The first common activity between bus drivers / OASA executives and refugees / asylum seekers was held on Thursday 9th January at the Schisto Refugee Accommodation Center.
The main objective of the activity was to inform the population of the camp about the rights and obligations of the passengers in public transportation. The significance of the activity lies in the fact that many of the disputes and conflicts occurring within public transportation originate from the lack of information on the current regulation and consequently to non-compliance with the regulation. Providing targeted information on public transport regulation serves one of the main goals of the REVERT project which is to increase protection of migrants and refugees from xenophobic and racist attacks.
Approximately 50 people attended the activity, refugees and asylum seekers, representatives of the REVERT project and trained on human rights, xenophobia and conflict resolution public transportation bus drivers and station masters. More specifically, the REVERT work group was represented by Mr. Giorgos Stamoulos, Head of the Department of Commercial Exploitation in OSY-OASA, Mrs. Christina Varla, Head of Passenger Information Services Department at OASA, Mr. Stefanos Bezantakos, Station Master of OSY-OASA and Mr. Ioannis Ioannidis, Bus Driver of OSY-OASA, Mr. Nikos Gionakis, Psychologist and Scientific Coordinator of Syn-Eirmos and Mrs. Lila Mastora, Researcher, NKUA. The interpretation of Greek to Arabic was carried out by Safa Abdel Rasul from Almasar organization, whereas the interpretation of Greek to Farsi was carried out by Zahir Yawary also from Almasar organization.
The session focused on issues related to fare, luggage and baggage handling, child and baby carriage and general behaviour within buses and trolleys. All participants, refugees/ asylum seekers and representatives of OASA were actively involved in the discussion on public transportation highlighting the special difficulties in the bus lines which serve the certain camp as well as the possibility of resolving them through cooperation.
The Agents of Change, Stefanos Bezantakos and Ioannis Ioannidis, responded effectively to the questions and needs of the refugees and the asylum seekers and contributed to cultivating understanding and collaboration between public transportation professionals and migrants and refugees, as well as destabilizing existing negative attitudes and stereotypes.
Similar activities will take place at Skaramagas and Eleonas Refugee Accommodation Centers. More particularly, on Monday, 20 of January 2020, the REVERT work group will meet with the refugee and asylum seekers at Eleonas Refugee Accommodation Center and on Tuesday, 21 of January 2020, at Skaramagkas Refugee Accommodation Center.