OMNES - Syllogos Ethelonton Kilkis
OMNES, founded in October 2016, is a volunteer association based in Kilkis town, semi-rural/urban environment, in the periphery of Greece, which, through a human centred and rights based approach, conducts an inclusive and integrated program constituted of three pillars:
A housing project with a reception capacity of 569 persons pending resolution of their international protection request or benefitting from the refugee status/subsidiary protection in Greece. As of January 2018, 1,105 individuals have been/are being hosted in 106 apartments in the two municipalities of Kilkis regional unit (municipality of Kilkis and Paionia), Central Macedonia, under UNHCR Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation programme, ESTIA, funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.
- An inclusion centre conceived as a platform for community engagement for the overall Kilkis community which provides psychosocial, legal and administrative support, facilitates access to formal and non formal education, to health services and cultural and recreational activities for both children and adults, as well as, counselling for income generation activities aiming at facilitating/fostering inclusion for persons in/at risk of social exclusion.
- A livelihood component under development, currently focusing on social and solidarity economy initiatives as an alternative for income generation.
OMNES is currently composed of 56 professionals and supported by a network of volunteers and other local and international stakeholders. As a protection centred association, OMNES’ structure includes focal points in key protection fields such as: Child Protection, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Health, Mental health and Education. Through the implementation of its program, OMNES is aiming at ensuring that, no segregation effect will take place for the newly arrived population and that all barriers will be removed to facilitate their gradual integration into the local community in an effective, inclusive and sustainable way.
Promoting self-reliance, peaceful coexistence and equal opportunities for all are at the core of OMNES vision. Since its creation, the association looks for solutions, which affect both the host and the newly arrived population by fostering alternatives that benefits the local economy as well as support public services and initiatives that promote participation of all.
Furthermore, OMNES participates regularly in sectorial held meetings and conferences at local, regional, national and international level to contribute in building/strengthening knowledge and practices sharing platforms. OMNES, although recently formed, is considered an inclusive, flexible and innovative association as per feedback received by international representatives from UNHCR, ECHO, IOM, NORCAP among others, by officials from the Hellenic Ministries of Migration, Education and External Affairs as well as by other national and international civil society actors. Finally, OMNES works in close cooperation with the intermunicipal development agency of the regional unit of Kilkis, which acts in coordination with both municipalities of the region (Kilkis and Paionia).
Role in the Project
Within REBUILD project, OMNES will, along with the other involved NGOs, be the local operational partner interacting with the immigrant and local population and the public administrations within a peripheral Greek context. OMNES will be ensuring the active participation of immigrants and making sure their voice is taken into consideration as a core component of this project, which aims at facilitating their integration. Participating in the creation of a platform based on needs expressed by newly arrived population and by public administration at local level, it represents a key role to ensure a user oriented approach.
In that sense, OMNES will firstly be active in co determining, through consultation processes with both immigrants and Local PA’s and other relevant stakeholders, the needed and relevant data to be collected and analyzed to deliver customized services corresponding to the local capacity while addressing better the needs of the immigrants for their integration process. Furthermore, OMNES will as well engage, through participatory methodology involving both newly arrived population, public administration and other local practitioners in co-defining and transferring to other consortium partners, expressed and fact based needed content and information to be displayed in the digital companion.
OMNES will as well be involved in testing/piloting the tools provided by REBUILD, with the direct involvement of final users. OMNES will use its existing network and coordination mechanisms at local, regional and national level to feed in the whole process from design and testing to dissemination to guarantee the scalability of REBUILD in its next phase. Finally, OMNES will put at disposal its existing and currently implemented data collection, visualization and ICT tools to the rest of consortium partners and share its current user experience to contribute to design more efficient integration strategy design and integration management system