“Shedia” is the only Greek street paper and a member of the International Network of Street Papers (www.insp.ngo).
“Shedia”, like all the street papers around the world, is not sold at the usual press points (newsagents’ etc.), but in the city’s streets by official vendors. Vendors come from vulnerable population groups: homeless, long-term unemployed and other people experiencing extreme poverty and social exclusion. The cover price is 4.00€, out of which 62,5% (i.e. 2.50€) goes directly to the vendor, allowing them the dignity to earn a small income to cover some of their basic needs. In addition to being a special opportunity for people experiencing social exclusion to ensure a decent income and rebuild their lives, “Shedia” is a means of activation and social (re)integration.
#ShediaArt: “Shediart Upcycling Project” ( Restarting life, www.shediart.gr) is a social project where past, unsold copies of the Greek street paper “Shedia” are upcycled, redesigned and transformed from what at first sight, may look and feel “obsolete”, “trash” into high-quality products.
All products are handmade and unique, designed and produced in Greece highlighting the zeal, dedication and talents of their creators, using, as much as possible, environmentally friendly materials. The core vision of “Shediart“ is the creation of educational, training as well as employment opportunities for people who are homeless and/or live well below the poverty line, experiencing social exclusion at its most extreme, while actively encouraging and promoting their full social (re)integration. The first group of beneficiaries consists of people of older age (over 50 years old) who have found themselves in the distribution network of the Greek street paper “Shedia”. They were invited to participate in free upcycling workshops, acquiring and developing the skills to transform themselves what, at first sight, may look and feel “obsolete”, “trash” (as is the case with a past issue of a magazine) into high quality products.
It is a social and environmental project where the ideals and values of love, solidarity, education, participation, social inclusion, creativity, social enterprise, innovation as well as social and environmental awareness and environmental solutions are all converging.
#InvisibleTours: An urban exploration and unique opportunity for people from different walks of life to discover a different part of the Athenian reality. It is a social tours program based in the capital of Greece, Athens, in which homeless people become tour guides in a very different kind of a city walk. This is a tour that does not take people to the Acropolis and the archaeological treasures of the city but leads them through the backstreets of central Athens. As is the case with other social tours organized by street papers all over the world (Hamburg, Basel, London, Munich etc), the tour introduces visitors to many important social and solidarity institutions of the Greek capital (soup kitchens, day centers, drug rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters etc). The guides provide information on the types of services offered by each institution as well as how they themselves have experienced or are still experiencing homelessness. They share information on the changing face of homelessness and social exclusion, the challenges faced by the institutions that strive to cope with the demand for more social services as well as the profile of the people behind solidarity organizations that are at the forefront of the battle again poverty and social exclusion, as they try to safeguard individual and collective dignity. And this is the most striking element of “Invisible Tours”: the personal narrative; in other words, communicating one’s personal experience from life on the streets. From the visitor’s perspective, it is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with and to listen to a very personal, human story that for many will sound very familiar, too close to home. The visitor will also get an insight into the social challenges that the Greek society is faced with nowadays as well as with the great state social and grassroots solidarity movements fighting poverty and social exclusion. It is a lesson about life.
#ShediaHome: A place promoting the exchange of skills, stories, and visions, and redefining the sense of community. What if a street paper does not recycle, but instead upcycles its unsold past issues? What happens when a famous Michelin star chef meets five people, who have no idea about cooking and, at the same time, experience poverty and social exclusion? How can an award-winning bartender be part of a social project?
A Michelin star chef, Lefteris Lazarou, has created the menu and, most importantly, has trained the kitchen staff, people who have experienced homelessness and long-term unemployment, to cook delicious, high quality food. An award-winning bartender has put together his skills and inspiration to provide an impressive cocktail list and a great range of alcoholic (and non) beverages -a superb wine selection included. A multi-award-winning architect, Dimitris Potiropoulos, designed the interior, taking extra care to create a warm, cool and relaxing atmosphere. The city’s best radio producers have drawn up a great range of playlists for all moods and occasions. A designer has overseen the training of street paper sellers, who have experienced themselves homelessness and extreme poverty, as they transform what at first may seem like “trash” (as is the case with a past magazine issue) into top quality products, ranging from earrings to lampshades and more. Last but not least, a group of very committed people ensure that all products and services provided are par excellence. Shedia Home is a social and environmental project where the ideals and values of love, solidarity, education, participation, social inclusion, creativity, social enterprise, innovation as well as social and environmental awareness are all converging. It is about providing social solutions in a sustainable way, while offering inspiration as well as high quality goods and services.