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  Nr. 23 - February 2000
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Social Welfare Organisation of Paros (S.W.O.P.)

by Sigi Kindt and Gelong Shenphen, February 2000
On Thursday 13th January, the local social welfare organisation of volunteers met for the first time to discuss ways of contributing our services to the community. This first meeting was well attended and proved very productive and as our first action we decided to organise a clothes giveaway for those in need. This will take place on Saturday February 12th at 10.30am-1pm in Marpissa opposite the windmills. If you have clothes or household items you would like to donate or could volunteer a little time on the day to help, call Barbara (42358) or Sigi (23775) for information.

Primarily, we hope to give community service in two ways:- First, by organising methods of direct help to those in need e.g. visiting the lonely and isolated, providing food, clothes, transportation and referrals for help, fund raising and possibly recruiting therapists/social workers to come to Paros on a permanent basis. It was also suggested that we work directly with an established Greek service organisation.

Second, we hope to meet some of our physical and service needs by establishing a barter system called PEGASUS (Paros Exchange of Goods and Services Universal System). Bartering is a system which is age-old, but is currently enjoying success world wide and we believe it can also be of great benefit to our community!

The basic principle of this system is that it allows the exchange of goods, services and knowledge without the use of money. It completes our traditional economic system by increasing the dynamics of local exchange, and favouring human relations, and, therefore, valuing everyone’s contribution and competence. It also encourages a spirit of co-operation and goodwill.

This is how it works:-The units of exchange are symbolically represented by olives (one olive = one drachma). If something is valued by you at 1,500 drachma then PEGASUS values it at 1,500 olives. One hour of service equals 3,000 olives, no matter what the service is. Since we all have 24 hours in a day we believe that each hour is of equal value to everyone and, therefore, every service is equally valued.

Each subscriber is issued with an account booklet. The total of olives in the account goes down when services or goods are received and goes up when services or goods are given. In order to maintain the dynamics of the system, there is a requirement that everyone maintains a reasonable balance between credits and debits.

Each subscriber would be responsible for his exchanges. PEGASUS has no other responsibility than to establish contact between the giver and the receiver. PEGASUS is open to all nationalities. Of course, the more people subscribe, the better success we will have. Please don’t wait to see what happens - we encourage you to get involved now. If you are interested in subscribing and you want more information, or if you have any helpful ideas or suggestions, please contact the current contact person. This month it is Gelong Shenphen (Tel: 92043).

A list of goods and services offered and needed will be updated monthly and we hope to eventually establish our own newsletter which will be written in English and Greek. This month’s list is as follows:-

Interior Decorating; Sewing curtains and making upholstery; Speech therapy; Computer lessons; French lessons; English lessons; Hand-Healing (specialising in children e.g. nervous ticks, bedwetting, hyperactivity); Dance lessons (ballet, modern or tap); Babysitting; House cleaning; Gardening; House painting; Homework Help (ages 6-11); Cartoons; Cardmaking (Xmas, birthday etc); plums and almonds (in season); silver and costume jewellery; Accessories; Gifts; German Lessons; Greek lessons; Secretarial Services (typing papers, business letters etc).

Car Servicing; Car Bodywork (rust removal); Electrician; Plumber; House painter; Italian lessons; Video repair; Food; Dog sitting; Garden paving; Ballet lessons; Bridge lessons; Driving lessons.
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