Community Wireless Network in isolated Greek villages. Submitted by Vasilis Chryssos ( webpage

A lot of remote areas suffer from lack of Internet connectivity throughout Greece, especially in the mountainous and island regions. This is considered a key contributing factor to driving young people away to the cities, in search of a better life. It also keeps people away from the village since people today are dependent on Internet connectivity, be it for reasons of work, leisure or simply human contact. Elder people living in remote villages are more isolated today than ever before.

One of our primary goals since the beginning was to replicate our Community Network in other regions. We thus try to distill and document our work, in order to facilitate knowledge and experience sharing to other remote areas in Greece and abroad. We are looking to fund a three-day workshop in the region of Northern Tzoumerka and the provision of the necessary equipment to provide Internet connectivity. During the workshop we will build the first CN infrastructure with local inhabitants and share with them the relevant knowledge and the best practice to build a network community. Through this we wish to empower the local community with this experience and provide them with a starting point to connecting (with) more communities in neighbouring villages.

Women Refugee Route. Submitted by Mina Jaf

Women Refugee Route (WRR) carries out trainings on gender-sensitive approaches to work with refugees for NGO workers and volunteers who work in the field. Through the capacity building of volunteers, we want to share how to accommodate the needs of refugee women. In addition, we aim at combating the absence of information and support with regard to gender-specific necessities experienced by refugee women on the ground. By connecting volunteers from different NGO’s, as well as independent volunteers, we aim at enhancing the sharing of experiences and knowledge in order to strengthen solidarity, support and exchange.

Through volunteer trainings WRR aim to provide participants with a concrete set of tools to implement a gender perspective in their work. Furthermore, volunteers who follow the trainings will be able to work efficiently with refugee women and provide them with support, utilizing all available resources on the ground. Lastly, the volunteer trainings aim to enable participants to be aware of how to implement change within their organisations, with a view to realising better support structures for refugee women.

Going East — Reinventing co-operative housing from the bottom up. Submitted by Klemen Plostajner

Urbamonde webpage. One of the partners of this project

Our initiative enhances peer learning, builds local capacities, and strengthens existing projects through training workshops, coordination meetings, and webinars. We will organise a Workshop (January 26–29) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, gathering 5 pioneering co-operative housing initiatives, and financial experts (ethical, alternative and cooperative banks). The aim is to explore financing possibilities in each local context, introduce the logic of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis and review the development plans, financial performance and sustainability of the participating groups. The Workshop will enable the initiatives to optimise their development plans and to approach relevant actors in their local contexts.

The aim is to accelerate the development of co-operative housing in CEE. Through the implementation of pioneering projects, we seek to influence local and national housing and land policies; approach financial institutions and policy-makers to create the necessary legal, financial and institutional frameworks to mainstream co-operative housing. The access to permanently (non-speculative) affordable and adequate housing, the promotion of democratic, inclusive and collaborative city-making and the empowerment of civic initiatives capable of negotiating with public and private actors likewise are key to strengthening democracy, social cohesion and participation in CEE.