A less visible but perhaps further reaching outcome is that Greek education system has become one of the most unequal in the developed world. Although education in Greece is free, public schools are suffering from spending cuts imposed as a condition of the bailout agreements. In practice, over the last 30 years it has become increasingly necessary for students to pay expensive private tuition to pass the famously difficult Panhellenic exams required to get to university. However, with unemployment rising and salaries falling, many poor and middle-class families are struggling to pay this extra tuition. A World Economic Forum report ranked Greece last of 30 advanced economies for education because of the close relationship between students’ performance and their parents’ income. In addition, a professor of law and economics at the University of Athens warns that losing talented students from poor backgrounds is a “national catastrophe”, which could hinder Greece’s long-term economic recovery.
On the other hand, the educational system is based only in formal education. As a result, young people do not have the opportunity to develop their soft skills and to become integrated individuals. Especially in Kalamata, young people do not have many free of charge options to develop their selves. They have to pay to learn a new language, how to dance or just to be athletic.
In 2017, after traveling abroad, one of the founders of Culti Multi, Jelena Scepanovic decided to pursue a dream of creating an organization in Kalamata, which will support educational and cultural activities for young people and social entities.
Since its establishment in 2018, Culti Multi has participated in and organized trainings, seminars and workshops. The organization includes volunteers and mentors with a lot of experience in educational and cultural activities. Even if Culti Multi has some national and international collaborations, expresses a deep interest to develop its capacity and network internationally.
Culti Multi is a social cooperative, which was created by active citizens with big experience in volunteering projects. All five members of the cooperative are or were members of civil organizations or cultural entities, which were based on volunteering, local or international. Being familiar with volunteering projects such as EVS, the team believes that European Solidarity Corpse can potentially be added value to the services they are offering to the community. Their daily work has to do with solidarity, assistance and creativity. Elements basic for an active young person who decides to become an ESC volunteer, move to another country and put together his/her best qualities to achieve change.
The before mentioned activities’ scope is nonprofit and community oriented. They aim to the development of the civic sector and especially the entities, which are producing social or cultural impact. Based on that the Culti Multi team expects the work of the volunteer to benefit to their daily work, achieving in parallel the internationalization of the work. Culti Multi is consisted of five members who are equally contributing to the aim. Two of them are having long experience with the EVS and ESC programs and they are responsible for the coordination and facilitation of the volunteers’ work. Additionally, one of them, the main coordinator was a former EVS volunteer. Both of them undertook roles such as mentors, coordinators, project managers and support persons in volunteering activities in Kalamata the last 7 years. In addition, they have long experience and training, in facilitating non-formal education courses.
Culti Multi is a social cooperative based in Kalamata, Greece. Culti Multi aims to develop innovative educational and cultural activities for young people, educators and organizations. The team believes that education should be based on interactive, multifunctional games, on-line or offline, as well as to become learners’ based. As of cultural activities, beside products, should be considered as deeper connections between people and their personal cultures. In education, Culti Multi creates:
In culture, the organization creates:
The vision is to assist social entities (NGOs, associations, public sector) to develop their activities, to create valuable interconnections between them, enrich their services, develop audiences and increase their impact.
More specifically, the activities that Culti Multi carries out include:
The target groups of Culti Multi are social entities (NGOs, associations, public sector) and young people.
The challenges of Culti Multi are both economic and social. A lack of funding and social support continues to influence it as they struggle to influence society to see how important is to support social entities and young people.
The impact this company has had is overwhelmingly positive. The practices of Culti Multi have enabled a number of young people to enter the workforce through the support of social entities, training, workshops and opportunities.
Even the experience of Cutli Multi is not that big yet, the team knows from the beginning that they need to focus in society, listen carefully its needs, respect, and include local people and community in general.
The work that Culti Multi continues to complete would greatly benefits citizens on a national level. At an international level, it could help target groups by providing training for individuals and social entities beyond the borders of Kalamata, as this is a nation-wide issue.
Culti Multi participates in international programs in order to expand and developed its cooperations and to ensure the similar objectives of support in social entities and young people globally.