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How did the ANKAA adventure start?
When was the ANKAA Project created? How did everything start?
What were the different steps? What were the different milestones?
March 2016 - August 2017
The founders of the ANKAA Project have been involved in the so-called 'migration crisis' since 2016. As long-term volunteers, we worked in different camps in Idomeni, Thessaloniki, Athens and Chios. We distributed clothes, cooked for the camps and people on the streets, organised childrens’ activities, and assisted during boat landings.
During our time volunteering on Chios island, we started to plan the concept of the ANKAA Project. We felt that emergency response measures weren’t enough to respond to the situation. Our objective was to create a project with long-time impact that can support people in creating their own sustainable solutions.
September 2017 - April 2018
Research in Athens, Greece
It is important to know services are offered on the ground before starting a project. We organised meetings with other organisations and did some research. Thanks to numerous interviews and an online survey, the needs of displaced people could be identified: language learning, skill-development and employment. Then we identified the employment gaps in Athens and the employment prospects for displaced people here.
Creation of a Luxembourgish non-profit organisation
We were officially declared a non-profit organisation in the Business & Trade Register in Luxembourg and opened a bank account in ANKAA’s name.
Signing of the rental contract
After visiting different properties, the rental contract for the space (Dimaraki 29) was signed. The building was the most adapted for the project due to its location and the combination of office spaces and workshop areas.
April 2018 - September 2018
Preparation of the space
A strong team of friends and volunteers worked closely together to prepare the space. The space needed to be cleaned and reorganised. A collection of material donations was organised to have the necessary items in the different departments. A professional kitchen was installed. The plumbing and the electricity in the space got fixed. Walls got painted.
Registration as a Greek non-profit
The founding team had to realize that being a foreign non-profit organisation isn't enough. With the help of the ANKAA Project's accountant, lawyer and other advisors, it was possible to overcome the different challenges and to register the ANKAA Profit as a non-profit organisation in Greece.
The ANKAA Project is open!
After many months of work, frustrations, sweat and joy, the ANKAA Project opened its doors for the first students. A registration software, complying with the GDPR, got put in place. Schedules and courses have been organised. Many volunteers supported and still support the project all along the way.
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