By Ioanna Nisyriou - Managing Director and Co-founder
Since May, we have been very busy! But the most important thing is that the library is open and people are coming. We have up to 15 visits a day, which is pretty much the maximum number of visitors that are allowed in at the same time due to COVID-19 government restrictions.
After one particular visit we received the most heartwarming communication from two social workers, which we would like to share with you:
"We had the opportunity to visit and get to know better the We Need Books Library and Community Centre, the organization and its people, as part of our work in a shelter which supports and protects abused refugee women.
Our constant goal and preoccupation is to introduce and familiarize the women with important entities and organizations in the city in order to contribute as much as possible in a holistic and meaningful integration and empowerment for themselves and their children.
In our search for such synergies, we learned about WNB, which operates in the center of Athens.
The people of WNB throughout our communication demonstrated admirable professionalism and were from our first contact open and willing to organize a visit that would be meaningful to the women of the shelter and their children.
When we visited the space we realized that it is a living and accessible point of reference in the city where refugees, migrants, visitors and local Athenians meet to participate in the various activities that it offers; reading different types of books in many languages, language lessons, relaxing in the backyard or the sofas, creative play in the specially designed corner of the library and a plethora of cultural activities. The women from our shelter immediately felt welcomed and promised that they would return.
After our collaboration with WNB, it’s our strongly held opinion that the Library/Community Centre constitutes an original and much needed project that is coordinated by caring, mobilized, and able people. Despite the short time it has been in the area, it has already become an inseparable and most valuable part of the community of Kypseli and the center of Athens in general. It's a project that not only deserves to continue, but which, if it’s gone, it would deprive professionals and activists of a dynamic tool in their arsenal and would strip the city of a space that is truly open and constructive for everyone without any barriers and discrimination."
It was with your support that the dream of Greece's first multilingual library materialised and we are forever grateful! We hope you will remain by the side of We Need Books so that together we can continue to offer valuable services to the refugee community in Athens.
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