SOCIETY

MUNICIPALITIES: 118 PRACTICES


TOPIC: Initiatives on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Initiative

PARTICIPATION AS ONE OF THE CORE ISSUES FOR CONFRONTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF COVID 19 PANDEMIC

PARTICIPATION AS ONE OF THE CORE ISSUES FOR CONFRONTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF  COVID 19 PANDEMIC
SUBMITTED FROM:

MUNICIPALITY OF AGIOI ANARGYROI - KAMATERO

The Department of Social Services consists of an expanded protection net over our city, that covers the whole of the population through consulting support, social work, prevention and health care projects.

 

Read more: www.agan.gov.gr


Contact

Objective Action

Supporting vulnerable social groups during the Covid 19 pandemic

 

Target Audience

Vulnerable social groups

 

Duration

The action took place during the quarantine on March 2020 up until today.


 


Description

The Covid 19 pandemic created a new reality for everyone through a rapidly developing procedure , which consisted of another pressing sector for the local societies .The conditions that were created , apart from health, made society, and especially local administration , be in an emergency condition.In a short period of time social services were forced to create a protection net for all citizens , to plan and implement projects of immediate response to a variety of broad and multi dimensional basic needs of citizens with the minimum financial and material means , especially at the beginning of the pandemic. The lack of personnel because of the special purpose leaves along with the absence of employees that belong to vulnerable groups weakened at a great extend Municipal Services and organizations while the remaining staff faced the challenge to cover the immediate and urgent social services demands.

Baring in mind the above ,the City of Agii Anargiri Kamatero formed a crisis management group that has undertaken that task. The key priority is to immediately cover the residents’ needs, utilizing every available resource. Especially, the City conforms with the standards and the philoshophy of W.H.O.’s Healthy Cities which assure that utilizing participation , as a SDG pillar , a city secures the participation of the community in the decisions that affect where and how people live and how common goods and their services are provided. When the pandemic Covid -19 started, alongside with the above mentioned principle, our Social Policy Directory had created 4 strategic pillars of action:

1. Planning of new food programs and interventions of primary and secondary protection aiming at the reduction of special groups’ vulnerability and the reinforcement of food provision to those in need.

2.Utilizing the existing specialised personnel of the Home – aid Service and develop them aiming at providing personalized services to the general population of the City.

3Activation of City volunteer networks as well as the development of cross-sectoral cooperation of the Municipal Directorates, with the active participation of citizens and employees.

4. Creation of educational tools for health with wide access: through the use of supervisory material and working groups, citizens are informed about the basic principles of prevention related to physical, social and mental health.

Specifically, in the first axis of action, food programs were carried out through European Funds , Social Grocery, Food Bank and sponsors covering the needs of over 1500 households. These programs often included house-to-house distributions. During March and April, the distributions served more than 500 families on a daily basis. At the same time, prevention and health education actions were organized, such as emergency blood donations, group preventive examinations, as well as updates through the Health Citizens’ Center .

In the second axis of action, the Social Policy Directorate , through the Home Aid Service, responded to the increased needs of the population and, in particular, during the quarantine, home visits were made, mainly concerning the purchase of basic goods, nursing actions, prescriptions and purchase of medicines, distribution of documents and many other services. From the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1.200 nursing actions , home id assistance and social work took place.

In the third axis, the Social Service mobilized an extensive network of volunteers that operated directly and in combination with the municipal services. City Councilors , Volunteers, the Church, the Primary Schools, the Associations of Parents’ and Guardians’ of the Primary Schools and the Open Care Centers participated creatively in this network. Groups of volunteers contributed significantly in helping citizens with their daily needs (such as escorting them for their shopping etc.). The maximum benefit was the volunteers’ contribution to the distribution of 750 portions of food to vulnerable groups of population during Easter holidays on a daily basis lasting 2 months. Especially, the Social Grocery was the starting point for the organization of this project. Then, due to the increase of needs, other decentralized points were defined throughout the city – like churches, schools, Open Care Centers for the Elderly - as individual distribution points for meals, where with the assistance of employees and volunteers, within a minimum period of time (2- 3 hours) the food was distributed through door to door visits or with the physical presence of the beneficiaries in these places. As a result, this action was implemented with the least possible human and material costs, while it was also a substantial one for the citizens.

In the fourth axis, the Social Service, guided by thethe citizens’ improvement of health and quality of life , through literacy created a series of tools for the education of the citizens in the new reality. An informed citizen who knows about his health can protect and prevent the consequences of the pandemic both individually and collectively. To achieve this goal, an interdisciplinary team was set up, consisting of Psychologists, Sociologists, Social Workers, Health Visitors and Nurses and has as its main role the counseling support in psychosocial issues and health promotion issues for adult citizens.

Added value

Through the above actions, the maximum results are achieved, evolving the processes through an holistic approach to the problems for the benefit of the citizens, because the interventions connect the political will, with the economic dimension and society. In addition, participation, through cross-sectoral cooperation at multiple levels, ensures a sense of "belonging" to an indivisible body with a common purpose, while creating and developing a sense of identity, supply and solidarity between both employees and citizens. Finally, cooperation with local communities is a dominant component of cohesion and democracy, because it ensures the access of residents to the administration through free speech, to shape the strategy of decisions that affect themselves, creating a resilient and inclusive city for all.

You can see the action’s video on :

https://youtu.be/0Y9NHBjx-As


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Impact on Society

Activation of a large network of volunteers, who contributed to the following:

1. The transfer of packages to cover immediate basic needs, through food aid programs, to more than 1,500 households that are deeply affected .

2. the daily distribution of 750 portions of food to households facing serious needs.

3. The provision of tailor-made services to the general population of the city, through home aid Services. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,200 actions of nursing operations, family assistance, social work have been carried out, while the volunteers have contributed to the escorting of citizens in public benefit organizations, purchase and food distribution etc.

- Informing the general population of the city about the basic principles of Covid -19 prevention concerning the physical, social and mental health through the supervisory material developed and the relevant working groups. Collaboration with organizations such as the Association of Health Visitors and the Hellenic Healthy Cities Network

 

 



Initiative Location

MUNICIPALITY OF AGII ANARGIRI KAMATERO


Working with Organization

Region of Attica

Churches of the City of Agii Anargiri Kamatero

Primary Schools of the City of Agii Anargiri Kamatero

Civil Protection of the Municipality

“ACTION” Volunteer Group

Parents’ and Guardians’ Associations

Volunteers

Steering Committee of the Municipality of Agii Anargiri Kamatero

Sponsors

Health Visitors’ Association

Hellenic Healthy Cities Network,

Scientific Committee of the Hellenic Healthy Cities Network

Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine

 


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Workers Participation

The actions involve the employees of the Directorate of Social Policy of the Municipality of Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero and a network of Volunteers which operates directly and in combination with the municipal services and in which the City Councilors, the citizens, the Church, the Primary Schools, the Primary Schools’ Parents’ and Guardians’ Associations and Open care Centers for the elderly.

 


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Benefits for Οrganization

The immediate response of the Municipality to the needs of the pandemic, despite the difficulties, created a "capital" of trust between the Municipality and the citizens which can be utilized with the participation of the community in decision making for the city.

- Developing a feeling of giving and solidarity among citizens and creating a resilient and inclusive city for all.

- Complying with the standards and the principles of WHO Ηealthy Cities that define the participation, as a SDG’s pillar

- Improving administrative capacity and developing an action plan for crisis management in the Social Policy sector

-Achieving the goals set in the Business Planning of the Municipality regarding social cohesion, encouraging citizen participation and the development of volunteerism.


 




Connection with Global Goals







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