Since April 2016 we have been providing social services with dedication in order to ensure proper hygiene conditions for people in need. The main goal of our work is the social reintegration of individuals from vulnerable population groups. Through the operation of the mobile laundry at different but stable spots in Athens and Piraeus we are able to provide hygiene services to the homeless, so as to restore their dignity and self-esteem. Alongside, since January 2017 we have created part-time jobs for people from vulnerable social groups. By employing them for a specific time period and providing them with certain skills, such as work, counseling and guidance, we aim at their reintegration in both work and social life.
Our impact so far
Christos: Ithaca’s first employee
We met Christos at Athinas Street – our first operation spot – where he was a beneficiary of our services as well as a volunteer of other organizations that offered their services to the homeless people of the area. In the past, Christos had been working as a house painter but he remained unemployed for a long period of time. Thus, in order to give him the chance to start working again, we decided to offer him the first job position that was created in Ithaca. Aiming at providing a substantial and comprehensive support to Christos, we organized many hours of counselling and guidance that were realized by “Epicentre” (Epikentro) of ActionAid Hellas. After 15 months of genuine effort and willingness, Christos acquired all the necessary skills and managed to find a full-time job position. We are very happy that Christos was the first member of our team and also for being by his side supporting him along the way.
Petros’s progress at Ithaca
We met Petros through the program “Housing and Reintegration”, which aimed at supporting people from social vulnerable groups. Before becoming Ithaca’s employee, Petros had been working in a construction company in Nigeria, which was forced to shut down due to the crisis in the country. When he returned to Greece, Petros remained unemployed for a long period of time. For this reason, he assumed the position of Ithaca’s driver, which was the second job position created in the organization. Within a short period of time, Petros managed to regain his confidence and all the positive attributes he had in both personal and professional level – characteristics that had disappeared due to his long-term unemployment. Petros followed the same procedure as Christos: implementation of several sessions of counselling and guidance that we managed to offer him in collaboration with the organizations “Ikelos” and “Solidarity Now”. After completing 14 months in Ithaca, Petros found a new job position on a full-time basis. We are very happy because Petros’s remarkable progress in such a short period of time is a proof and a strong motivation for us to keep supporting those who need it the most.
Michalis talks about his experience as a former driver of Ithaca’s van
We met Michalis from the street paper “Shedia” and worked as Ithaca’s driver for 10 months. Through the support of our program, he moved on to a new job position that matches better to his professional profile. Michalis shared with us his experience as an employee at Ithaca with the following text. We thank him for everything! “Throughout the period that I was given the opportunity to work at Ithaca, I gained many benefits. Working at Ithaca is like the return to lost self-esteem and dignity. You feel unprecedented emotions, like solidarity and the pleasure to offer to the people that are in need. You feel that you contribute to the society and that you help to build a world without inequalities, without homeless and unemployed people or refugees that left their countries due to war. You feel proud of the smiles on the beneficiaries’ faces when they come and see that their clothes are clean. Ithaca helps not only its employees, but also its beneficiaries in order to make the next step towards the improvement of their life. A great thank you to Ithaca for letting me join their team…”