Who we are

About the Open Cultural Center

Open Cultural Center (OCC), previously known as Idomeni Cultural Center (ICC), is an organization formed by volunteers that carry out both educational and cultural programs with refugees currently living in the camps in Greece.

The OCC was set up in early April 2016 and came from a collective initiative from independent volunteers working in the Idomeni refugee camps. Refugees and international volunteers worked together to give classes and create a safe environment for children as well as adults, where these could continue to learn despite living in the camps.

The ICC also hosted cultural activities and events such as art and music classes, open-mic performances and movie nights. In Idomeni, the Cultural Center quickly turned into a significant resource in the camp, with over 150 children and over 80 adults attending the classes and events.

After the shutdown of the Idomeni camp on May 24th 2016, the OCC followed the refugees to the official camps in Cherso and Sounio, taking their experiences and resources with them so as to continue the classes, workshops and cultural activities imparted by the refugees. The OCC officially registered as a non-lucrative organization in 2016 with the name Open Cultural Center, to be able to continue their work in the current official camps.

Click here to see an overview of our organisation structure (new tab).

Our Mission

  • Improve the life quality and promote the social inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers through education and community activities in transit areas.
  • Promote inclusive communities and the rights of refugees and asylum seekers through awareness and sensibilisation activities and cultural exchange.

Our Vision

  • Define a working model based in solidarity, proximity and knowledge, which becomes a reference in the inclusion and active participation of refugees in today‚Äôs society. Develop tools to promote cultural exchange and communication between host and third country nationals through education.
  • The main values we focus on are Team working, Commitment and Volunteering.