Welcome Island

Welcome to Europe: Flats in Athens
Two small ‘Islands of Welcome’

For most refugees, Greece is still the gateway to Europe. It’s a transit location, a place of hope for a better life and at the same time the place where the border regime has relocated – a regime that ignores human rights and uses degrading practices of imprisonment and poverty for its selection process. Only the fittest are allowed to arrive.

For over two years, the “Infomobile” has been touring Greece, as a corridor between the different places where refugees pass through on their way to various European countries. Again and again, we met people who are in need of a place where they can have a rest from the duress of their journey.

The accommodation situation for refugees in Greece is a disaster. The few places that exist are reserved for people who apply for asylum, and are not even sufficient for this group of migrants. Therefore we want to rent one, later two apartments in Athens in which people can stay for a short while.

The ‘Infomobile’ maintains contact with refugees in various places in Greece and is constantly looking for accommodation for especially vulnerable cases, persons that are in need of help but who also have shown solidarity to others.

The web guide Welcome To Europe Info provides connections to European destinations and enables establishing and maintaining contacts.

Who uses the flat?

Refugees who desperately need temporary accommodation but can’t get one of the rare official places in reception centres.
People who are severely traumatised from flight and persecution and need to be stabilised.
Refugees waiting to be reunited with relatives in other European countries. A process which takes time and during which there is no accommodation provided.
Persons who show solidarity with others despite their own difficulties.
The long term plan is to have two or more flats to be able to accommodate men and women at the same time.
We want to support individuals who are not able to find other solutions for themselves in order to help them self-empower, get independent and become a multiplicator of solidarity.

Who looks after the flat

The flats are part of a network:
People who have a background of migration themselves and are experienced in organising (i.e. for the hunger strike of the 300) will look after the flats.

Monthly cost of each flat

250 Euros rent and operating expenses
50 Euros repairs and purchases
100 Euros reimbursement for care takers and custodians

40 x 10 Euros per month
40 partners pay 10 Euros per month (we will be able to provide tax receipts). In return, you become part of a network which says
‘welcome’. Once a year, you will receive a report, not only about the flats but also about the activities of the ‘Infomobile’ and and Welcome To Europe in Greece.

How does it work?

You set up an automatic payment of 10 Euros per month (or more, if you wish) to the following account:
[Account details]

Account Name: Wohnschiffprojekt Altona e.V.
Account Number: 1257122737
Reference: Willkommensinsel

Bank Name: Hamburger Sparkasse
German Bank Code: 200 505 50

For international transfers:
IBAN: DE06 2005 0550 1257 1227 37

In order for us to keep track of the payments, and for you to get a receipt and receive the annual report, please send an email to the following address

Many of these islands will be requried all over Europe in order to counter the process of selection and disenfranchisement with solidarity and hospitality. The Athens flats are only the beginning of a bigger journey.

The infomobile

... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

Get in touch

email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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