Already in October,we held vivid discussions regarding our forthcoming winter campaigns and especially the festive season of Christmas and New Year. We obviously wished to avoid campaigns that would be seasonal; therefore we asked our staff and volunteers to propose their own ideas from their perspective.
After several days of brain storming sessions and deliberations,we decided to opt for a survival kit available throughout the winter,targeting people who live in the streets or are in a “street situation” so that we could contribute to improving somehow their dire everyday living conditions. The kit contained: a sleeping bag, a woolly hat, gloves, socks, a raincoat (poncho) and wipes for personal hygiene.
During the Christmas season we embarked on 3 different activations:
1. From 8th to 20th December we were based out of “SynAthina”, offering daily hot breakfast from 10:00 to 12:00 am, whilst from 5:00 to 8:00 pm we provided counselling and work advisory, and other support (e.g. clothing, medications, information on existing structures and organizations).
2. The same initiative was repeated between 6thand 20thJanuary 2014.
3. Courtesy of TUI Hellas, we had the opportunity to use a mini van form 21st December to the 15th January. Our Social Street Work teams were able to visit 13 districts across the greater area of Athens and complete some significant work in exploring the needs of the residents in these suburbs, study the population characteristics and capture other valuable data, catalytic for the understanding of their requirements.
The response we received in all actions was touching and overwhelming. During our presence at “SynAthina”, more than 60 full breakfast meals were served daily, fully supported by food donated by the bakery “Kefala” at Neos Kosmos; we came to know and talk to more than 1500 people who were in need of some kind of human support and presence.
During our Social Work in Perama, Keratsini, Drapetsona, Agio Ioanni Rendi, Maniatika in Piraeus, Peristeri, Ilion, Kato Patissia, Galatsi, Kipseli, Vironas, Kessariani andMetaksourgio and after 200 hours of Community Service on the road, we have already handed out 45 survival kit… Our efforts are on-going till the end of February, before we embark on the next campaign…
Founding Member of Emfasis – Street Worker