(Social) Entrepreneurship, Social inclusion

Amalab

Creative Integration Laboratory

Creators

Who is behind this?

Eleftheria Iatraki

Thalassa of Solidarity

http://www.thalassa-solidarity.org

Greece

Idea

Idea pitch

At our“Amalab”, lab for the creative integration, we offer, among other, free sewing courses for refugee and local women as an entry point to co-existence where women from different countries, cultures and languages meet, interact, learn, create. Through the courses participants express their creativeness and find ways to share their daily anxieties and needs through communication links with the rest of the society, solidarity groups and other actors through open days and awareness events.

Where will your project idea take place?

Heraklion, island of Crete, Greece

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

InHeraklion, the capital city of Crete island, a large number of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and vulnerable locals are excluded from the society and the labor market due to either status, origin or lack of required skills. Women are the most vulnerable of all. Few actors exist and integration and social projects fail to give positive results as they lack the quality links with the local society, creating social problems and contributing to xenophobic reactions. The adverse economic effects of COVID-19 and the end of many of integration projects increased the vulnerability of all target groups. Even though many asylum seekers and refugees do not consider Greece as their final destination, having dreams of migrating to other European countries, people still feel isolated and abandoned

Who are you doing it for?

In Heraklion, Crete, a large number of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and vulnerable locals are excluded from the society and the labor market due to status, origin or lack of required skills while women are the most vulnerable of all. Few actors exist and integration and social projects fail to give positive results as they lack the quality links with the local society which creates social problems and contributes to xenophobic reactions. The adverse economic effects of COVID-19 and the end of integration projects increased the vulnerability of our target groups. Asylum seekers and refugees feel isolated, hopeless and abandoned which creates many psycho-social issues and contributes to xenophobic reactions by elements of the local society.

How do you plan to get there?

We plan to refresh and continue to operate the Amalab, the Creative Integration Laboratory, where migrants and locals are interacting principally with sewing lessons and other handicrafts, English and IT literacy courses aiming to their social inclusion, empowerment and professional training. Taking all hygienic measures about COVID-19, we will enhance the educational hours of our workshop as well as the open hours for everyone who is interested in meeting our purposes and to interact with our trainees. We will organize interactive open activities that will present to our city the results and the creativity perspective of our workshop as well as they will start the open dialogue with our community, their present interaction with the rest of the society, their needs and proposals to help them against social exclusion.

What are the expected results?

Our success is to create this interactive community and demonstrate vividly that social inclusion can happen, it only take a step forward! We will share our experiences showing that participants learned useful skills, were informed, opened their minds and interacted as equals between themselves and the environment around them.

By being present in the society, we would like also to be known as an element of change against xenophobia, racism, social exclusion, homelessness and unemployment. We hope our vision of an open society without social exclusion and intolerance will be embraced and our ideas and our workshops possibilities will help a number of excluded members of this society to find acceptance, visibility, skills and awareness.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our idea is to stimulate a common ground where migrant and locals will have the opportunity to meet and engage in an environment that would get to know each other's culture and that would be a first step to lift a lot of stereotypes and prejudices and enable access to information.

Our principles of action are based on the participatory process, the joint planning of activities and the interaction inside the group and towards the society. We therefore learn by participating and we set an example of openness to the society around us.

Why is this idea important to you?

We are active citizens of the society and we believe that only through action, solidarity and mutual aid our societies will be and remain open, welcoming, receptive, fair, democratic, just, accessible, quantitative, full of colours and light. As a team we have multiple professional , volunteer and activist experiences in other initiatives and projects, locally and internationally with other civil organisations. Hate, xenophobia, intolerance and exclusion have no part in our life, and in the life of our neighbours, our families, our cities. We also believe that everyone has its own voice and need just an opportunity to be present in a society and to reclaim independence, dignity, equality, visibility and future possibilities.

€ 27800,-

Total budget

€ 27800,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Sewing Equipment and Consumable 3000
Laboratory Rent 3800
Trainees Support 2000
Personnel Costs 16500
Operations and Running Costs 2500

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We are really welcoming everyone in the Civic Europe network to interact with us, exchange ideas and share experiences and recommendations! And any questions would be really appreciated.

Team

Thalassa of Solidarity

Idea created on April 25, 2021
Last edit on April 25, 2021

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