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December 2018
From the editor

Dear friends of NAOMI,
We greet you warmly with the last edition of our newsletter for this year. The NAOMI organization has been in 2018 a ray of sunshine in the dark times we are experiencing in the world.  With your help, in 2019,  refugees will continue to find help and warmth. In these cold days, our mission statement is: “A Life of Peace” for everybody. Your solidarity and commitment to our mission and efforts encourage us and at the same time create in us the obligation to be more devoted to the needs of the refugees.
New Elected Secretary
The NAOMI Society has elected Dr. Petros Panagiotopoulos as board member to serve the position of secretary. Dr. Panagiotopoulos is an assistant professor at the department of Ethics and Sociology at the School of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He is an active member of various social initiatives and we have collaborated with him, three years ago, in Idomeni for the refugee relief. Welcome Petro! Dr Ulf Möbius as treasurer and Dorothee Vakalis as chairman were re-elected at the NAOMI General Assembly in November.

New Volunteers
NAOMI has established a new collaboration with the Center for Mission and Ecumenism of the North Church in Germany. The purpose of the collaboration is the sending of volunteers who are going to work with our organization on a full time base and they will be supported financially from the North Church. We warmly welcome to NAOMI, Wiebke Schümann (MBA and Economics) and Julia Stöckert (deaconess). They will serve our organization for a period of nine months and, both, are already doing a great job in social work, in the courses and production of the textile workshop. Specifically, Wiebke is helping NAOMI to setup a web shop for the Textile Workshop and Julia supports women in the production groups and in individual care.

New Trainee
NAOMI continues its collaboration with Alice Salomon Hochschule in Berlin, and gives the opportunitie to students and prospective social workers to have a six month trainee experience with our organization and especially our social department. This September we welcomed Paula Maether who, in the coming months, will assist our social worker Paul Esser.

New Budget
Our two year program (2016-2018) has come successfully to an end, and a new strategic plan and budget has been prepared for the coming two years (2019-2020). The Board is working hard to finance the NAOMI project "Emergency Aid and Integration Measures" for the years 2019-2020. Salaries, rents and administration must be secured in advance. The four previous project sponsors (Diakon. Werk Württemberg, Diakon. Werk Baden, Rheinische Landeskirche and the Landeskirche in Hessen-Nassau) are helping NAOMI to find partners in order to cover the entire budget of our organization.
So far, our partners have agreed to cover the core needs of our organization. We are infinitely grateful and can tell you: NAOMI continues! We are committed to help refugees in North Greece also for 2019-2020!

New Dreams
Nevertheless, NAOMI vision exceeds the limits of our current funding. We have the vision to help as many refugees as we can, to rent a new office, to hire two more refugees to work full time for the Textile Workshop, to buy new machinery and software for the Textile Workshop and to open an info point and show room in the center of the city. That’s why we are seeking  to establish new partnerships with institutions, organizations and churches in order to cover the needs of our projects.
Dear newsletter receiver. Stay true to NAOMI! The emergency aid, which NAOMI is offering on a daily basis to the refugees, is financed exclusively through your donations and collections. The more donations, the more intensive help and empowerment we can offer.

We wish you all, a blessed christmas time and peace for the world. 

On Behalf of the Board,
Dorothee Vakalis, 
Pfrin. i. R.
President of NAOMI Ecumenical Workshop for Refugees

Newsletter Editorial Team: Manolis Ntamparakis & Eva-Maria Kiorpelidis
New ... Orders on Request 
Photos by Balloona Matata
In the textile workshop, we have been very busy with our production for the Christmas season. We continued our close cooperation with “Balloona Matata”, who distributes our “Remember Idomeni” Jackets in Spain. We were also able to get a big order from “Frankenkonvoi”, who sold our products at a Christmas market in the Nuremberg area.
Photos by Balloona Matata
We are also starting producing a new organic T-Shirt collection/order for the upcoming tour of the Dutch dance company “Connie Jansen Danst” and we are preparing a custom made rucksack for a school in Berlin. NAOMI was also present at Wuppertal in the City Church on the day of human rights (#freiundgleich/ @initiativefreiundgleich), December 11th. We were presenting our products in a fashion parade and sharing experience of fair jobs in the start of the national campaign “Human Rights in the Textile Industry” by the Protestant Church of Germany (EKD) and United Evangelical Mission.
Photos by EKD/Ansgar Gilster
While continuing our regular production, we are trying to expand “on request” orders, which secure stable jobs and income for the refugees. This was our experience with the project of the production of 1.250 T-Shirts for a non-profit organization during the summer. The goal of all these efforts is to employ more refugees here in our workshop in Thessaloniki. If you know of any company or organization that might be interested in getting T-Shirts, bags, rucksack or other textiles products with a company label or custom print please contact our manager of the textile department, Mr Lehofer at We are able to customize many designs and cuttings.
New ... Friends from USA
NAOMI's new friends from Geneva, New York
Manolis Ntamparakis sharing stories of NAOMI's Work in Philadelphia
September and October were two exciting months for NAOMI. The Presbyterian Church of USA invited Manolis Ntamparkis, NAOMI’s Manager of Finance and Social Action, to represent NAOMI and Europe and serve as International Peacemaker at the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program of PCUSA.
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program makes it possible for leaders from around the world to visit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) each year to interpret issues of peace and justice. These visits have informed members of churches, organizations, students and professors at universities, opened hearts and minds, touched lives, established relationships and inspired new ministries.
Manolis visited USA from 18th of September till 17th of October. He had the opportunity in 25 days to deliver 32 talks, presentations and lectures in various locations and settings. Specifically:
- Four States : New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky
- Twelve Cities: Pittsburg, Philadelphia, Penn Yan, Geneva, Seneca Falls, Watkins Glenn, North Canton, Ashland, Wooster, New Concord, Marietta, Louisville.
- Four Universities and Colleges: Ashland University, Muskingum University, Washington Community College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 
By sharing stories of NAOMI’s work and witness among the refugees in North Greece, Manolis helped PCUSA and partner organizations to understand peace and justice concerns around the world, comprehend the depth of refugee crisis in Europe and particularly in Greece,  and provide insights that can inspire initiatives.
It was a successful trip because a new relationship and partnership was established between PCUSA and NAOMI. Additionally, thousands of people had the opportunity to learn about NAOMI and professors and students in four US universities were informed about how we contribute towards the solution of the refugees' crisis. 
International Peacemakers 2018
New ... Partnerships 
Sponsorship of Employment for Refugees
For thousands of asylum seekers and refugees in Europe, finding work is an uphill struggle. Finding work that matches their skills, expertise and qualifications is even harder. In Greece, there aren’t any programs available for coaching and preparing/training people for the labor market, but also there is a lack of stability in the labor market. While the class of working poor is growing with salaries of 15 Euro per day, refugees aren’t able to survive and provide for their families with these incomes. Through NAOMI, refugees have the opportunity to be employed in a safe and friendly working environment that is giving them a fair income. 
Till now, the NAOMI’s production group has grown organically. At the end of 2017, two refugees were employed half time. Our goal for 2019 is to offer new employment opportunities  for refugees and employ two more refugees.
To accomplish our goal, we need your help! NAOMI is establishing the Sponsorship of Employment for Refugees (SER). As we are improving our marketing strategy and increase our sales, we would like to join hands with you and all together create new jobs for the refugees.
In order NAOMI to support a part time job in the textile workshop we need 15 people who will donate 50 euro per month for a year and in this way sponsor a job place for a refugee to work in NAOMI’s Textile Workshop.
Sponsorship Employment is a relational investment in which sponsors work together to help displaced persons resettle into a local community. Assisting one family can have an impact for years to come, not only on those who have been sponsored, but also the whole community and future generations.
You can be a hero and by sponsoring the salary of a refugee you help them to integrate and establish hope for a new life. You can transform the life of a refugee by offering him or her the opportunity to work.
How You Can Support Naomi's Projects
You can order and buy handmade aprons, bags, jackets, shirts and other items, which have been produced by refugees in the textile workshop. We send your order by courier. Every acquisition of a NAOMI product provides support for people in need.
Naomi's Textile Workshop Product Catalogue
Your financial support helps to transform lives. Our project, programs and staff are financed from partner organizations and private donations.
Copyright © NAOMI 2018, All rights reserved.
T: +30 2311 243415

Our mailing address is:

29A Ptolemaion Str.
GR 54630 Thessaloniki, 6th floor

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Naomi · 29A Ptolemaion Str. · Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 546 30 · Greece

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