On Wednesday, December 11, employees and people served at the Caritas Hellas Center for Social Integration and Employability gathered to celebrate the coming of Christmas. This year, we decided to make something more symbolic instead of a Christmas tree, with ornaments and wishes. So, with the priceless contribution and unique ideas of artist Christina Grec, a member of a group of artists called “Athens Street Art Festival” that have been beautifying the walls in various Athens neighborhoods already since 2010 (details of their actions can be found at link: https://athensaf.eu/), this year we created our own Christmas boat.
This idea arose from the fact that a boat can have many symbolisms. For some people it was the journey to a new home, the means to find new hope. For others it is a way of escaping a difficult life, perhaps a bad past. For everyone, however, it is something that makes us travel to new dreams and goals for the future.
The activity was particularly participatory, thanks to the simplicity of the original idea on which it was based: each person who came to celebrate with us created one or more boats out of colored paper. He/she would then draw a painting on them, write names of loved ones or simply Christmas greetings to all who would pass the Municipal Market and stop reading.
The artist explained and assisted in the process of preparing the artistic activity and invited the young and old to work together with the staff of the Social Center. We thank her very much and hope to continue with her even more beautiful actions.
The activity is part of the Program “Social and Economic Integration of Refugees and Immigrants in Athens” concerning the support and integration of refugees and immigrants in Greek society. The Program is implemented by Caritas Hellas and is funded by Caritas Switzerland.