Unemployment in Thessaloniki
There are a lot of NGO’s active in the field of inclusion, sustainability and social support around the city center. During the meeting the „Unemployment Group“ was producing a small report on unemployment/employment in Thessaloniki. Therefore they visited the organization Greenways Co-op and had an interview with the manager and founder George Farfaras as an example for employment.
Unemployment in Greece is over 30% and over 50% of young people under age 26 are out of a job. A social cooperative is a very good way to start making money for yourself. Greenways Co-op was set up by George Farfaras to enable people in Greece to earn a living by using their interest in cycling. He has made cycle routes throughout Greece to encourage people to use their bikes. Following on from this, he has set up workshops to teach people about safe cycling and maintenance of their bikes which the people can then turn into valuable skills to pass on to others. Greenways has increased job opportunities for people in Greece, such as teaching workshops, bike couriers, office admin, web and social media vocations. George described the difficulties in setting up such a project as a cooperative because he has to encourage people to get involved in an environmentally friendly ethos and healthy way of life as well as persuading people to work as a community before they can reap the financial benefits.