Health, Social inclusion

"Public Health Narratives"

"Fostering diversity and promoting possitive change through intercultural awareness raised by inter-community story-telling"


Who is behind this?

Elli Xenou



Who is joining forces?

"International Medicine - Health Crisis Management"

MdM-Greece also plans to collaborate with the Department of Communication and Mass Media of the Athens Kapodistrian University regarding the filming of the FGDs.


Idea pitch

Bringing together diverse people originating from host (Greek) and hosted (refugee and migrants) communities to discuss and exchange views, perceptions and knowledge on (public) health issues has a potential to promote peaceful coexistance between the 2 communities; to expand the limits of knowledge and understanding on health and hygiene practises that are crucial for both communities' wellbeing; to initiate and sutain an intercultural dialogue on public health for all.

Where will your project idea take place?

Athens - Greece (with participants originating also from other areas)

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Athens, is the place with the largest number of refugees and migrants in the country. It is also a place where the manifestations of the socioeconomic crisis are painfully evident. The largest refugee camps are situated around the city. The COVID-19 pandemic found Athens unshielded. The initial response was based on lockdowns and movements’ restrictions. As time goes by however, as stranded refugees remain in Greece and as the virus is here to stay, new approaches that will foster better public health preparedness and understanding between host and hosted communities are necessary

Who are you doing it for?

The project foresees the implementation of FGDs between refugees (hosted) and Greeks (hosts); a vivid story telling procedure where different narratives will develop around of issues regarding health and hygiene. These discussions are expected to act as a “melting pot” where socially different ideas and perceptions will be exchanged and put forward. A dialogue is an open process, benefiting all parts included in it. It is thus expected that the project will benefit the refugees and migrants that will participate in the discussions; the Greek students, the new medical scientists and tomorrow’s professionals that will also participate; the wider Greek and refugee communities through the filming and wider dissemination of the “narratives”.

How do you plan to get there?

The project's base is the implementation and filming of different narratives i.e., of stories around health and hygiene told by refugees, as representative of their own cultures and by Greek students as representatives of the host country. The traditional function and power of the “story” i.e., the “myth” is employed and used as means to cultivate a culture of tolerance and respect.
MdM will identify 20 people with refugee/migrant background and some association/interest/former experience in public health (e.g., former health workers, midwifes etc.) among the refugee population living around Athens. They will be coached by MdM staff in view of preparing a narrative i.e., a short, verbal presentation, a story associated with a health and/or a hygiene topic/experience.
Another 20 students of the Health Crisis dpt. will be engaged in the project. They will be requested and coached for the same i.e., for producing a short narrative on a health/hygiene topic.
A “matching exercise” will take place i.e., the 40 stories produced will be coupled: thus, peer narratives will be created (i.e., a session with 2 stories, one narrated by a refugee and one narrated by a Greek) either on the basis of the stories’ similarities or differences.
The coupled narratives will be recorded on film. The material will be widely disseminated while 4 small events will be organized for the purpose.

What are the expected results?

The project uses the traditional method of story telling as a means to educate and raise awareness among representatives of both communities thus increasing mutual understanding and tolerance.
The process of coaching and preparing the narratives empowers participants. As they exchange experiences and learning more on each other, the 2 communities are coming closer. The utilization of the peer methodology further informs new health professionals on the (cultural) views and perceptions of a diverse group of people thus increasing their cultural knowledge and understanding in the long run
The different narratives projected constitute the basis of a renewed and enhanced, inter-community dialogue on public health issues at the most relevant time.

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

The idea engages members of both communities in a public exchange. The dissemination of the project’s results i.e., the filming and projection of the different stories/narratives and the discussions to be organized around them target the heart of social and political engagement towards more equitable, fair and inclusive health systems. The inter-community dialogue to be fostered, instigated and sustained through the proposed project serves the ultimate objective of amplifying our beneficiaries voices, supporting them to become active citizens

Why is this idea important to you?

Elli Xenou is a social anthropologist and a senior NGO officer with 18 years of experience in the fields of design, coordination and management of multisectoral humanitarian and development programmes (health, education, distribution of humanitarian items/NFIs, accommodation, protection, advocacy and human rights). She has ample experience in leading and coaching staff groups and associates.
Anastasios Yfantis is the MdM-Greece Director of Operations. A social worker with extensive field exeprience, expertional knowledge of case management and ecxcelent training and coaching skills
Evika Karamagioli is a public health professional that has designed, oversaw and managed the implemetation of numerous research and academic projects.

€ 30000,-

Total budget

€ 20000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Personnel costs: 15,000
Film production: 10,000
Dissemination (events, catering): 4,000
Operational costs (trasportation, stationary): 1,000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Let us know what you think. Join us in further promoting a frutiful public health narrative around fair and equitable health systems for all


Elli Xenou


Idea created on April 26, 2021

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