My first work experience!

On May 20th 2021, I was so lucky to work in one of the biggest hotels in Greece and one of the best ones in Athens.

One fateful afternoon my phone rang and when I answered the call, it was my case worker from HR360, who told me: “I have a job vacancy for you to work in a hotel in Athens. You can send me your CV and one photo in order to send it to the hotel”. After this conversation, they called me to have an interview, but frankly speaking I was so excited and worried at the same time as it was my first job and I didn’t have any experience. I was stressed for the outcome, but luckily the answer was positive and I started to work there.

In the beginning everything was strange and stressful for me, but the people were so professional that they understood it was my first job and so they trained me. After some weeks, I learnt my tasks and the responsibilities, how to handle pressure, how to cope with stress and time management. Within a month I became so good that the management called me to compliment me. During my time in the hotel I gained a lot of experience, I met different people from different cultures, different states and countries. Working at that particular hotel boost my confidence and self-belief.

Now, I feel I can endure any pressure or bullying and I can be anything that I can image. I can describe my time at the hotel as very busy, fun and the most important, I felt equal! The policy of the hotel is built on equality and I really felt it.

Mahmoud 20 y.o

Velos Bloggers: ‘What Velos means to me’

Last Tuesday, a group of 6 young people met in Velos Youth centre to participate in the weekly Bloggers workshop. During the workshop they had a vivid discussion on “What Velos Youth means to me”. They came up with the following ideas:

“Velos has given us a great deal of help. People from Velos have found a lawyer for us and before Covid-19 we participated in very interested workshops in the space and during the time we have been coming here, we have met helpful people and we have made new friends”

“Here there are available services like shower, laundry and food, very essential and important for us, especially during the winter months. Distribution of clothes, hygiene stuff and sleeping bags are necessary and valuable during the time that when there was a lot of cold”

The discussion followed on “How you would like to see Velos Youth in the future”

“We would like Velos to organise structured Greek and English lessons here in the centre. Also for those attending school we would like to have some support for classes such as Physics or Chemistry. Computer skills are also very important to learn and necessary for our future”

Because things with housing has become difficult, Velos can increase the places for housing helping more people”.

“The lawyer in the space will be very helpful to direct us as most organisations have a long waiting list. Also because some of us visit a psychologist outside Velos, we would really like the psychologist here because talking with a psychologist can really help us with some situations”.

Because of the difficulties we face when we go to the public services or hospitals, sometimes we feel more secure if somebody from Velos could come with us and help us there.

“For our free time we would like to organise a football team, do trainings on a regular basis and get football equipment like shoes”

My first job in Greece!

On June 7, 2021 I started working in one of the best hotels in Attika. During the first month of my work there it was not easy because I had a lot of thing to learn and everything was overwhelming for me.

HR360 applied for me in the hotel and Velos Youth supported me to have most of the documents I needed in order to be qualified to work in Greece. Some of the needed documents were the criminal record and medical certificates.

Before this job, I had the opportunity to go to Thessaloniki to work in another hotel. I personally applied for this job. This is when I knew that Velos Youth wanted me to succeed because they put all their efforts in ensuring I have everything I need to get this job, but it was unfortunate that I didn’t get this job. After that, the opportunity for the hotel I am currently working, came.

All thanks to Velos Youth and HR360 for giving me the courage to move on and I see that I am becoming a better person everyday!

Y. 19 year old

Velos Bloggers: ‘What education means to me’

In the continuation of the “Bloggers workshops”, the young persons discussed and shared ideas upon important issues that affect their lives, such as education. After having a fruitful discussion, Bernard, 20 years old, shared:

“In my view, I think that education is important to human beings because it starts from an early age and more specifically from when we are children at home. Personally I have, also, been receiving education through church and finally school is an important institution for education.

In school we learn how we many behave with our fellow students, or at work in the future and, generally, in society. We don’t just learn how to become an engineer or a doctor. We learn new skills and we take experience. However, the behavior that we show to each other (husband to wife, parents to children, neighbor to neighbor) is still an important part of education and something very basic to how society works.

I remember back in my country that my father used to tell me: “You go to school not for just showing up, but for learning how to become a good person”. Now I realise that my father was my first teacher, all the time, so I really believe that education begins from home and affects all society”.

My Lockdown Experience

Things I did when the lockdown started

I was a bad sleeper, I used to go to bed around 5am in the morning and wake up during the day. I changed my sleep schedule because I was Idle at home and not doing much. Βefore the lockdown I used to go to African Clubs and get fun but when the lockdown came in effect everything was closed I was not staying up late at night. Having a change in my sleep schedule has been beneficial to me, I feel healthy, energized all day long now. I go to bed now at 12am and wake up at 8am/9am most days.

Activities I did to kill time in the Lockdown

I started doing some exercises, running in the park, listening to podcasts, check out this podcast I listened to. This podcast is about the controversies around the Covid-19 vaccines.

I also try to do some painting during this time. It was a fun thing to do with my flat mates.

This blog was written by a young person attending the Creative Bloggers and Blog Workshops ran in Velos Youth, as part of the Young People’s Blog.

How to use lockdown to lock down your future goals!

Two of our Young People’s Blog-gers share their tips for keeping track of goals.

This week we needed to think more positive thoughts. We had just officially heard the lockdown in Athens will be extended to the 7th January 2021.

So, we talked about the things we are looking forward to doing when lockdown is over. Seeing friends, going to clubs and cafes, going back to school, not having to worry about curfew, going skating; everything we cannot do now.

Next, we talked about our goals for the future. Some are short term goals, some are long term goals, some are steps we need to take to achieve bigger dreams.
What is clear is just how determined, focused and driven everyone is to meet their goals. We asked the two young bloggers to share their tips for staying on track of their goals.

For anyone needing some advice, here are some excellent top tips from two top goal setters.

Top Tip #1 – Say NO to Distractions!
I look at people around me, if I see myself with the wrong people, people that say let’s go here, let’s do this, unnecessary things, I be away from them. I always make sure that I am focused on the thing that I want to achieve. To protect myself from bad people, from people trying to brainwash me, that will affect what I want to do and what I want to achieve, I get them to back off and focus and try to do the basic things that will get me there.

Top Tip #2 – Keep Focused  
To make sure I am focused on the thing I want to achieve I make sure it is always in my mind. I want to be a software engineer. I have books and Pdfs about software engineering. Before I go to sleep I go through this, I read some things about it, make sure I understand certain things, and when I wake up in the morning or anytime I wake up I go through all this the pdf and books to make sure I am focused.

Top Tip #3 – Share
I like to discuss my goals and ideas with others and learn a few things from them.

Top Tip #4 – Write a timeline
First I need to know what I want to achieve. I like to write things down, and create a timeline.
I write down all the things I want to do, I write them down, sometimes 100 things. Every month, every week, I write the appointments down and set a timeline down. I cannot say “OK I just want a job” there are other things I need to do to get there, I need to train myself.
I used to have stress when I first came here, my psychologist really helped me, she suggested I write a timeline and it really helps me keep on track of where I want to be and what I can do now to get there.

Top Tip #5 – Be Realistic and Accept
If I can achieve the things I wanted to do it’s fine, if I can’t, it’s fine too. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and keep going even if one day you can’t.

Top Tip #5 – Be Realistic and Accept
If I can achieve the things I wanted to do it’s fine, if I can’t, it’s fine too. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and keep going even if one day you can’t.

Trapped and excited during lockdown…

Despite the fact that due to the second lockdown the Day Centre of Velos Youth remained closed, a group of young people expressed the need to re-activate the Creative Bloggers group and start to meet online.

In that way, and with the assistance of the two coordinators from Velos Youth, we organised the first meeting through an internet platform. Even if we could not physically be present in the space of Velos Youth, we started to feel at ease with each other. Maybe the fact that we hadn’t seen each other in some weeks, made us realise that even this kind of contact gave us the opportunity for common sharing.

In this first online session of the Creative Bloggers group, we started talking about everyone’s experiences during the first weeks of what is named as the second lockdown.

We all shared several hard moments and days where we feel stressed and the stress does not help us sleep well either. It is a bittersweet feeling – that we are all free, but not being able to move freely whenever we want. We get to know people that we might share the same flat, but do we really connect? We miss our fellow students and the simple walk to a park can become dangerous because of fines that can be put to us.

However, we try to find ways to reduce the stress.

We try to exercise and to study using available online lessons. We try to find ways to free our mind, while being forced to stay at home.

We want to try and remain optimistic, positive and creative!! You can follow us on this effort.

See you soon…

Athens Collective of Superheros

Athens 2020. Covid-19 has descended upon the city. Numbers of confirmed cases rise daily. 

War, poverty and oppressive governments mean thousands of people from other lands come to the city of Athens in search of safety. Instead they face homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, job scarcity, long difficult processes to get documents, hot and humid weather, poor access to health services, theft. 

The buildings of Athens drip water from air conditioners. The streets are narrow and difficult for people who can’t walk. Parts of the city look dirty and smell bad. Loud aggressive traffic fills the air. 

And yet! Athens is a city of hope! Everyday people become heroes as they try to help each other. 

Doctors, nurses, social workers, lawyers, rubbish collectors, traffic wardens, teachers, volunteers, and police offer solidarity in Athens. 

But they can’t do it alone, they need help!

They need a collective of superheroes to aid them. Over the last four weeks this band of superheroes has come to the rescue! 


Name Peace Man

Powers

  • He looks like a big man. He wears a white and green suit with a peace sign on the back and front of his suit.
  • He has the superpower to stop war.
  • He can show people the positive and negative results from their current actions.
  • He can teach people how their life can be beautiful and peaceful and how they can live their lives honestly and peacefully with love for one another and for God.

Background

He was born in a poor country where there is always violence, war, corruption, rape and terror. It’s a place where rich people abuse poor people so his life was very difficult from childhood. He always hoped and prayed to God to have superpowers. He wished he could teach people how to change their world. He could stop war. One day he woke up in the morning and he discovered he is stronger and bigger than before and he got the superpower that he wanted.


Name Athens Man |  Height 7 ft | Origin Syria

Powers 

  • Hear people’s thoughts 
  • Manipulate the minds of people to do good and be positive 
  • Strong muscles 
  • Can fly 
  • Punish bad people (e.g. take them to the police)
  • Magical coat 
  • Have long range of smell
  • Emergency response (e.g. fire department, hospital, covid-19)

Background

He is from Syria, he came to Athens to help the city as a payback for what the city have done for his people. He noticed this ability after the war started. Athens Man can help the everyday heroes to make the city of Athens to be a better place. 


Name Athina | Origin Greece, Ancient Athens

Powers

  • Athina is good at war and gives heroes courage. Her special powers included the ability to invent useful items and crafts.

Background

She also invented many of the skills used by women in ancient Greece such as weaving and pottery. Athina is often depicted in art with armour and she is associated with the olive tree and owl, symbols of wisdom


Name SuperVelos | Origin Outer space.

Powers

  • SuperVelos can hear, feel and find everyone that needs help. When they find the people that need help they use their superpower of flying to help them reach assistance and safety.
  • SuperVelos helps people reach the hospitals and emergency services when the ambulances can’t because of traffic.
  • SuperVelos can also help people reach appointments on time, and being able to understand and speak in all languages known on earth means he can help translate and ensure people’s voices are heard when they meet with asylum protection services.

Background

When SuperVelos heard the need of the people in Athens they flew directly to earth to assist.


All images/art belong to the young people participating in the Creative Bloggers workshop.

This blog post was written by the young people visiting the Velos Youth centre who participated in the Creative Bloggers workshop. Read more on our Young People’s Blog.

Speaking through my pictures

Photography is my window to the world, to see and express myself.

The first picture I took of the sunset it speaks about there is light after the darkness, whatever you are passing through in life, there will be light, don’t give up, there will be life for you. Just like the sun always rises and always sets, keep going.

The second picture I took on the mountain. It speaks about how the earth needs water to make the ground grow beautiful. The water comes from the sky to make the ground flourish. 

The third picture is a view of Athens. I took this picture because it made me think about how beautiful Athens is, and the mountains all around, and the order of the buildings makes it beautiful. 


About the photographer

I am NG and photography is my passion. I like to take pictures when I see something that is extraordinary. Through pictures I can express myself and I think people can understand me through them.