However, the nation faces staggering challenges, for example the unemployment rate stands at 27% percent while 65% of young people ages 15-24 did not find work this summer.
Greece is currently one of the main gates to “freedom” from the turmoils created by the crisis in Syrian and ISIL. The official number of foreigners living in Greece is 800,000 but this number does not include the estimated 200,000 undocumented migrants
A response to the crisis is embodied by Golden Dome, a neo-Nazi party which is increasingly making itself known as it gains representation in Greek politics and the European Parliament.
In spite of severe limitation of people and money, Philemon and his Streetlights team endeavor to meet these challenges by making their presence known in the Kypseli district of Athens, also known as one of the most densely populated communities in Europe.
The squares of Kypseli are the stage where Streetlights connect with young people and create spaces where their creativity and talents can be harnessed for the benefit of the community. As people tell their stories, they encourage tolerance and acceptance.
They also run a used clothes shop which has become an income generating center as well as a place to help their customers understand what they are doing to bring a positive message.
Philemon and his team are passionate to open new avenues of service. They have explored many possibilities but found the best ideas as they meet neighbors and ask them questions seeking to identify solutions to their own problems. An innovative solution was found in Hydroponics. Philemon says “there are lots of empty floor spaces in so many buildings and these can be used to grow food!”. The team has started growing food and they plan to make Hydroponics a regular practice in the community.
Philemon is one friend who understands that dealing with the root issues in society start right people are at, in their local “village”.
Join Philemon and help Streetlights bring life to Greece.