On my Saturday stroll in Syntagma Square I had a pleasant surprise. A middle aged man standing shyly on the pavement was selling Shedia (the accent on the “I”- meaning raft in Greek). I stopped, said hello and bought one. His hand was shaking as he gave me the change and the hand written receipt. I wish I had more courage to stay and chat but confess I did not. I wanted to tell him that his presence and his paper were a ray of sunshine in this dark period. Unemployed men and women face not only h financial difficulties but social and psychological dangers too.
People used to a working life routine have to find something to fill up their days, give a purpose to their lives and contribute to the upkeep of their households. Shedia belongs to the growing family of street papers (122 publications in 40 countries) and I am quoting and translating from Mr. Christos Alefantis article in the first issue: “the aim is to give to our fellow men and women experiencing poverty and social marginalization the ability not only to earn some income but to keep their hopes up for a better future, keeping them within what we call “organized society”.
Reading the magazine I found the content of high quality and not at all miserable, realistic but witty, informative and pleasant. The operational method is explained clearly: from the 3 Euros one pays for the paper the seller gets half. He/she is given the first ten for free so he can start off. From then on one develops his own talents and earns according to his/her selling abilities.
Shedia is an initiative that deserves the title of “solidarity” and not charity.