EP.2 EMANTES – INTERNATIONAL LGBTIQA+ SOLIDARITY

Meet our community partners blog series!

Hello everyone! This is the third episode of our new blog series dedicated to Ecce Homo’s community partners, that is, all those non-profit LGBTIQ+ organizations around the world that are proud members of our Corporate Social Responsibility program! Last week, I introduced you to the Greek Transgender Support Association, and their initiatives regarding gender identity and expression advocacy. This week is all about those members of our colorful queer family who have been forced to flee their home countries under the threat of violence, and they currently live in Greece having the legal status of migrants, refugees or persons seeking asylum and international protection. Our partner to this journey is ‘Emantes - International LGBTQIA+ Solidarity’. In what follows, we are going to familiarize ourselves with their mission, their values, and the indispensable programs they run. I want to remind you once again that this blog series is part of Ecce Homo’s long-term engagement to promote the visibility of its community allies by taking up the role of media sponsor. In addition, I hope it constitutes an opportunity for our customers and friends to be kept informed of the activities of the organizations they choose to support via their purchase, ensuring this way both their active engagement and the non-negotiable transparency of our CSR program.

''EMANTES MEANS “WE” IN “KALIARDA”, THE FIRST GREEK LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY SLANG WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN MARGINALIZED. “WE” IS A RESPONSE TO WHAT THE “OTHERS” ALWAYS SYMBOLIZE AND A BET FOR “US, THE OTHERS” TO BE HEARD.''

The Social Cooperative Enterprise 'Emantes' was founded in July 2018 by active members of the ‘LGBTIQA+ Refugees Welcome’ collective in collaboration with migration and refugee experts. This collective was created in September 2016 by refugees and solidary persons. Most members had personal experience with refugee-migration issues and/or were involved in queer, LGBTIQA+, and feminist activist groups, and came together to focus their attention on one of the most unseen facets of the refugee “crisis”: that of the LGBTIQA+ community. Following a year of action, the members of the collective concluded that the lack of legal form limited its potential. 

That is, the collective could not access hot spots, camps, detention centers, asylum services, public services, or other agencies. Furthermore, funding resources were limited, thus making the coverage of the refugees’ basic needs (food, housing, education, etc.) difficult or even impossible. It was necessary to create something new. 'Emantes' aims to overcome these barriers. Its main objectives are to further support the LGBTIQA+ community and to raise awareness of their struggles. The creation of this legal entity will facilitate fundraising, visibility, and collaboration efforts.

The mission of 'Emantes' is to provide psychosocial support to queer refugees/migrants. More specifically, 'Emantes' aims to: 

  • Provide housing/shelter and food.        
  • Facilitate access to educational programs for LGBTIQA+ refugees/migrants for learning foreign languages, developing professional skills, etc., as long as they are conducted in places that are safe for LGBTQIA+ people.       
  • Provide information on LGBTIQA+ refugees’/migrants’ rights.        
  • Provide legal support and access to health services.        
  • Raise awareness of the LGBTIQA+ refugees'/ migrants’ as well as of the LGBTIQA+ community’s struggles and demands and put pressure on authorities.        
  • Cover these needs either by providing the services themselves or by referring to other providers.        
  • Employ LGBTIQA+ refugees/migrants based on their skills and abilities, contributing to their further integration, and responding to the exclusion they experience in the labor market due to their sexual orientation, gender expression and/or gender identity.

When it comes to the psychosocial support provided by 'Emantes', their approach is individualized. For every person assisted, a personal and ideally long-term plan is created, in collaboration with the beneficiary. Social history is first assessed, and then support is provided to meet specific needs and desires, either directly or through referrals. On the psychosocial end, referrals are made to other organizations for housing, legal, psychological and medical support. The terms and conditions of this particular service are always determined in consultation with the beneficiary. It must also be emphasized that 'Emantes' operations rely exclusively on the voluntary work of its members, and on their collaboration with volunteers from Greece and abroad. The project’s financial resources come from private donations, such as the ones made via Ecce Homo's CSR program.

To be more precise, 'Emantes' provides material services directly to its beneficiaries:              

  • Provision of dry and fresh food          
  • Paid emergency accommodation in hostels      
  • Referral to other organizations’ housing programs              
  • Provision of clothing in collaboration with other companies               
  • Facial laser hair removal cost coverage for trans women               
  • Purchase of prescription medicine   

'Emantes' also provides immaterial services (directly or through referrals to other organizations), which cover a wide range of needs:              

  • Legal assistance             
  • Help with access to medical and mental health services            
  • Information on legal, educational, and health issues             
  • Coordination of group meetings with the beneficiaries            
  • Support line through WhatsApp             
  • Organization of empowerment and awareness actions

For more information on 'Emantes', please visit: emantes.com (available in English)   

'Emantes' on social media: FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


   




 
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