Help us bring hope, dignity and equal rights through creating 10 employment places for 5 Refugees and 5 Greek people in Greece. Please support us, so that we open the door for whoever needs it!!
The project idea :
In the wake of a number of crises in the Middle East, people fled en masse to Europe. Greece, in particular, has welcomed a large number of refugees seeking to find a better life for themselves and their families. Despite the decision of Greece to embrace newcomers, refugees in Greece face numerous challenges, not least of which is a very high unemployment rate. In fact, since 2010, unemployment has long been the source of much insecurity and distress to Greek people, who currently suffer from poverty and the highest rate of unemployment of all European countries.
This is where our social business enters coming from our deep belief that “Instead of giving people fish, teach them how to fish”.
It is a café in Thessaloniki (the second-largest city in Greece) that will employ both refugees and Greek locals. The employees will interact with each other, become friends and learn from each other. People from both populations will come to drink coffee at the café, and will, as well, interact with each other. This is the first level of integration that the café will offer. The second level of integration stems from the fact that the café will be a social one. There will be workshops where people can create handmade art, candles, bags, and more. The workshops will then be a place both of physical creation as well as creation of relationships, as the participants will interact with one another.
We are going to build a profitable café, but the mission is social, with the goal of promoting interaction between Greeks and newcomers to Greece. This mission will constantly be at the forefront of business decisions, and thus produce will be purchased from vulnerable communities and the café will be as sustainable as possible.
Why we want to create this Social Business?
According to Professor Muhammad Yunus, Social Business can be defined as a non-dividend company that is created to address and solve a social problem.
In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. The purpose of our investment is purely to create workplaces for Greeks and refugees and put an effort in the big problem of unemployment in the area of Thessaloniki, through the operation of the company. No personal gain is desired but the company must cover all costs and be financially sustainable, while achieving the social objective in sectors such as poverty, employment, well-being of vulnerable groups, promotion of a multicultural environment and community. Once the original investment has been recouped by us, profit stays within the company to expand its outreach and increase the social impact.
Despite the fact that we want to give a working place for both refugees and Greeks, we believe that job is a bridge between people to connect and create new opportunities that improve their personal life, their communities and humanity.
Why creating cafe?
Coffee brings people together. As Thessaloniki is the city of “Frape”- a kind of instant cold coffee that is very popular in Greece, the culture of coffee as the reason that people are meeting, expressing themselves and offering a break to themselves is our idea. This is the premise for our “social business”—a café that has the potential to offer a very simple need as Coffee combined with a unique social contribution.
How you can help us?
Since we cannot make this café a reality by ourselves, we need your help.
Your donations will go towards expenses such as rent, equipment, furniture, interior decoration, the first supplies, as well as other costs associated with starting a café.
Once the café gets off the ground, we plan to be self-sufficient. But we need you to get it all running; only your generosity can make this café a reality. We appreciate your donations and publicity because coffee really does bring people together.
The cafe will provide only legal employment and of all our operations will be executed in accordance with the Greek labour market law.
Who we are?
1. Warda Alkrenawy
I came to Greece in 2015 ، for two weeks volunteering mission on Lesvos as Social worker to provide Psychosocial support. Since then I have been living in Thessaloniki northern Greece working and trying to be involved in the refugee crisis.
So , I am 37, Arab Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, I have a master degree on social work (MSW) and i am a professional group therapy trainer. I was Born and raised in the Bedouin community , it’s considered a very oppressive society for women, a little after finishing my high school, I started my academic studies and a long with that I became a locally social change activist, for women and human rights, and for the Palestinian Arab Minority rights in Israel and the end of the occupation.
I never thought it could be possible for me to travel alone and live far from my family, and making this change on my life at the age of 34, by coming to work and volunteer with refugees in Greece also was a dream. At the beginning and all along the way this experience has been very challenging due to the nature of the humanitarian work but also the social pressure i had as a women doing what i was doing.But, serving humanity was on the top of my priorities and the natural thing to do as human. My journey started on 2015, and ever since I felt so privileged to be in a position of aiding even if its only a person per day, it is a gift !! Although, it can be sad and frustrating because at the end of the day you feel that you cannot help everybody, and you need to choose where to put focus and resources, it hasn’t stopped me from waking up every day and thinking what I can possibly do to achieve a positive touch in more peoples life’s and create better places for all us with less suffering.
And here it comes, this project , I finished my last official work on the end of July 2018, and now with my friends I am trying to establish and promote this project.
On this project , my role will be as a mediator bringing people together and organising this project, and at last passing it on to local hands, and help them later running it and make it as sustainable business.
Help this project come to life and change one person life every day.
2.Giannis Panousakis :
I am 46, I am living in Thessaloniki with my partner and our 5-year-old daughter. I moved to Thessaloniki in 2010 in order to make a restart in my life and find a new meaning, when in Greece at the same time the economical crisis started. It was very Challenging for me to find a new job, since then, but i wanted to have a meaning in my life. So being unemployed it open for me new paths and adventures I learned that I like offering my help to the community and to people.
I started helping children with disabilities and volunteering in different social organizations. at the begging of the refugee crisis as many of Greek people I worked in refugee hospitality centres for adults and minors both as a volunteer and an employee. My role was that of a caregiver and an escort. In addition to this, I have been working for the Greek Organization Against Drugs ( Ο.Κ.Α.Ν.Α ) as an advisor for the drug rehabilitation of minor offenders. I occupied myself in the Street Work Unit and the Juvenile Court in collaboration with the Special Service of Minor Custody, a project very challenging but interesting.
All of this time, I learned more about myself and my goal to find a meaning in my life and a different way of being happy! Having still the difficulty in finding a stable job, I find myself ready to offer my support to people who face the same difficulties as me in fulfilling their needs.
i hope the project we are planning will give me the privilege to support refugees in the integration process to Greek society and support the community of Thessaloniki.
As I am a person who found closed doors a lot of times in my life, I don’t want to give up and I ask you to help me and my team to open the door for people, refugees and Greeks in Thessaloniki!
3.Salam Mohammad I am 22 years old, Mohammad Hamo, I am 23 years old we are childhood friends, we are Kurdish from Aleppo Syria, We are living in the refugee camp of Nea-Kavala in northern Greece. Before the war our dream was to become actors.
The war in Syria stared when I was 15 and my friend Mohamad was 16, so we left school and since then, as our dream required studying we started to see it our dream fade.
After a year living in Afrin under the war we decided to flee to Turkey. In Turkey we tried to have stable live , we worked more than 12 hour every day in a textile factory, but to live without legal paper and human basic rights was the reason for us to move to Europe.
In 2017 we came to Greece by the sea to Chios Island and after few months in the Island the Greece authorities transfer us to northern Greece. In 2018 we received our residence permit although we thought our life will be more easy and smooth we face obstacles every day.
Since we came to Greece we lived only in camps, our daily routine was empty and long without having motivation or purpose. and this was very difficult to adjust because we are very active personalty.
Near our camp’s there is a small village called Polykastro, where there is the “Open Culture Centre” who support the refugee community that lives in the camp. They invited us to volunteer in the centre.
Finally! This was for us a motive to continue evolving in our lives, gain new skills, help others from the community and to volunteer in the kindergarten me and my friend Mohammad. My mood eventually started to change, its been a year and I’m still volunteering and i feel no emptyness anymore. During my journey i succeeded to learn ,Turkish, English and little Spanish.
Mohammad and I want to join in this project because, its a step forward in integrating and working in a stable job. I hope you help us to make this dream come true so we can help others and help our families back in Syria as well.