At some point in our life, we are all going to need a helping hand to get us through choppy waters. For the lucky, there is a loving family always ready to offer support and comfort. For others, good friends rise to the call and can pull us out of even the darkest of situations. But when you are alone, truly alone, the world must seem a hostile place and the way forward bleak.
There’s a cafe /restaurant in Athens that offers support to the lonely and aims to give a future to those who feel they have none. It offers training, shelter and solidarity to Athens’ street dwellers and to people who have previously been labelled ‘unemployable’ by their circumstance.
A σχεδια (shedia) is a life raft and Shedia Home is the perfect name for this cosy, bright restaurant in the centre of Athens. One of Greece’s top chefs offered to train all the cooks who work here and they are now producing some seriously tasty dishes. The highly professional staff are all people who have struggled to find jobs (and in Greece’s current climate where 60% of young people are unemployed, who hasn’t?) and, along with some very capable volunteers, keep the busy restaurant running faultlessly.
Art, creativity and inclusivity are at the core of Shedia philosophy and I think you really feel that vibrance around the whole place. It is something of a social hub, offering free arts and crafts courses to any interested person, homeless or not.
The cafe and restaurant also houses an art gallery displaying a vast array of items made from recycled editions of ‘Shedia’, Athens street magazine.
‘Shedia ‘ is sold by members of vulnerable social groups. The magazine is distributed from offices above the restaurant and also plays an important role in creating income and work for those who need it most.
Shedia Home continues to throw out its lifelines and pull many of Athens’ less fortunate citizens into a brighter future and likewise, it deserves our support to keep floating onwards.
Visit Shedia Home on Kolokotroni 56 and Nikiou 2 or watch my video: