pixida-project-coffee-trainingPixida – Athens, Greece

Pixida is a project run in a deprived area of Athens called Kipselli. It is a project that helps to equip youth and long term unemployed adults with important life skills including literacy, numeracy, English language, practical skills (wood work) and others. We started our coffee school there in 2015. After visiting and training people there a few times, I trained one of the project managers as a barista trainer and he now runs the project. This means I only need to visit every 2 months or so to check on things, reassess the program, certify graduates and review/refine what needs doing. That’s the beauty of working together. I am able to train others to run their projects.

Thiva women’s prison. Thiva, Greece

Thiva is a small town on a hill approximately one hour’s drive from Athens in Greece. The women’s prison is situated approximately 10 miles out of the town and houses approximately … women. It also allows women to have their children with them in the prison until the children reach the age of 3 years old. It is a very tragic situation with many of the prisoners led to crime for varying reasons in many cases domestic abuse, trafficking, loss of work, desperation. Some years ago a man by the name of Klimis Pirounakis, a retired head master, dedicated his life to making a difference at the prison and there he set up the school of second chance, where women prisoners have the opportunity to complete their education and graduate from high school. The school also enables them to develop their gifts and talents in skills such as art (beautiful works of art adorn the walls of the prison), sewing, textiles and others. They can sell their products to earn money which often they put aside for when they are released. This has been a phenomenal success empowering these women to turn their lives around upon leaving. We set up a coffee school there with the help and donations from the prison staff, ex-prisoners and community. I visit every 2 -3 months to carry out intensive training sessions to as many women as possible, preparing them for work upon leaving.