WELCOMMON HOSTEL, an innovative proposal for sustainable tourism
We are part of the LE MAT Network: special place, people, values
The WELCOMMON Hostel is a hostel in the center of Athens, an innovative proposal for sustainable tourism, innovation, art, social and job integration based on the idea of “community”, initiated by the social cooperative ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL.
The WELCOMMON Hostel is a seven-floor facility for people of all ages. We would like to welcome you during your visit to Athens. We can also help you plan your stay in the city. WELCOMMON is not just a hostel, it is also part of a social experiment, a center for innovation and art, as well as social and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees.
We can organize your study trip in the city and provide details about interesting social events and groups; we can also supply you with all necessary information onother Greek cities, an island or a mountainside; we can connect you with cycling groups, or let you know the secrets of culinary delights, we can host your seminar orworkshop; we can also host a painting exhibition or a cultural event.
Be sure to CONTACT US before arriving in Athens, let us know about your needs and your interests!
The Hostel, Welcome in Common
You have a variety of options for accommodation in WELCOMMON; you may like to share an eight-bed dormitory with your friends or other travelers; or you may prefer to stay in a five-bed room, afour-bed room, a three-bed room, a twin or double bed room or a single; you may need a cheap room or you may be willing to pay a little more for some extra perks; or you may like to go for aroom with a balcony. Regardless of what you select, all rooms are comfortable, clean andattractive; a lot has been artistically designed with reused items, always with your comfort in mind.
How is WELCOMMON Hostel different?
WELCOMMON Hostel means welcome in common – together. It is not only an opportunity to stay in a good place in Athens, the Greek capital; it is also a way to:
– enjoy your stay in the city,
– discover its social, cultural and environmental side,
– exchange experiences and ideas,
– learn and “share”; you can participate in activities we organize (art exhibits, non-formal education, music events, visits to cultural sites and activities, etc…) or you can organize something yourself (e.g. a concert, painting classes or even give a speech!).
Training for social and employment issues
Although the hostel is no longer a refugee hosting center and has been refurbished into a modern facility, two floors of the WELCOMMON Hostel are used as an open center for social empowerment and inclusion. The aim is to create new employment opportunities for everyone in areas such as upcycling, ethnic cuisines, culture, green / cyclic economy, energy efficiency and others. Our societies must not accept generations being lost, we must not leave young persons, Greeks, migrants, refugees behind.
We offer classes (e.g. for language, painting, puppet show, music etc) with the support of volunteers to refugees, migrants, local people, tourists; we work for the empowerment and training of our guests and design interactive workshops for the professional training and promotion of the abilities and qualifications of refugees, especially the young persons, along with Greek nationals, in order to be able to find their way in our societies for the benefit of our societies.
As a visitor of Athens you could participate in an event or even present a topic to other guests or visitors in our WELCOMMON Hostel, in our meeting corners, in our “classrooms”, or during drinking a juice, a coffee or a herbal tea in our café or in our socializing bar and restaurant “In Common”. It is real!
Discover the other side of the city
Your stay in the WELCOMMON Hostel is also a chance for you to discover what is going on in the city. You could join initiatives working for the transformation of the city and its environmental protection, you could contact human rights groups or initiatives working with the unemployed, young people or for the inclusion of the refugees. There is an interesting, hidden side of the city, a real live and fresh city within the city; our community is ready to host you and work with you.
You help us boost the social impact of our project
When you choose to stay with us you contribute to the employment of a fantastic group of people, consisting of a number of long-term unemployed Greeks, migrants and refugees who have settled in Greece.
The first step is crucial: we want to be financially and socially sustainable, we try to improve our services, to make our hostel more convenient, friendly and live, more artistic and social. But the next step is also very important to us; we are committed to investing any profits in social and environmental improvements, in the transition to an energy-efficient and green economy, in creating a new center for the most vulnerable; we also aim to contribute to reducing the energy poverty of households, offering them know-how and support so that they can exit a difficult situation through social empowerment and energy efficiency.
You can feel the history of WELCOMMON
The WELCOMMON Hostel has a quite uncommon, interesting history. For many years the building 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 Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal –working for the promotion of the social and green innovation and economy– began renting the building in August 2016. We refurbished it in order to transform it into an innovative center – WELCOMMON – for the hosting and social inclusion of the most vulnerable refugees. The project was not simply meant to be for the refugees but with the refugees –working with them for their benefit, as well as that of the neighborhood and the local community. It became one of the most innovative and creative centers for hosting, empowering and socially including refugees, based on the idea of “empowerment through the community”. It was supported by the Development Agency of the Municipality of Athens and the UNHCR. But these agencies decided that refugees should be hosted only in apartments, there is no need for transition structures. Read about this HERE. The center closed in March 2018.
We decided to start refurbishing the seven-floor facility located in the centre of Athens, and to transform it into a HOSTEL, but not just any kind of hostel! Now we are running the WELCOMMON Hostel, a social hostel combining sustainable tourism with social and cultural activities and job integration for Greeks, migrants and refugees. We aim for Welcommon to be a social experiment, a centre of innovation and art, and for social and employment integration. And of course a hub where travellers can get insider’ information to organize their trip in the city, discover interesting social events and groups, but also information on other Greek cities, Islands or villages.
Learn about our history, contribute to the change
You can learn about our model, a community model, for the protection but also the inclusion of refugees, migrants and Greeks. It is a model we could adjust for vulnerable social groups, too. Although the center for refugees closed, you can experience some of ournew activities, participating in workshops, language and painting, photo exhibitions, video or info-material. But you can also meet some of our previous guests, working now for the WELCOMMON Hostel, being part of our new community.
We are part of the social change we want to see happen
Athens is a city in crisis but at the same time one can see a real change if one decides to be part of the social and ecological change. We have decided to be part of this social change.
In the WELCOMMON Hostel we can introduce you to the world of Greece’s social economy and you can learn about its strengths and weaknesses. You can also contribute with your ideas and experience.
The WELCOMMON Hostel highlights the positive impact that cooperatives and social enterprises have on communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, making bridges between communities, social groups, newcomers and local people.
Anemos Ananeosis/Wind of Renewal has a strong commitment to building a better world through social and green innovation and the cooperative business model. We want to influence the direction of our society to become more sustainable and ecologically and socially fair.
You can contact us from HERE, and even book in advance your accommodation.