Coming from a largely homogeneous Greek community, Senior Fellow Sofia Koudouni rarely found differing perspectives and diversity of voices in public discussions. Sofia believed that, in her society, minorities were simply overlooked and left marginalized without any structured efforts of integration. While participating in the Humanity in Action Fellowship, she was exposed to various issues and perspectives helped her realize that diversity and intersectionality were missing from her work for women’s rights at She & He.
Inspired by discussions from the Fellowship, Sofia felt the need to share the experience with her community and to tackle the lack of pluralism. She decided to start on a small-scale with the volunteers of Thessaloniki, with the hope to reach out to the wider society.
Within her Action Project “Broadening Our Scope,” Sofia organized training seminars for volunteers of the local non-governmental organisations. The trainings raised awareness and created common ground among community members on various topics, such as veganism, zero and low waste tactics, work ethics, and life in the Roma community.
My project is just the first small step to create links between open-minded young people working in NGOs and to cultivate a common platform. Hopefully, we will nourish these partnerships even more, so we will build strong networks, mutual support, and visibility on a larger scale, as well as promote personal development among participants.
Sofia believes that organizing such a series of trainings was also a good learning experience for her, especially in conducting virtual seminars due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, she encourages everyone to learn and benefit from their networks. As she puts it, people are usually happy to share their knowledge or experience if they see you are interested in what they can offer.