Diaplous is one of the first social enterprises in Greece established by the law 2716/99. Diaplous acquired its legal status sometime in early 2004. A team of mental health professionals, people with psychosocial problems, friends and legal persons were gathered together and the journey began!
This journey was a demanding one, as we had to meet the challenge of creating a business, with long-term viability, in which people with psychosocial problems would work.
During this journey, we have encountered various obstacles, financial and, mainly bureaucratic. However, our persistence and patience have been remarkable.
At the end of 2007, through funding we received, we started a new initiative developing a team offering gardening services to private customers in the wider area of Attica. We also bought agricultural equipment and installed an one-acre greenhouse in order to cultivate the land. We renovated an old space in the center of Athens and opened up a shop selling traditional products from all over Greece.
Having acquired considerable experience over the following years, we thought that a re-organisation of our business activities was due. We transformed the gardening team into a grass cutting and clearing team, meanwhile staying faithful to our commitment with regards to product cultivation, having in mind many plans of extending and enriching our activities further. We then dared to venture towards the new challenge of cleaning services. At the same time, a decision was made to close down the traditional products store, and were later vindicated for the decision to cease its operation.
During the last few years, Diaplous employs an average of 75 to 85 people (most of them part-time job positions) while the products and services it produces and provides are of high quality, something which has been repeatedly recognized by our clients who of course constitute the best possible advertisement for us through their encouragement and promotion!
Having a long experience working in this field under our principles and philosophy, we feel competent to make business in the sector of social and solidarity economy.
An indispensable part of our work is the focus on our employee as a human. We endeavor to create the working conditions that meet the particular characteristics of each individual and highlight their strengths and abilities. Employment is the means through which people with psychosocial difficulties will integrate into the working environment as well as into the society. Through employment, they will develop or strengthen skills, ‘fight’ against the social exclusion, overturn stereotypes and prejudices, and, at the same time, earn an income that will allow them to live with dignity.
This is what makes us a social enterprise: our great investment in developing the values of support, reciprocity and solidarity among our employees should be the aim of a social enterprise.
You can be a part of this endeavor!
Our vision includes a new and different business suggestion. The mission of the Social Cooperative Diaplous is the development and maintenance of viable, business activities in the Social Solidarity Economy sector. Its activities aim at the improvement of the conditions of the social and employment integration of people with psychosocial difficulties, in a working environment that promotes their mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.
Our focus is human and our values are equal participation and cooperation.
In Diaplous, we fight for the elimination of exploitation, racism and abuse of human rights.
We care about others more than our individualism. We respect each person’s particular characteristics, diversity, uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses.
We try our best to bring back the real concept of “association”. We transform the relationship between the employer and the employee into a condition in which an individual has both the roles of the employee and the employer.
The cooperative owns to its members and employees. We attempt to strengthen the idea of cooperation, mutual help and mutual support towards a common goal.
Having these values, our employees build host relationships with each other as well as trust-based relationships with our clients.
We believe that common goals, patience, perseverance, self-respect as well as respect to others are the foundations in order to develop and maintain a social enterprise.