recovery of neighborhoods and cities and the role of social economy
  • Maria Mourtzaki, Policy Manager – ActionAid Hellas: “The social dimension of the European Green Deal: elements for inclusive policies

16:25 – 17:00 Wrap up
Moderation: Michalis Goudis, Director Heinrich Boell Foundation Office Thessaloniki, Greece

Social Economy Europe welcomes the European Social Economy Action Plan

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A positive project for Europe, a new chapter for the social economy

On 8th of December, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Nicolas Schmit presented the Social Economy Action Plan at a press conference in Brussels.

The Commission’s communication entitled “Building an economy that works for people: an action plan for the social economy” has a horizon of nine years for its implementation 2021-2030, and will be assed in 2025. Social Economy Europe believes that the Social Economy Action Plan is an impressive EU public policy, co-created with social economy stakeholders, that offers a positive project for Europe. An initiative that has the potential to scale up the social economy in Europe, going beyond the traditional 6.3% of total employment in the EU that it currently represents.

“We warmly welcome and endorse the Social Economy Action Plan for which we have been working and advocating since 2014. The Social Economy Action Plan will provide concrete instruments for social economy actors to scale-up all over Europe and beyond our borders.”  Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of Social Economy Europe

The Social Economy Action Plan provides a clear and inclusive definition of the social economy in Europe:

“In the context of this action plan and related EU initiatives, the social economy covers entities sharing the following main common principles and features: the primacy of people as well as social and/or environmental purpose over profit, the reinvestment of most of the profits and surpluses to carry out activities in the interest of members/users (“collective interest”) or society at large (“general interest”) and democratic and/ or participatory governance.

“The Action Plan is a federative initiative, it includes some of our main policy recommendations. The proposal of a Council Recommendation on developing social economy framework conditions, that the Council should adopt in 2023; the new Single EU Social Economy Gateway to be launched in 2030; or the importance of supporting social economy representative networks in every EU MS, as well as the emergence of local social economy contact points in all Member States, are fully alligned with the letter and spirit of our proposals.”
Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of Social Economy Europe

The  policy includes 38 concrete actions to be implemented in the coming nine years, in key areas as: state aid (exploring new possibilities for work integration social enterprises and other social economy enterprises of social utility), legal and policy frameworkssocially responsible public procurement and access to marketspromoting social economy at local, regional and international levelsbusiness supportskillsyouth entrepreneurshipaccess to funding and finance (InvestEU and othe relavant programmes)social economy contribution to the green and digital transitionssocial innovationrecognition and more.

In line with the EU Industrial Strategy , the Commission also launched a Transition Pathway for the Proximity and Social Economy Industrial Ecosystem, that enacts a participatory process that will will result in

“a finalised transition pathway during 2022, summarising the joint work and targeted engagement with stakeholders and mobilising stakeholders to present commitments and joint actions to boost resilience and accelerate the green and digital transition of this industrial ecosystem. The Commission will mobilise different mechanisms to enable this process and facilitate stakeholder cooperation on the roll-out of the transition pathway”.

“This is a very good EU public policy, a policy that inspires and supports a positive project for Europe, a policy that will kick start an entrepreneurial revolution. What excites us the most at Social Economy Europe, is the way forward. All hands are needed now to implement the plan: social economy stakeholders, Member States, EU Institutions, local and regional authorities, researches, financial institutions, the philantropy and investors, the GECES, etc. An adventure in which we look forward to cooperating with our amazing network.”
Víctor Meseguer, Director of SEE. 

Lilian B. volunteer: my time at the Welcommon Hostel was very intense and unique

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My experiences at the Welcommon Hostel

I’m Lilian a 19 years old german girl and I stayed with a friend at the Welcommon Hostel in Athens for over one month participating in the European Solidarity Corps project “Green Social Innovation for young people”. The name Welcommon, fits perfectly to the philosophy of this amazing place. Welcommon means welcome in common. Related to the name the original idea of the Hostel is, that refugees, tourists, and volunteers are all welcome and live together at this wonderful place. During these five intense weeks I have met so many interesting and wonderful people, with different stories and unique backgrounds, from all over the world!

In the following I would love to share my expectations before Athens and my experiences with you.

First, I would like to start with my expectations before coming to Athens.

My Expectations

My friend and I found this beautiful project on a website called: workaway. Workaway is a great website, for travelers, where you can find different projects all over the world. We felt in love with the idea of the Hostel immediately and thought that this project fits perfect to our original dream to do something social and meaningful while traveling. To be completely honest I did not really had any expectations before coming to Greece, because it was my first volunteering project. I expected that the work would be more like typical Hostel work, for example staying at the reception or cleaning the rooms.

I just felt verry exited of the time at the hostel, the new people I will meet, the places I will visit and the new experience I will make. In the following I`m going on with my experience at the Welcommon Hostel

My Experience

Our main tasks at the Hostel were, to give classes to the refugees who live in the Hostel and to everybody who wants to attend. My task was it to give a german and english beginner class and together with the other volunteers an art class. The focus in our classes was on sustainability and environmental education. Specially in our art class we tried to connect painting with sustainability. I also tried to connect my beginner german and English class with topics like climate change, but the classes were more about the basics of the language.

In my german beginner class I teached the Alphabet, the sound of the language and the most useful german words and phrases. In my English class I teached kind of the same, but we also have done some small conversations and a lot more of vocabulary’s, because the most of the students already know the most basic words. It was so beautiful to see how motivated every student was.

The time with our students was also verry intense and emotional, especially because of our talks about their individual background story’s. For example, many of the students are from Afghanistan and during our time at the Welcommon Hostel, the Taliban took over the country. During one class, our students invited us to a demonstration in Athens against the Taliban, which was so heartbreaking to see.

Moreover, we spent much time with the children who live in the hostel. For example, we went to a nice park in the near of the hostel a couple of times. It was so great to see how the children had a great time, grew up and learn new things every day.

As a volunteer participating in the projects organised by Anemos Ananeosis in the Welcommon Hostel you are very free. You can spend your time with every project you would like to do. For example, another volunteer was doing a Boxing-Class in the Morning, or we painted the walls of backyard once. The schedule was from Monday till Thursday, and we had the possibility to design the lessons however we wanted. On the weekend you have free time. So, we had the great possibility to explore the historical center of Athens or the beautiful Greek Islands.

To sum it up my time at the Welcommon Hostel was very intense and unique, because of all the beautiful people I met and all the talks I had with them. Because of the Welcommon Community I have learned so many things about different cultures, perspectives and especially for my future live. I`m feeling so grateful for this time

Lilian Bartsch

Bente W., Volunteer: I learned so much about different lifestyles, cultures and experiences

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My name is Bente

I stayed at the Welcommon Hostel in Athens from August 4th until September 4th with my friend, participating in the European Solidarity Corps project of Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal. To explain the Welcommon Hostel a little bit, the name “welcommon” means welcome in common, which actually fits to this hostel perfectly: during my stay I’ve met tourists, refugees, other volunteers, the workers there and youth groups that all together filled the hostel with life. We all lived there together in a community and all of them became an important part of this amazing experience.

To start this report, I’d like to talk about my expectations before coming to the welcommon hostel.

My expectations

To be completely honest, I did not really have any expectations before coming to this hostel. My friend and me found this project on a website called workaway, which is a website, where people can share projects all over the world. People that would like to volunteer at those projects can get in contact with the hosts by simply texting them and then hope for an answer.

The communication with the organisation Anemos Ananaeosis and the Welcommon Hostel was super fast and easy. We got an answer right away and were informed about the European Solidarity Corps project, that the organisation and the Welcommon Hostel are taking part in. We were told, that we were supposed to give classes about environmental education, because that was one of the two the main topics of the European Solidarity Corps project, which is why I expected to teach a little about environmental issues and how to reduce them. Other than that, I expected some typical hostel work like cleaning or working at the reception etc because in the end, the welcommon hostel is not only a community project but also a hostel for travellers.

My experiences

My very few expectations did vary from reality. There was not really a lot of ”hostel work“ for us to do, though we did stay at the reception in my last week, because there was a lot to do for the receptionists. Our main task was to give classes to everybody that would like to attend. I gave intermediate English, advanced beginner German and art classes and connected them with the task of environmental education asked for by the European Solidarity Corps project: some art classes consisted out of experiences of the students with climate change or pollution and how they felt about it. In the end we talked about what the causes are and how to reduce
them (shown in the picture to the left).

In my intermediate English class we also talked about environmental issues, for example the leak of the oil pipeline in the beginning of august in Trinidad, and how oil is harmful for the environment and the animals in the marine ecosystem. (some of the vocabulary is shown in the picture on the right on the next page) In my advanced beginner german class, I mostly did grammar and vocabulary, because there was no way we could have talked about environmental issues, because it still was a beginners class, so there was obviously a lack of vocabulary and grammar for this topic.

The most important and also the talks I remember most were the talks about Afghanistan in all my classes (mostly in my english intermediate class). To explain this a little further, during my stay at the hostel, the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, and with the backround of a majority of my students fleeing from Afghanistan, these were very emotional and touching talks we had in class. During my class, one of my students invited us to a demonstration in athens against the taliban, wich was also a super intense experience (picture to the left).

We also played with the children at the hostel from time to time. One time, for example, we did yoga with some of the kids (picture to the right). We also went to a park with them a couple of times. It was amazing to see how motivated everybody was to learn things or how advanced some of the children already were in a language that was not even their mother language. Though there obviously was a language barrier, it was super easy to communicate with everybody.

To be honest, the talks that I had at the hostel in general were the thing that made my experience so unique: I learned so much about different lifestyles, different cultures and experiences, that I have never experienced in my whole live, which also made me change my perspectives on everything. Also, the community we have had there was a huge part of me feeling super comfortable there: Not only my students or the loving and generous families at the hostel, but also the team of volunteers and workers at the hostel made my time super enjoyable. I have made super close friendships in such a short period of time, which made leaving super hard.

All in all, this experience at the welcommon hostel was super intense, because of all the new things I have learned, but so very worth the while, exactly because of these changes concerning my perspective etc. I gained so much, because of this amazing community, for myself and also for my way of thinking for the future and seeing things in a different light.

Bente Wilkens, 16.09.21, Techau, Germany

Andrea A., volunteer: These activities help people to know better not only about other cultures but also about themselves

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Hi! My name is Andrea Alberizzi.  I am a 29-year-old Italian teacher an PhD student. During summer I love travel around the word with humanity project in order to discovers new cultures and helping the integrations of people around the world.

This summer I spent a month in Athens at welcommon hostel participating in the European Solidarity Corps project “green social innovation for young persons”, implemented by the social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal and the experience was amazing.

I met many people coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and even from Africa. We knew each other every day involving in different activities. I had the opportunity to learn their culture and to understand what conditions push them to let their country following the European dream. In exchanged I helped them to learn English every day and I also started a boxe course in which refugees could practice sports together.

I had a great time even with the other volunteers, wonderful people with a huge energy and very impressive mood involving all the time to help refugees to feel better as at their own home.

I can’t wait to come back in Athens and to get the opportunity to replicate that adventure even in another contest. These activities help people to know better not only about other cultures but also about themselves,

I grew up a lot and I felt less useless towards people coming from all around the world and looking for a better future.

I will never forget this experience.