magdas’ social enterprise mission is to empower and educate refugees and migrants in the hospitality and tourism industry. The hotel provides spaces for ten newcomers to Austria with placements at the hotel, allowing them to shadow ten industry professionals. This job-shadowing and mentorship between refugees and professionals in the industry is an important part of the program, alongside Caritas’ initiatives like language lessons and other services. The idea here is that refugees will later be hired by other hotels in tourist-heavy Vienna, allowing a steady stream of refugees to learn hospitality skills at magdas.
The global refugee and migrant crisis has displaced more than 60 million people around the world, with many attempting to seek refuge in nearby Europe. Globally, about 40,000 people are forced to leave their homes every single day, and although many have moved to Northern European countries like Austria, they are unable to find work because of barriers in language, customs, and citizenship status. It is estimated that well over 100,000 refugees are living in Austria right now. Employment opportunities and training for refugees is an important step in assisting newcomers and their families.
“Magdas” comes from the words “I like that” in German, and is an initiative that is run by the non-profit Caritas. magdas HOTEL is the first social business hotel in Austria, designed to provide opportunities for migrants that have arrived to Vienna as refugees. The hotel is a true, community-powered initiative, with over €56,000 crowdfunded to convert an elderly residence into what is now a thriving accommodation, with help from local designers from the nearby Academy of Arts. Even the hotel furnishings are donated, up-cycled, or recycled, and the hotel hosts many sustainable initiatives, including the harvesting of honey from beehives on the roof.
Wise Greece Athens, Greece Impact Wise Greece is a non-profit social enterprise with a double mission: supporting small farmers and producers of Greek products across the country, and using the profits to purchase food for the homeless, children, and elderly in need. They work with the best Greek producers, to get their products into shops in Greece and abroad, raising awareness and support for the Mediterranean diet and Greek products like food, spices, and natural cosmetics. Profits from the organization are used to provide food supplies to other organizations such as the Solidarity Center of the Municipality of Athens, supporting people in need, and the Emfasis Foundation, feeding individuals experiencing homelessness. Planeterra works to introduce tour companies and travellers to Wise Greece’s stores and products. 100 Food Producers 2,500 Products Critical Need Homelessness is a significant social issue in Greece, which was exacerbated by the Greek Financial Crisis which started in 2009, during which an estimated 111,000 Greek companies filed for bankruptcy. There is currently no accurate record of how many Athenians are experiencing homelessness, but the official unemployment rate hit almost 28% during the economic crisis that devastated the country over the last few years. Wise Greece is a non-profit organization with a mission to support local Greek farmers and producers, all while purchasing food for those in need. Our Involvement Planeterra began partnering with Wise Greece in 2020, introducing products from the organization onto the sailing itineraries of their travel partner G Adventures. Through this partnership, thousands of travellers sailing the Greek Islands will enjoy Wise Greece products such as salt, honey, tea and olive oil. Stocking these small vessels will increase Wise Greece’s revenue and is also a great marketing tool, as their products are sold internationally in destinations like Sweden and the United Kingdom. It also helps travellers to Greece give back to the local community during their visit. Related projects View all projects > Moshi MamasNyamirambo Community Tour View all projects >
DÊSA Dubrovnik, Croatia Impact The sustainable income generated by travellers will allow for DEŠA to expand the reach of its community and women's projects. The ripple effects from visitors will be felt throughout the organization and the communities in which they work. From improving rural employment to empowering female entrepreneurs, DEŠA will be able to continue providing opportunities for those who have been left marginalized in their community. 40 members 1,200 community members benefitting Critical Need Founded during the homeland war, DEŠA was born when a group of locals from Dubrovnik partnered with refugees and made a small handicraft business. Now, they continue as a women’s centre which provides victim support while acting as a centre of cultural preservation. From the beginning, the founders of DEŠA knew it was important to not just provide emotional support for fellow women but to connect them to meaningful work that would make them feel empowered. In anticipation of tourism’s return to Dubrovnik, DEŠA provided computer and language courses so women could have the opportunity to take part in what was to become a booming tourist economy. Through selling handicrafts made by women across the country, and providing tourists with the opportunity to learn about traditional costumes, weaving, and cooking, DEŠA is contributing to the sustainable and inclusive development of its communities. Our Involvement Through our Partnership with DEŠA, Planeterra will be providing a small grant to assist in capacity building as well as training and collaboration in developing a new cultural experience for travellers. Planeterra also facilitated a partnership between G Adventures and DEŠA, which means a consistent stream of travelers gaining insight into DEŠA’s mission and experiencing traditional Croatian culture, all while providing sustainable income for the organization’s community work. Related projects View all projects > Moshi MamasNyamirambo Community Tour View all projects >
Shedia Home Athens, Greece Impact A regular customer base to the brand new Shedia Home, a café which opened in May 2019, provides valuable sustainable income for Shedia’s programs. Planeterra’s partnership with Shedia also increases the visibility of Shedia’s Invisible Tours, a tour of Athens which “makes the invisible, visible” conducted by a guide experiencing homelessness, as well as Shedia’s art project, which trains and employs individuals experiencing homelessness. Look above you when you visit the café - the art installment hanging from the ceiling represents the 43 individuals who now have homes thanks to their connection with Shedia. 20 people employed 150 community members benefitting Critical Need Homelessness is a significant social issue in Greece, which was exacerbated by the Greek Financial Crisis which started in 2009, during which an estimated 111,000 Greek companies filed for bankruptcy. There is currently no accurate record of how many Athenians are experiencing homelessness, but the official unemployment rate hit almost 28% during the economic crisis that devastated the country over the last few years, with youth unemployment especially surpassing 50%. Shedia - meaning “raft” in Greek - is a not-for-profit organization that works to employ and empower people experiencing homelessness and social exclusion in Greece. They have a vast number of programs including a soccer team, an upcycling/art project, a street paper, an educational social tour of Athens led by homeless guides, and a café-bar-restaurant in the historical center of the Greek capital called Shedia Home. Through their programs, 150 people experiencing homelessness and social exclusion have been provided with the opportunity, through working and not begging, to earn an income to cover some of their most basic needs, on a daily basis, while 20 full-time employment positions have been created in the recently launched Shedia Home. Our Involvement Planeterra has partnered with Shedia Home and connected the café with one of our tourism partners, G Adventures, so it will now be included on itineraries stopping in Athens. Travellers will get to have a drink at the café and enjoy an educational talk from one of Shedia’s guides, all of whom are experiencing homelessness themselves. Shedia’s guides give unparalleled insight into what life is like for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and/or social exclusion, and how Shedia’s programs are combatting the crisis. Related projects View all projects > Solheimar EcovillageMigrantour Naples View all projects >
Nem Adom Fel
Nem Adom Fel Café & Bar Budapest, Hungary Impact Nem Adom Fel Foundation (meaning ‘I never give up’) was founded in 2005 with the mission to empower differently-abled Hungarians. This includes the Nem Adom Fel Café and Bar, where 90% of employees are differently-abled. With a grant from Planeterra for upgrades to the café, employees are able to better serve customers. The improvements to the café and the connection to travellers also guarantee increased income. The more money the café makes, the more funds can be channeled into the Nem Adom Fel Foundation’s work to advocate for Hungarians living with disabilities, and to invest in their programs that positively impact the lives of Hungary’s Roma communities. 180 people employed 90% of employees are differently abled Critical Need Almost 1 million Hungarians are differently-abled either physically or mentally, and there are great disparities in employment rates and education levels between able-bodied Hungarians and Hungarians who are differently-abled. Although recent government legislation and programs have attempted to tackle these issues (and others such as accessibility), with varying degrees of success, there exists a need to empower and employ people who are differently-abled in Hungary. It’s not only those who are differently-abled that are at a disadvantage in these areas - unemployment and education levels are also low for Hungary’s Roma population. Unemployment for the Roma is 3-5 times higher than for other Hungarians, and they are heavily segregated and discriminated against in the country’s education system. Additionally, the Roma in Hungary are more likely to be impoverished, suffer from insufficient housing, and lack of access to healthcare. Nem Adom Fel Foundation (meaning ‘I never give up’) was founded in 2005 with the mission to empower differently-abled Hungarians, with a view that everyone has something to give, and everyone can help someone else. They have since expanded this mission to the Roma communities around Hungary, raising funds to create daycare, social support for students, and other community initiatives. Our Involvement Planeterra partnered with Nem Adom Fel Foundation in 2018, at first connecting the foundation’s restaurant, the Nem Adom Fel Café and Bar, with tour operator G Adventures, to include a meal stop for their tours visiting Budapest. Planeterra has also supported Nem Adom Fel Foundation with a grant to be used for upgrades to their café’s operations and marketing, as the café sometimes suffers a lack of customers since it opened in 2016. The staff from the café were able to attend English lessons as a result of this funding, which helps them to serve international clients. Funding also supported an investment into the café’s electrical system, and restocked some of the kitchen’s equipment. Related projects View all projects > MescladisMigrantour Rome View all projects >