We need your support for the long term sustainability of WELCOMMON. It is very crucial for us to find resources in 2017 for sustaining the long term function of WELCOMMON, in 2018 and beyond, as the funding of WELCOMMON through the cooperation with UNHCR maybe will stop by the end of 2017.
How the Welcommon project is financed
The housing, food and function of the building, the basic services we provide to the refugees are funded by EU through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the cooperation with the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency of the Municipality of Athens. But this funding is secured ONLY until the end of 2017. We don’t want to stop our work because their is a need for such integrated support to refugees, not only for their housing in dignity but also for their social inclusion and job integration.
Enev today there are many needs that are not covered by the project. In kind donations (eg colors, painting materials, educational material, clothes and shoes for children, medicaments), and some in cash donations help a lot, but we are not able to cover all our needs. During the months that the program was implemented, there were many times we needed to fix and reconstruct parts in order to sustain it in a proper condition. However, given that the majority of the population that we host are children aged between 3-16 years old, we have to repair many things over and over again.
Their is a demand by the authorities for high efficient measures for fire preventation and security. Since the budget of the program does not support these types of expenses which by law are mandatory there is always a need to find extra resources to implement this type of work.
Despite the serious efforts the Greeks, arabs, european and american volunteers have put into non-formal education, the temporariness of staying in the country, often causes difficulties especially for the coherence and continuation of the pedagogical methodology, and for the children at this age to build trust with the responsible person and participate on a regular basis.
With integration as the main goal of Welcommon, activities such as the arabic school and non-formal education are perceived as crucial, both for the preconditions for social inclusion of the children and the preparation for job opportunities created for the adults.
Apart from meeting these expenses, we would like to find extra resources to continue providing high quality living standards to our residents and to be able to improve the efficiency of our building, concerning energy, water and waste. This means increasing environmental awareness of refugees, volunteers, personnel and visitors, as well as green investments to lower costs such as Led-lighting, encouraging behavioral changes as well as higher costs for automation systems to turn off lights when they are not needed, replacement of the heating system, more efficient energy systems, infrastructure for RES and natural gas instead of oil, small bins and training for separate collection of waste, composting containers etc.
In order to continue running the whole project in 2018 and beyond, the education program, the social inclusion strategy and the job integration, we will start a fundraising campaign in order to find the needed resources and be able to sustain the whole activity. Of course, in parallel, we will continue to train and use volunteers.