PROJECT #1: Bookshop
A secondhand bookshop in central Athens, appealling to locals and foreigners alike. Selling books, and handmade products. The shop is run by volunteers, and legally employs survivors of exploitation in support roles, who receive on the job training in a safe environment. Proceeds from sales of gift items are directed to anti-trafficking projects or individuals who are recovering from abuse.
Employees are legally employed with social security in the Greek system. They will work through a four phase system, moving to more shift hours and responsibilities as they readjust to a regular work environment, and develop their capacity and abilities.
No matter their previous experience, at the end of a couple of years' employment at an Ek Neou project, an employee should have sufficient skils and understanding to be employable in a 'normal' company.
As well as a shadowing system, where each employee works alongside a trained volunteer to learn their job, there is also a day a week of training included in their paid work hours, in which they take part in language and literacy classes, as well as job skills workshops, and classes in other practical skills.
Where possible, employees will be encouraged to get recognised accreditation for learned skills.
A key part of the training programme is regular workshops to help the employees develop practical life skills (such as child care, budgeting, domestic skills...) as well as sessions designed to help rebuild a healthy self identity in the ladies, and work towards managing learned responses or trauma based behaviours. A qualified counsellor will be made available to the ladies for confidential discussions. Regular mentoring sessions will also be timetabled.