Open Space is a sociocultural community center, located in the industrial area of Drama, close to the refugee camp of the city. Our aims could be resumed in the higher goal of creating a space where people can expand or gain back their individual power. The situation refugees are forced to live in endangers this personal power with structural passivity, disinformation and isolation.
To work against the state of passivity we aim to create a platform of connection and self-organization including the possibility to escape the dull, isolated camp life. It’s a place where ideas, problems and suggestions of each individual are heard. Everyone is invited to fill the open space with workshops, language courses or other projects. There is a special focus on doing all this without patronizing the people by setting an already completed agenda of activities. Therefore we stay open towards the ideas and needs of the divers people who join open space.
As the main problems of refugees are caused by their situation – being trapped in a state of waiting in front of closed borders without adequate access to legal information – providing legal support and information gets a more and more important part of our work. This may include connecting people with lawyers or legal consultation and accompany them through difficult situations, like for example the process of family reunification.
Above that, we want to work against the state of isolation, refugees are put in by living in a camp 7 km away from town center. Thus we try to connect refugees and inhabitants of Drama in different ways. There’s for example an “Open kitchen” happening every Wednesday to whom everyone is invited. In our opinion sustainable support is only possible, if we work all together and combine our skills and resources. For that reason we’re looking for Greek speakers who’re willing to support refugees with their paper work. This could mean helping them to understand their bureaucratic processes and supporting them to make use of their rights.