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Initiative

The only Greek street magazine “Shedia”

The only Greek street magazine “Shedia”
SUBMITTED FROM:

DIOGENES NGO - SHEDIA

Diogenes is a non-profit organization which aims to provide support to the most vulnerable members of our society who are experiencing homelessness and social exclusion, to support themselves and improve their personal, social and economic well-being.

 

Read more: www.shedia.gr


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Objective Action

"Shedia"’ s main aim is to highlight the most important homelessness and poverty-related issues and provide support to the most vulnerable members of our society who are experiencing the current economic, social crisis in the cruelest way, in order to make them able to support themselves and improve their personal, social and economic well-being. Moreover, "Shedia"'s aim is to raise public awareness and mobilize against all forms of poverty and social exclusion.

 

Target Audience

Homeless, unemployed and socially excluded fellow citizens who are either on the verge of homelessness or rough sleepers or even in temporary and inadequate housing conditions, or are for more than three or four years out of the labor market are the main beneficiaries of "Shedia". In addition, "Shedia" provides an opportunity for all citizens to interact with these individuals (official vendors), talk with them, support them, if they wish, with the purchase of the magazine and understand the homelessness and poverty-related issues that occur in our country and abroad about these extreme situations through a unique journalistic content of the magazine but, also, through the interaction and the personal experience of the vendors themselves. "Shedia" mobilizes the whole society.

 

Duration

Since February 2013 (until - today).


Description

Shedia is the only Greek street magazine and member of the International Network of Street Papers – INSP, www.street-papers.org. As it happens with all street magazines worldwide, Shedia is sold exclusively on the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki (on crowded city spots such as metro stations, central squares etc), by official vendors. Vendors come from socially vulnerable population groups such as homeless people and long-term unemployed and socially excluded fellow citizens experiencing poverty.

Street paper vendors buy copies of the magazine for 1,50 euro (at a price of 50% of the cover price) and sell them for 3,00 euro, keeping the proceeds. "Shedia" not only provides employment opportunities for individuals to earn a minimum decent income, but importantly, to build confidence, their capacity to help themselves, to re-integrate into society and finally to improve their economic and social well-being. It is, essentially, a social reintegration process, through which individuals who until yesterday felt "invisible" (their own term), recover their belief that they can and will reach it.

Through “Shedia” they have a new ability to relive the simple and obvious. To wake up in the morning and have a goal. Have an office to welcome them, go to the "pitches" in the center of the city, interact with people to conciliation, to enter into friendships, to sell or not to sell one, two or five magazines. They enjoy the recovery of a sense of "belonging". That, they are living cells, members of our society. And the hope for total recall is becoming real.

This social process, however, involves also the general public who buys “Shedia", supporting in this way the individual who is selling it. It is not a classic case of "purchase". It is a process that raises awareness and mobilizes all of us against poverty and exclusion in any form. A social transaction, through which all of us can draw of "something". People in "Shedia" are not passive recipients of an act of love or charity, but an active part of the process part of which they are. “Shedia" is not begging. Vendors do not beg, but with dignity sell the magazine, which previously they themselves have purchased, to ensure a minimum income. Therefore, “Shedia" is not charity.

From the journalistic aspect, "Shedia" is an independent, consistent magazine with strong social characteristics, in which dozens of experienced and celebrities, but also younger journalists full of enthusiasm and knowledge contribute their work. An optimistic magazine of general interest with particular emphasis on free reportage (social and cultural, artistic, sporting, from Greece and internationally) and the keen sense of humor.


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Impact on Society

The first issue was on the streets of Athens on Wednesday, February 27 2013. It is published every last Wednesday per month, except August. Since the 12th edition (#12 February 2014), when the street paper had completed its first year, it is also distributed on the streets of Thessaloniki (2ng largest city of Greece). "Shedia" street magazine enables the most vulnerable members of our society to ensure, through a decent, but demanding process, a minimum income to cover their most basic needs. For someone it can be a pack of cigarettes or a coffee, but for others (to be precise, for the vast majority of people of "Shedia") may be the electricity bill, the food of the day or the rent of the small house. Nowadays, the average sales of “Shedia" street paper is 22,000 copies (#24 March 2015), while the number of our official vendors involved and supported by this specific program exceed three hundred (300).

Through the minimum income that provides the distribution of “Shedia", sixteen (16) of our street paper vendors have left from the street or a homeless social shelter for temporary accommodation and have rented their own small apartment, have the keys of their own home. Dozens of other fellow citizens have managed to keep their house as living under the threat of eviction due to unpaid rent. While more than thirty (30) people in our network have found a job as “Shedia" is a step in the evolution of life but also a personal activation process in new directions.

Furthermore, “Shedia” ’s readers have a real benefit, as with the 3.00 euros they buy a remarkable journalistic magazine, with a clear social orientation and at the same time, they perform an act of solidarity. “Shedia" is a magazine focused and characterized by the independent writing, optimism and special humor. The topics cover all aspects of our social life, whatever it is, and it is of everybody’s concern and it is not limited to matters relating only on poverty, social exclusion, etc.



Initiative Location

Athens and Thessaloniki but, also, in Greece in general through subions.


Working with Organization

For a better supporting of people-vendors “Shedia” has developed continuously networking with municipalities, social organizations, institutions and organized structures, as well as highlighting their work. In particular, “Shedia” is trying to networking with polyclinics, social infirmaries, social pharmacies, housing agencies, as hostels, dormitories, social housing structures, and food, as organizations against food waste, soup kitchens, social groceries, as well as psychological, legal support, but also with structures and agencies providing clothing, housing equipment and training opportunites.


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Workers Participation

“Shedia” is an ongoing supportive service provided to the most vulnerable social population. It fulfills a social purpose. The composition of the team could not manage to succeed if it did not have a common purpose, vision and mission. It is the driving force to achieve its goals. The full commitment, cooperation between employees has a catalytic role for the achievement of its work. They are part of the total social process.


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Benefits for Οrganization

“Shedia” is essentially a social enterprise model, which allows to secure the success and sustainability through a series of actions, such as the involving and management of benefiting population, communication and promotion of the magazine in the wider parts of society, producing a remarkable journalistic form, the expansion of the distribution network in other cities, but also the effectiveness in attracting and generating incomes (advertising, etc.). Its sustainability depends on sales, advertising, donations, special events/fundraising actions, subions and merchandising sales.

Meanwhile, income generation enables “Shedia” to “invest” in new initiatives such as the "Solidarity Subions", the social city tours "Invisible Tours", the initiative "Suspended Coffee" creating in this way new opportunities to individuals to support themselves, make one more step towards reintegration and to help raise awareness and, ultimately, to the mobilization of general public not only in relation to “Shedia” ‘s actions, but in general, against every form social exclusion and poverty.




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