Day 12
One hour of handicraft workshop usage for a refugee in Greece

Habibi.Works – A workshop for products and prospects

Access to education and self-determination for refugees in Greece

Mohammad, who is from Syria, rings the brass bell and for one moment all activities cease at Habibi.Works – lunch is served! In the woodworking shop where Leo from Germany is currently instructing Greeks from a nearby village and refuges in cabinetry, the saws fall silent. In the study area, Dina from America quickly answers the last questions of her English class, and in the media lab next door, Maria from Greece and Khaled from Syria frantically hit the start button on the 3D printer. Books and humming laptops are closed, the laser cutter is switched off and the angle grinder in the metal workshop where they are busy repairing a bicycle goes quiet. The buzzing of the sewing machines in the textiles workshop subsides and Habibi.Works’ space is suddenly filled with the smell of tasty food, a cacophony of voices and words from all over the world, with laughter and Arabic music.

Necessity

 

Education and self-determination for refugees in northern Greece.

Activity

 

With their FabLab, a small NGO offers access to a variety of workshops and educational services to Greeks and refugees.

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Number of refugees and Greeks that can participate in workshops.

Result

After around 3 years

Depending on how many people are at the refugee camp, up to 400 refugees that would otherwise have no access to education are offered innovative and exiting learning opportunities.

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Improved prospects for education, career advancement and integration for refugees in European societies.

Background

The closing of the European borders has resulted in people being stuck in Greece, left to their own devices and in a challenging situation (Pro Asyl 2017). Eprius is the economically most fragile area in Greece. As is the case in other parts of the country (UNHCR 2017), people here live either in camps or communal shelters – many have been for more than a year. Refugee camps lack a sense of self-determination. In their day-to-day lives, people usually cannot decide when they want to eat and where and next to whom they live. Also, they cannot make live-changing decisions such as what country they want to live in or where to raise their children. As a refugee, opportunities for education and vocational training are very rare or simply non-existent. People who at home had jobs, went to university, have gathered valuable experience in their daily lives or went to school, are now forced to put their education and professional lives on hold for the unforeseeable future. In the northern Greek region of Epirus, the effects of the economic crisis on the local population has been most severe. They also face challenges every day. The Government does little to support the integration of refugees into Greek society. As a result, there are few opportunities for encountering one another and jointly working on innovative solutions.

The good deed

At Habibi.Works people can take action, expand their skill sets, make their own decisions, implement innovative solutions and make the most of their potential. On 700 square metres of our FabLab (open workshop), we provide the platforms, materials, tools, machines and know-how to allow refugees and Greeks alike to implement their projects and follow their interests. With the informal educational services we provide, we look at our target groups’ needs and encourage them to acquire new skills as well as extend and share their knowledge.

About Greece

Athens

Capital

10 746 700

Number of inhabitants

17 901

Gross domestic product per capita per year

29

Human Development Index

Because of its geographic location, Greece was frequently the first country in Europe that refugees got to in 2015 and 2016.