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„Emerging communties“ in Athens

From 28th to 31st of March 2022 we held our first joint-staff-meeting in Athens in the frame of our project „Emerging communities“

After very successfull kick-off in October 2021 in Berlin, „Emerging communties“ continued with our study visit (joint staff meeting and training) in Athens in March 2022! Study visit was hosted by our dear friends from the association „Communitism“.

Project „Emerging Communities: Empowerment for social engagement, self-organization and development of local solutions“ gathers 8 partners from 6 European countries: INWOLE (Potsdam, Germany), Im Wandel (Berlin, Germany), Ethos NGO (Odensee, Denmark), Communitism (Athens, Greece), GKP (Novi Sad, Serbia), Italia che Cambia (Torino, Italy), Open cultural center (Barcelona, Spain) and Ethos – Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki, Greece).

At the core of our project is empowerment for social engagement and citizens participation in relation to the development of sustainable communities, neighborhood initiatives and local spaces and networks. This includes the ability to take active roles in the political, social and urban-development processes relevant for the local community, develop cooperative models of social welfare and housing and solidary economy designs that generate income and financial sustainability, as well as to find solutions relevant in the sense of ecological sustainability.

Within 4 days of programme in Athens, we had an opportunity to be introduced with working model and methodology of Communitism, communication within the association, as well as its decision-making procedures and development plans. Especially appreciated were many opportunities to discuss everything in detail with other participants and members of Communitism, compare diverse experiences and good practices, and possibilities for further development of our concepts and their impact on other stakeholders, both in civil society and beyond. Networking (both in local and international context) as a relevant frame for transfer of knowledge, skills and good practices, and possibilities for its development, were also one of the topics of our meeting in Athens.

One of the highlights of our study visit was a walking tour in the surrounding neighbourhood of Metaxourghio with focus on urban, social, economical and health problems and issues. Direct witnessing of urban neglect, unemployment, poverty and a tragic extent of drug abuse, gave us both excellent insight into challenges this neighbourhood is facing and prepared us for inputs and discussions on development of local expertise and solutions for various problems. Later followed another walking tour through city center of Athens, which gave us better insight into urban, economical and social developments in the city, with whole variety of controversial issues, such as mass tourism, gentrification and accompanying social changes.

Our study visit in Athens was very educational, empowering and most of all – inspiring! And we´re really thankfull to our dear hosts for this great opportunity!

But this is just a beginning! Next time we meet middle of May in Mantova, Italy!

Project „Emerging communities“ is funded through Erasmus+ Program for adult education of European Union.


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