The reality of a refugee camp is one of suspended time and inactivity. This is worsened by the intolerant context in which it is often inserted. Kinisi project, based in Corinth, aims to tackle these problems with a unique solution: we want to create a Community Center, a space where everyone participates and nobody is left behind. Our goal is to involve refugees and Corinthians together by eliminating prejudices and non-acceptance and by promoting, solidarity and cultural exchange.
Corinth, south-central Greece.
The city centre of Corinth (30.176 inhabitants) hosts a refugee camp in precarious conditions (ca. 900 refugees, mostly Afghans, Sirians, Kurdi and Sub Saharan Africans). Many refugees sleep in confined spaces and the camp does not have gathering areas. As a result, refugees have complained about the lack of entertainment and educational services.
Corinth is a city where racism and xenophobia are present in the local community. Moreover, the Municipality does not have the means to upkeep public areas.
Since it is becoming a main transit area, Corinth needs a space where intercultural dialogue and solidarity are facilitated and refugees and citizens can meet, create a contact point and cooperate for the improvement of the city.
Our project aims to foster solidarity by considering the beneficiaries not only as recipients but also as builders of the project. We want to create a physical space for dialogue and exchange, namely a Community Center, where both the citizens of Corinth and the guests of the camp are involved in a mutual collaboration.
With the creation of a shared Community Center (and its activities) where all parties will participate in its development, we aim to strengthen the autonomy of refugees and change the perspective of local people.
The active engagement of local citizens towards local problems and in the delivering of local services (volunteering) will contribute to strengthen active citizenship and citizens’ participation in the research of solutions to local problems.
The project will be addressed to groups of all ages, with activities tailored to the needs and interests of each of them.
In regards to refugees, particular attention will be dedicated to children, adolescents and women due also to their significant number in the camp. To respect the culture of the beneficiaries, there will be, if requested, a division by gender.
Furthermore, to foster a local engagement, organizations and communities of Corinth will be involved in the fulfilment of the project.
As all our projects are volunteer-based, volunteers from EU and non-EU countries (through Erasmus and University agreements) will participate directly with an on-field involvement and by sharing their experience back home to raise participation and awareness about the project's main aims.
The project will be structured in two phases.
1)Design- we will:
-Activate partnership with the institutional subjects.
-Map the perception of various areas of the city (both for refugees and citizens) e.g. perception of danger. Identify through questionnaires and focus groups the needs of both target groups.
2)Operation- we will create a Community Center that will be accessed by refugees and Corinthians. Here, we will structure language lessons and recreational activities for youths and adults, create discussion groups about the problems of the city and create a space where the refugees will gather.
Monitoring will be conducted throughout the whole project period. At the end of the project we will administer a questionnaire to identify any changes that the project has facilitated.
The main goal of this project is to build a positive cohabitation between refugees and Corinthians. Thus, we expect to:
(1) consolidate important activities that are now lacking in the everyday life of the camp and that are essential for the maintenance, autonomy and dignity of refugees (through activities carried out at the Community Center).
(2) create cohesion, participation and solidarity in the city. The aim is to make refugees part of the life of the city so that the camp does not remain an entity separated from the rest of the urban context. This way, we will try to change the perception of dangerous spaces in the city, often linked -from the citizens’ perspective- to the presence of the camp and -from the refugees’ perspective- to the presence of far-right groups.
We believe in the importance of mutual collaboration between all parts of the society, in order not to leave anyone behind. By promoting an active citizenship, we want to foster resilience and to offer a different point of view on issues regarding migrants and refugees: in this historic period it is vital to give new perspectives on immigration dynamics in order to fight prejudice, violence and racism in host countries. Our goal is to encourage solidarity among people with different backgrounds and to support an environment where everyone is respected, evaluated and can give their contribution; this way, migrants and refugees will become active resources in the place where they live and will also have the chance to continue their life plan with dignity and autonomy.
In the last years the migration phenomenon has challenged European countries. The importance of an inclusive approach that gives tools and resources both to migrants and local communities is the basis to build an equal society sustained by values of solidarity and cooperation. Our past projects were focused on social inclusion and institutional involvement in different contexts, always working with people on the move. Refugee camps are not the final destination of migrants: nevertheless, we believe it is necessary to create the foundations for a respectful cohabitation for their future. We want to take this challenge to pursue practices that will benefit subjects often marginalized in order to recognize their dignity and to create an equal environment where everyone can enjoy their rights.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Equipment € 6.850,00
Human Resources € 9.400,00
Running costs € 4.400,00
Community Center € 32.300,00
Preliminary costs € 1.320,00
Communication, visibility, information € 4.000,00
Other operational costs € 800,00
We would like to know strengths and weaknesses from your point of view to emphasize the positive parts and improve the negative ones. We would like to have a feedback on our country registration situation.