Report on Pervolarides activities 2018

About us

Pervolarides exist for more than 5 years. During this time, we got involved in several projects, made presentations in many cities abroad, had lots of interviews, met hundreds of people. Below you will find a general introduction on what we do, and more specific about last year’s (2018) activities.

Introduction

 As the financial crises continues for more than 10 years to drive Greek society into poverty, we observe a dramatic increase in people that are struggling to survive as a result of loss of income while they experience daily socioeconomic exclusion due to the inability to meet their basic needs and to secure appropriate housing. In this sad reality where economic market rules regulate and degrade our daily life and our interpersonal relationships, we seek to create a social space open for activities that generate an alternative paradigm of cooperation, community relations and collective actions. We wish to create a prototype of social synergy that reflects the needs of our community today and of the society we dream for our children.

Starting with food and the relations that form throughout its cycle (from seed planting and cultivation, to crop collection, processing and cooking, to re-processing of food waste and composting), we hosted through the years several activities:

Community cooking where the main objective is to prepare food for those in need. Locals and refugees come together to meet their neighbours, to taste and learn new recipes and to share their love for food and for helping others. Community cooking also provides the basis for further activities that promote altruism and social integration.

Food waste reuse where we collect products close to their expiring date as well as fruits, vegetables and fish that otherwise would be dumped. This food is thereafter processed, cooked and distributed to homeless people and vulnerable families. Nothing goes wasted!

Re-processing food that otherwise would go wasted into sauces, marmalade and compost. We are creating a “cooperative production chain” by re-processing and redistributing food to people living in poverty.

Beekeeping which is a traditionally cooperative process that teaches us how to work together with the bee populations to produce organic honey, while we support the natural regeneration process by nourishing nature’s pollinators.  

Solidarity olive collection where every November, unemployed and volunteers together we gather the yearly production from olive trees that are donated to our cause and we distribute the olive oil to families with extremely low or no income.   

Urban gardening where we will seek to create food as well as to share methods of food cultivation and management of organic household waste to produce gardening compost/fertilizer. Through the cultivation of urban gardens, we wish to regenerate not just the depleted soil of our neighbourhoods, but also our community relations. Cultivation of food enables us to plant the seeds for the “cultivation” of solidarity and social cooperation.

CSA and development of direct links between producers and consumers through a Community Supported Agriculture scheme which facilitates access to cheap, locally produced organic food while ensuring that producers are guaranteed an ongoing demand for their production at a fair price.

Employability and vocational inclusion are created through training events and workshops (food cultivation and processing, beekeeping, etc.) that facilitate the development of vocational skills and aim at the creation of new employment possibilities.

Social networking between like-minded people and local groups with common concerns and interests as well as with communities beyond Greece, so we can support each other and share our ideas, knowledge and good practices. Our needs and our dreams unite us, no matter where we are and where we come from.

What we do

We act where social protection is missing, to support our neighbours and those in need by creating fundaments for social mobilisation and cooperation through solidarity actions. We aim at empowering community relations, at mobilising those unemployed and the creation of synergies between people irrespective of their social and cultural background. Our social space is a meeting place and a point of reference for everyone that wants to offer their free time, talent and skills to the community and for social empowerment and integration.

We make no distinctions between people and there are no “beneficiaries”. We believe that each person brings their own contribution to the community, like water drops come together to create rivers and seas. Therefore, we make an open call to all those who wish to unite with us, with the neighbourhood, the community and the society we live in.  

What we did in 2018:

  • Every Friday, a group of locals/refugees cooks for people in need. Food is distributed from volunteers to homeless and families/individuals. For 2018, an estimated 4000 hot meals were prepared/distributed.
  • Food waste reuse: For our cooking project and tomato sauce/marmalade/pickles preparation we depend on donations from our supporters. Beans, flour, tomato sauce, chickpeas, rice, pasta. But also vegetables and fruits. For the year 2018 an estimated quantity of 10 tonnes of food was donated for our projects.
  • Beekeeping: So far we have trained more than 10 people in the art of beekeeping, although we face practical issues (we don’t have a car):
  • Community building activities: During 2018 we organized some cleaning events/garbage removal from our nearby forest. We organized 10 events of community fests, where locals and refugees cooked and played together. We had organized an urban gardening project and started our own compost. We organized beekeeping activities

In two of our activities we were honored to have with us Ms.  Hilde Schramm from ‘’Respect for Greece’’. She joined us in one of our community fests and we were also invited in an ‘’Eid’’ event, as Ramadan was over:

As part of our interaction with similar projects in Germany, on May 2018 we visited Berlin and Nurnberg where we got in contact with various organizations and had an interview with Radio Z from Nurnberg.

Furthermore, we had another interview with ‘’Neos Kosmos’’ newspaper from Melbourne.

Contact us and follow our activities on:
Facebook / Περβολάρηδες Θεσσαλονίκης-Pervolarides of Thessaloniki

The report supplemented with a series of photos of pervolarides´ activities you find here