incommon-Social Hub in Evosmos

Social Hub in Evosmos Inclusion, Environment, Empowerment

Social Hub in Evosmos

Inclusion, Environment, Empowerment

The Social Hub in Evosmos was not only a particularly important part of the housing project but also a vital means for the inclusion and empowerment of the local community that welcomed this project.

The inclusion of the local population of the neighborhood not only encouraged the integration of the refugees but also offered significant support, training and skills and led to a much-needed financial boost for this area which was suffering from a lack of investment, unemployment problems and other long-term socio-economic issues.

Complete program | Implementation period 2017-2018

Supporting the integration

All too often, refugees are housed in areas where the host community is low-income and is itself struggling to meet basic needs. If newcomers are given housing, jobs, credit cards, and access to services that local residents (citizens and taxpayers) lack or feel are deprived by their government, then this creates tension that can lead to long-term problems. The many communities in Greece still suffering from the lingering effects of the economic crisis should not be required to host more people unless they receive the same level of support as the ‘newcomers’. For this reason the Social Hub was not only a place and a means of interaction of the local community with the residents of the housing project and facilitating the integration of the latter but it gave the residents of the area access to the same services and allowed them to acquire skills, share their ideas, and to be active members and co-moderators of the Hub.

In order for a social housing project aimed at people from other countries or other regions to function effectively, support must be offered not only to the residents of the project but also to the local population of the neighborhood.
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The facilities were managed and operated by the residents of the project in collaboration with the local community.

The community’s social space consisted of 3 large spaces and an underground storage space.

These spaces presented a flexibility in their possibilities of use and this allowed activities of all kinds giving a sense of common ownership. This specific event acted empowering for the residents in terms of organizing events such as children’s birthday parties or other creative activities.

The spaces were used for a wide range of educational courses, childcare, creative activities, community gatherings and various services.

The project’s social space community was made up of

  • A multi-purpose space and was usually used by the community as a cafe, for art classes as well as community meetings.
  • A second area exclusively for children.
  • A third space configured as a doctor’s office with two rooms, offering privacy to community members. All medical and dental examinations took place there as well as mother-child team meetings.
  • An underground storage area
incommon-The project’s social space community was made up of
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In the past, this space housed the Filoxenia Free Shop where residents could buy fresh fruit and vegetables as well as other edibles.

In their feedback our partners described that the access residents had to this shared space with the community gave them a sense of community and belonging.

Inside the Social Hub, in addition to the wide variety of courses, services and activities, there was also a ‘Social Cafe’.

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The Social Cafe: A series of recreational, environmental and cultural events that took place through participatory planning and peer-to-peer educational processes, led by experienced volunteers. The themes and categories of activities included a. environmental issues and ecological lifestyle b. artistic expression of individual and collective crises (immigration trauma and Greek economic crisis experience), c. the exchange of knowledge on matters of culture and d. human rights in a healthy planet.

Landscape: This organization organized and implemented daily actions to inform and raise awareness of the residents of Northern Greece regarding immigration issues due to economic, political and environmental factors