Women of Lesvos Island, Greece
During the last years the cooperative spirit in Lesvos has been developed at a fast rate. The initiative had been taken from women all over the island. At first the motives were personal. It was an outlet for the energetic and talented women, who had been harassed. They wanted to be occupied with something creative and at the same time they could invade the world of business.
In the past, housekeeping was the main occupation of most women. Thus by the creation of cooperatives they had the opportunity, as they say, to be out of the house and to cooperate as a team with the same aim. The idea was good. These women could do well and they were able to express their talents in a broader perspective than only at home. Beside the occupation they had, they started, step by step, to see even financial benefits.
At this moment, in the two big islands of the prefecture of Lesvos (Lesvos and Lemnos that is), there are six cooperatives of women. They are occupied with a variety of projects (from tourism to preparation of traditional sweets). To understand the activities of cooperatives, it would be better to see each one separately.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN AGIASOS OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 1998. The cooperation counts 85 members who prepare sweets, liqueur, pasta’s, home-made noodles, salted vine leaves and also hand made embroideries. The investment for the first material’s purchase is one of the main cooperative’s problems. Women try hard to find financial resources to get a workshop. The President of the cooperative is Mrs. Tsoukarelli Xrisoula.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN ASOMATOS OF LESVOS:
It has been recently founded in April 1999 and has 31 women. The cooperative prepares sweets, concoction of honey and sesame, baskets, pasta’s, salted vine leaves, olives (green-black), scented plants and embroideries. Their products are sold in specialist shops. President of the cooperative is Mrs. Pitsa Helen.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN MESOTOPOS:
It has been founded in 1998 and counts 36 members. The women are occupied with the preparation of sweets, jams etc. that can be bought at their specialist shop in Mesotopos.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN MOLIVOS OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 2003 and counts 9 members. The women are occupied with the preparation of sweets, jams etc. that can be bought at their specialist shop just outside of the town Molivos, on the way to Eftalou.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN PETRA OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 1983 and it is the first cooperative of women in Greece. At this moment it has 54 members who are renting out rooms for visitors. They offer home-made breakfast to their tenants and have their own traditional food restaurant. The women also arrange excursions around the island showing tourists the Greek civilization. Chairman of the cooperative is Mrs. Xiotou Helen.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN PARAKILA:
It has been founded in 2001 and counts 11 members. The women are occupied with the preparation of sweets, jams etc. that can be bought at their specialist shop in Parakila.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN POLINCHITOS OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 1997 and counts 30 members from who 15 are active. The women are occupied with the preparation of sweets, jams and liqueur and also make icons from old wooden and embroideries. At their specialist shop one can buy scented plants, olives, herbs and salted vine leaves.