Our hostel, run by a Social cooperative, belongs to a category of social innovation spaces that tries to promote the social inclusion of refugee, migrant and other minority groups as well as social and green economy.
For many years the building in which we run the project, was used as a public clinic. During the Greek economic crisis, in February 2013, the clinic was shut down and merged with a bigger hospital. We, the social cooperative began renting the building in August 2016 and transformed it into a community centre for refugees. We refurbished and turned it into an innovative building for the accommodation, especially of those who need long term care and protection, the most vulnerable groups of refugees. In February 2018 our funding (mostly from UN high Commission of Refugees, the City of Athens and the EU) had been interrupted as the granting agencies considered there wasn’t any more need for such a “transition” centre. They preferred instead to find accommodation for refugees in apartments, as permanent accommodation solutions. We decided then to transform the building into an “innovative hostel” that continues partially to offer some services to immigrants ( learning Greek and English, health services, kindergarten etc) by trying to cover the expenses by applying affordable prices for sustainable tourism. We consider the hostel to be a social experiment. Together tourists, visitors, volunteers, staff and refugees meet, discuss, cook, paint, exchange their language, make artistic exhibitions and socialise.
We developed a series of programs, such as language and art classes that seek to promote the development of skills, the civic engagement and empowered of refugees. adults and children. In close collaboration with institutes, schools and other organisations, our projects endeavour refugees’ social inclusion, news distribution, and climate protection.
a) Volunteers can spend their days discovering the city of Athens alone or through organised tours and can enjoy sightseeing or spent some restful time at the cafes and taverns, which are in close proximity at the surrounding area of Exarchia.
b) Incorporate sustainable tourism with social innovation and community building between vulnerable groups, guests, locals and volunteers.
c) Invest their time productively while helping others
The hostel receives volunteers -
(minimum 3 months) that are interested in:
a) supporting our project while it organise seminars and workshops on climate and energy issues
b) social entrepreneurship
c) social and green innovation, circular economy
d) cultural exhibitions
e) language teaching
f) drawing, yoga, photography lessons
g) more ideas are always welcomed
Thus, we need the help of volunteers-
(minimum 1 month) for cleaning, tiding and daily operation of the hostel as assistance in the hostel, in exchange we offer free accommodation and breakfast in our hostel's facilities.
The Hostel is ready and in full operational status. It is newly painted, equipment are new (beds, mattresses, sheets, towels, etc.), and it possesses all mandatory operational licenses, such as building permit, architectural study and legal terms like Fire Safety Certificate, on each floor special fire protection doors, certification of proper operation of the sewage system, administrative decisions approving environmental terms, permit to operate healthcare stores in hotels, a large dining room, which is used for breakfast and meals, a separate bar-café area.
All rooms are comfortable, clean and attractive; a lot has been artistically designed. Volunteers sleep at a four-bed mixed dorm room on the 1st floor.
On the 1st and 2nd floor there are the offices as well as rooms for all kind of social activities, that can host meetings, seminars and workshops and cultural exhibitions. On the 2d floor there is a meeting room fully equipped which can be used by the groups that stay in the Hostel. The capacity of the meeting room is app. 80 people. On the 3rd floor there is a larger meeting room with capacity app. of 120 people.
On the ground floor there is the reception, a bar, the breakfast room, a kitchen fully equipped for the guests and a professional kitchen fully equipped for the preparation of breakfast and service of meals.
On the basement there are the laundry facilities for guests (4 washing machines and driers) and storage rooms.
The hostel highlights the positive impact that cooperatives and social enterprises have on communities, revitalising neighbourhoods, making bridges between communities, social groups, newcomers and local people. The project has a strong commitment to building a better world through social and green innovation and the cooperative business model. The exchange of views, experiences, ideas, will promote seriously our capacity building in order to influence the direction of our society to become more sustainable and ecologically and socially fair.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week