Senior citizens or people who are physically or mentally challenged and are part of the vendors’ network of shedia street paper is the first group to benefit from the programme. The beneficiaries will be trained so that they can create/ produce high quality products from paper (from handbags to earrings, coasters etc.). Employment opportunities for people who are experiencing social exclusion will arise through training as well as the design, creation and production of goods/ products of high quality from “waste” and specifically through the reuse of the unsold past copies of shedia street paper (at a first stage).
Work placements (part-time and full-time) will be created for the beneficiaries participating in the programme in the showroom (productive process of reuse, upcycling workshops) as well as in the café (customer service, baristas etc.).
Apart from training, all the beneficiaries, in all sectors of activity and occupation will be contracted in accordance with the Greek employment legislation.
Through the Shediart Upcycling Social Project people who are currently socially excluded, experiencing extreme hardship not only gain access to education and employment but also, in time, they acquire an important social role, they become community leaders.
Meet some of our people:
“I come from France, where I lived till I turned 21. My father was a pianist, born in Montmartre and my mother was a cook. Many of the artistic influences I have, come straight from my father and although I am a Cacofonix, I have a good ear for music. I came to Greece by plane in 1979 for my own personal reasons. It was a very difficult time for me. Even though these years are gone by, they are not forgotten”.
“I was born in Kipseli, an inner suburb of Athens. My childhood was difficult. When I was just five years old my parents went through a tough divorce. My father refused to pay alimony, as a form of revenge on my mother. I used to go to an private German-speaking high school, but I had to stop. Having graduated from high school, I attended a private art conservation school. I had inherited my grandmother’s talent in arts and crafts. I hadn’t even turned twenty when, while I was preparing to continue my studies on art conservation in Italy, my mother suddenly died from a stroke. The shock was unnerving. It changed my whole life. In the end, I took up Christian art and held exhibitions, while studying in many Christian art schools. All this stopped ten years ago, when that chapter of my life officially ended due to the economic crisis. I turned elsewhere: children’s illustrations and professional puppets. However, it was very disappointing, because I was exploited professionally, worked without getting paid etc. Two years ago, I lost my job. It was then that Ι completely collapsed. I felt afraid, anxious and bitter, all at the same time. I started getting around when I came to “shedia”.
“I used to lead a good, normal life. I was born in Agrinion (the largest city of the Aetolia-Acarnania regional unit of Greece). I was still a baby when we came to Athens. I have three sisters. I am the oldest child of the family. My father was a cobbler, a man who worked very hard and never stopped. He was well known in Pagrati (an Athenian suburb) and people used to say every time they would come across me and my sister, “those are the cobbler’s children”. However, it was not unusual back then to pay a price for your political beliefs”.
“I was born in Bironas in 1960. I grew up with my grandmother from my father’s side and my stepmother. My mother had gone to Germany to work as a laborer, when I was one year old. She would only bring me some gifts during Easter and Christmas, she would open them with me and then leave again. The first time we met and really talked to each other was when I was 17 years old. It was then when she admitted that she had made a huge mistake having no communication with me. I never found out why my parents got a divorce”.
“I was born in Athens in 1959. In the last grade of high school, I presented fluid in my lung and I spent 57 days in a hospital. As a result, I was unable to take the Panhellenic exams and be accepted to a University. Later on, I got a job at the shipyards of Skaramangas as ship fitter. After a decade, however, fluid in my lung was found again. I was assigned to a different position. I worked there till 2011. During the last two years, I worked without pay and social security. I left because I could not afford to work under these conditions. Afterwards, I got a job for two years in a clean up crew and at the same time I attended a workshop on how to make small items, mainly jewellery. I need 500 stamps to be able to retire in four years”