Mayor: Maria Kamma
Since 2015, the Municipality of Tilos has been implementing programs for refugees. The housing program, implemented in collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has been a huge success and has gained international recognition. Over the last year, 52 accommodation places have been available for asylum seekers on the island through the ESTIA program. Good management and the cordial reception by the local population, helped these people to feel safe and part of the local society, without any discrimination.
A great example of this is the participation of the beneficiary children in the classes of the Primary School of Tilos and the sports activities.
Importantly, in 2018, a Social Cooperative Enterprise was created, the small cheese cooperative called Irina of Tilos. The creation of the cooperative was supported by a program on refugees and migrants and aimed at reviving organized livestock and processing on the island, and fostering smooth integration and socialization of asylum seekers and recognized refugees.
In Tilos, refugee children attend the classes of the Primary School of Tilos and participate in the sport, cultural and recreational activities, without any discrimination!
In 2018, a Social Cooperative Enterprise was created, the small cheese cooperative called Irina of Tilos, under a program supporting refugees and migrants with the aim of reviving organized livestock and processing on the island and fostering smooth integration and socialization of asylum seekers and recognized refugees.
The cooperative started operating in the spring of 2018, following an investment of several tens of thousands of euros. A few months later the first product was released, a white goat cheese, which immediately found a place in the market.
The investment attracted the support of a small Swiss municipality, Meniere, near Geneva. With the support of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Swiss municipality raised the money needed and the project was implemented. Thus, a KOINSEP was created, with the participation of local residents, refugees, the municipality of Tilos and the company Belgomilk which provided all the technological equipment.
The Cooperative Enterprise follows a model which aims at the economic, social and cultural development of the project’s participants and the smooth integration and socialization of asylum seekers and recognized refugees, with the ultimate goal of their social integration in Tilos.