The project ”Well-being and integration visits in and around Thessaloniki” will be taking place all year round and it will be targeting the women participating at Irida’s activities. The idea behind it is to organise educational, cultural and mainly psycho-social support trips around the city, as part of the integration and therapeutic process, and also as a way of adding normality to the lives of women.
The project ”Well-being and integration visits in and around Thessaloniki” is an integration and psycho-social support project that will be running as part of the activities on offer at InterVolve’s Irida Women’s Centre in Thessaloniki, as a continuity of the well-being work being done already at the centre. The idea is to offer the members of Irida educational, cultural and mainly well-being day trips in and around Thessaloniki, aiming mainly at enhancing the community building process.
The reason why we believe this is important, is because we believe it is one of the most efficient ways to make people get out of their routines, and because this has been one of the most popular requests among our beneficiaries so far: ‘I want to do things like normal people do’. Every time we organise a visit, a day trip or an activity outside the centre, our members are really happy to see some of the things Thessaloniki has to offer; ‘oh, this is Thessaloniki’ women keep repeating all the time! ‘Could we do this more often, please?’, they continue!
The proposed trips will be organised with the women and their different needs and aspirations at the heart, and they will include visits to museums and exhibitions, outdoor spaces to encourage the women’s contact with nature, as well as visits to other community centres and psychosocial support facilities. Moreover, this project will possibly be able to facilitate the participation of women at public events running in the city, like for example the International Marathon, bringing women closer to each other, but also closer to the local community.
The trips will additionally include team building and bonding and empowerment activities organised by the Irida team, to make sure we have made the most out of each trip. Last but not least, trips will include the provision of a snack to each participant, as eating together has been proven to be beneficial for people in several ways, one out of which is the team bonding effect it has!
The project aims at:
- Supporting the building through the suggested trips of a community consisted of both locals and other nationals, on which women will be able to rely on in moments of crises.
- Addressing the challenge of dependency between NGOs and beneficiaries: Women’s fear of the unknown, along with budget struggles don’t allow them to explore the city and the opportunities it offers and develop their own support networks; thus they tend to rely mainly on NGOs and the services they offer.
- Giving women the opportunity to explore the city and its beauty, which to date they have only seen through doctor-, lawyer- and other asylum-related visits.
- Adding normality to women’s lives, by introducing them to the country and the educational, cultural, and psycho-social support options the city offers. Those kinds of trips are perceived by the women as more beneficial to them than the psychotherapy sessions many of them follow.
The project ”Well-being and integration visits in and around Thessaloniki” will be taking place in Thessaloniki and places around the city, as part of the educational, cultural and psychosocial support activities which are offered by the Irida Women’s Centre.
The proposed project will be targeting the community of the Irida Women’s Centre; at the moment, 362 women are actively participating at the activities on offer. As it has been mentioned before, our beneficiaries are mostly refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking women coming mainly from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Congo, but we are also trying to involve more locals to enhance the integration process. We would ideally like to reach approximately 70 of our beneficiaries every month, so approximately one trip for each beneficiary every five months.