The Norwegian Ambassador, Frode Overland Andersen, mentioned that he is impressed and moved by the work that takes place every day at the Drama Ladies Union-House of Open Hospitality.
The Ambassador accepted the invitation of the President, Ms. Aliki Tsiamoura to attend the Opening Day of the “Time to Talk” project, which is implemented in the context of the Active Citizens Fund program, with Bodossaki Foundation and Solidarity Now as grant managers. This project is funded by the European Economic Area (EEA) financial mechanism, known as EEA Grants, with Norway, Island and Liechtenstein as granters. In his brief greeting he mentioned: “We see in Greece an increasing and systematic support of vulnerable groups. I had the chance to visit the House of Open Hospitality and the work carried out there is impressive. I am really moved by their effort. Norway has disposed €2.2 million in the country for the support of gender-based victims and their families and for the empowerment of women and young girls, and we are fully satisfied that this investment has brought results. This financial support would not have been effective if it weren’t for strong local allies, such as the Drama Ladies Union-House of Open Hospitality. You should be really proud of what you have accomplished and of the impact of your work in the community”.
A greeting was also sent via video by the State Secretary of Labor and Social Affairs, Maria Syrengela, as well as on behalf of the grant manager by the Manager of the Active Citizens Fund program in Greece, Ms. Tzeni Lazarou. Then, the presentations of the project responsible for “Time to Talk”, Ms. Maria Galanopoulou, of Ms. Chatzifotiou Sevasti – Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work of Democritus University of Thrace as presenter, of Ms. Antoniou Angeliki – Assistant professor at the Department of Archival, Library & Information Studies of the University of West Attica and lastly of Ingunn Rangul Askeland, clinical psychologist from the Norwegian organization “Alternative to Violence” followed.
The event was graced by the presence of the deputy regional governor of Drama, the president of the regional council, the mayors of Drama and Paranesti, the general, police authorities and representatives of organizations.
Ms. Tsiamoura had a surprise in store for the Ambassador at the beginning of the event. Efi Zanni and her partners dedicated two songs to him. Earlier, the Ambassador had attended an intervention at the camp of Filippos in Drama along with the “Mobile School Travels” team.
The “Time to Talk” project started in December 2021 and has a duration of 14 months. It aims at training Drama Ladies Union-House of Open Hospitality on how to support a gender-based violence abuser. The Norwegian organization “Alternative to Violence” with 30 years experience in supporting the abuser of gender-based violence will train the staff of Drama Ladies Union-House of Open Hospitality, as well as representatives of the Police of Drama and the Social Services of the Prefecture of Drama on how to manage the abuser and combat the causes of abuse. In addition, a university research for emerging forms of online violence will be carried out by the cooperating Universities, i.e. University of Peloponnese, University of West Attica and Democritus University of Thrace, whereas the project’s website will be updated and an online game will be created. Lastly, face-to-face informative workshops will be held with Senior High School, Vocational High School and Professional Training Institute students of the Municipality of Drama regarding the emerging forms of online violence.
“Time to Talk” is implemented in the context of the Active citizens fund program, with Drama Ladies Union– House of Open Hospitality as implementation body. The €13.5 million Active Citizens Fund program is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) financial mechanism for the period 2014 – 2021, known as EEA Grants. The program aims at fortifying and strengthening the sustainability of civil society and at highlighting its role in promoting democratic processes, strengthening citizens’ participation in society and defending human rights. The management of the grant of the Active Citizens Fund program for Greece has been jointly undertaken by the Bodossaki Foundation and SolidarityNow. For more information: www.activecitizensfund.gr