From October 2016 until the mid of March 2017 the vast majority of the Welcommon’s guests were people who would relocate in other EU country. Those people were staying on average for 3 months.
Since March 2017 Welcommon hosts also recognized refugees in Greece, who will stay for a maximum period of 6 months. During this period they will participate in several activities, according to their age and educational level, in order to prepare themselves to live independently in Greece. Our social services will evaluate their progress and take the final decision that they are able to move out of the project. In the begging they will be transfered in one of the appartments rent by EATA and after a sort period they will be supported to rent a house for themselves.
- Welcommon aims to integrate the refugees socially but also professionally, we want to help them to find a job in common with Greeks unemployed persons.But as many social services are missing in Greece, our work for their social inclusion and job integration will be very crusial, although we don’t get resources for such a work until now and it will be more difficult for the future to sustain such a funding. We are very anxious about the inclusion and job integration of refugees in a country with 24% unemployment and very week infrastructure for creating jobs even for Greeks and offering efficient support services for the vulnerable groups.
It is not an easy process. For the teenagers and adults, with the help of the social workers, we try to build a professional profile based on their skills or past profession that will be used to promote their capacity for job seeking. Our aim is to provide a number of activities according to people’s preferences and needs based on innovative methodologies.
Although financial resources are missing, we are working also for the promotion of Wind of Renewal and specially of WELCOMMON aims related to job integration. Our approach and efforts are focused on creating job opportunities through integrated projects for 3 groups in one effort: greek unemployed youngsters, migrants living many years in Greece and new comers – refugees.
We are working on:
– offering opportunities for employment, by tapping the skills and aptitudes of the guests, through their participation in the running of the organization and in collaboration with other organizations and agencies.
-creating a data base with the curricula vitae of refugees –both inside and outside- the facility so as to facilitate their employment in businesses seeking specific qualifications and skills.
-To set up social enterprises with the participation of Greeks and refugees/ immigrants, in the following areas:
– Repair and reuse of clothing and footwear -which will create jobs for both refugees and the local population- and sale of clothing at reasonable prices.
– Multiethnic restaurant or/and grocery store. For November we are planning a cuisine festival. We want to connect restaurants with refugees able to cook more professionally but also develop a cooperation with sef-professional schools. But as you can understand, opening a restaurant in Europe is something total different than opening a restaurant in Africa. You need: permission, capital for start – up, proper place, training of personnel etc. Moreover, the creation of a social company is not an easy thing in Greece, because of taxes, permissions etc . Therefore, our support for the start – up and the function for a short period (eg 6 months) is very necessary.
– Combating energy poverty based on sustainable solutions, social and green innovation, promoting energy efficient schemes. A team consisted of Greeks, migrants and refugees will help households suffering from energy poverty to improve the energy efficiency of their house and reduce the cost they pay for the bills and heating/cooling. In parallel, will empower the households in order to participate in “energy RES cooperatives”, and/or self-production and self-consumption schemes, local grids networks etc. We have applied to EEA programs and we hope our project will be selected for a grant in order to be able to create a Green Hub, train 200 youngsters (Greeks, migrants, refugees) in order to work for the energy efficiency and the empowerment of 5000 households in Athens.