SOLIDAR Social Progress Watch - No. 4 - 27th January 2016
The Social Progress Watch (SPW) initiative is a tool implemented by members and partners of SOLIDAR to monitor the commitment and progress made by national governments towards a more social and cohesive Europe. Through the SPW, SOLIDAR collects on a yearly basis country reports providing recommendations for upward social convergence as well as case studies presenting innovative and sustainable models to promote social inclusion, the social economy and quality job creation.

Last year, SOLIDAR member Volkshilfe Hellas launched the municipal advisory and support structure in the municipality of Daphne-Imittos (central-southern Attica) as a pilot project. It is aimed at combating the impact of the Greek economic crisis through counselling by volunteers, on legal, psychological, work and financial issues.

What are the local realities?
The municipality where our activity is taking place is more or less a microcosm of the country as a whole:
  • Very high youth unemployment (60%),
  • Parents between the ages of 40-50+ that have recently lost their jobs and have no statutory right to receive a pension in the future,
  • Too many small and medium-sized enterprises close to bankruptcy without any possibility of repaying their debts while there is no liquidity,
  • Too many families with no employed members, many families that have been surviving on a small pension from the eldest family member, and, last but not least,
  • Many families that are close to being destroyed as they are unable to pay for their housing or their children’s expenses.
What is the innovative capacity of your project?
The innovative nature of our services lies exactly in the nature of the problems described above. The sudden and large scale simultaneous collapse of both the welfare state and its social structures, as well as the drop in living standards that followed (if not preceded) the economic collapse, created huge psychological pressure together with the consequent financial and legal issues. For this reason, we created a programme with four themes, so that we can respond to all the different problems faced by Greek families, and thus support people psychologically, help them in resolving their legal or financial issues and, finally, where possible, enable them to return to - or enter in the case of the youngest - the labour market. Moreover, all of this has been done solely by volunteers, with no additional staffing costs. On the contrary, as soon as our efforts began to be publicised, we were approached by new volunteers, who will become the bedrock of the continuation of our programme.
Read the case study
Read the country report from Greece
The SOLIDAR Social Progress Watch is funded through the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
Copyright © 2016 SOLIDAR, All rights reserved.

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