The Ant

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The Ant: A structure that aims to get the jobless in touch with the labour market

Piraeus, Greece
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

"Ant" it is a a social structure with a mission to support people in need. The mission will be accomplished by giving to excluded social groups the opportunity to cover their basic needs through work and not through charity.The concept of the "Ant " is based on recycling which causes job positions.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if excluded people from work, have again the opportunity to meet their basic needs through work and not through charity?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Each individual interacts with its environment and creates a framework within which they are provided with the opportunity of personal and collective development. Nevertheless the economic crisis has been the cause for a large part of the population to be excluded from work and its inability to cover some basic needs, such as clothing, food and heating.Unemployment causes the feeling of failure so they are not evolving.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The “Ant” it's based on recycling. Specifically : 1) Large bins with bright colors wll be placed in neighborhoods. 2) Residents will provide to the bins things they don't need such as clothes, kitchenware (plates, cups , forks , pots , etc.) and small furnitures. 3) Every week the “worker ants”, who will be chosen to participate in the program,they will contribute by collecting and sorting out the items that have been placed in the recycle bins and then repair anything that is needed. 4) The last phase will be all these items to be sold at affordable prices in a special shop, called the “Ant Nest”. 5) After covering operating costs, workers will be paid based on a percentage.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Example 1: You move! You notice that your new home has a different decor! Also, you realize that your old favorite household items have no place in the new home. Without buckets of "The Ant" probably, all your old staff, will end up in the trash. "The Ants" can give the opportunity for work to unemployed persons and a "second life" for your old favourite households items.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

At this moment Greece is under an unprecedented economic and social crisis. Values related to key pillars of the society such as employment and the provision of health,have received radical change to an extent that these are not covering everything that they have created for. The unemployment rate every year gets higher and this is a great problem in many levels which considers the Society. This structure will empower socially excluded groups in regards of productivity and create results through work. The level of sustainabilty will rise almost automatically! The mood of participants will change as slowly they will discover that with their participation they develop personal skills,knowledge and behaviours!This positive influence will provoke them to consume so their revenue will "return" to society.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The Project can ensure financial sustainability because will sell items that have zero cost. Financial aid is necessary at the beginning of the Project until obtain its own revenues.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Currently, in Greece there are no direct competitors doing the same project. There are, only, companies that collect clothes either choosing to who they will give them either selling them for their own profit. A program that has a lot of similarities, with "The Ants", is the magazine "Shedia". This magazine is sold by street vendors who come from socially vulnerable population groups. Since the selling price of the magazine, 50% goes directly to the same seller. The big difference is that this program is based on recycling and benefits both to society and to the environment.

Founding Story

When in 2009, I was in Brussels, as Erasmus student, i visited an organization like "The Ants". At this visit, I was impressed by how many items can be repaired and used again. So, before ending up in the trash, they could be given the opportunity for a second life. Like the "Ant workers" who after their unemployment, they have an opportunity to return to work. At that time I said: "I would do the same in Greece."


Pantelis Pantelidis - Communication, Eleftheria Sintrou - Social Worker