HELMEPA Junior in the Cyclades
For the fourth consecutive year, the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA in cooperation with the International Women´s Organization of Santorini - IWOS, organized a four-day environmental event on the island of Santorini, where more than 350 schoolchildren are HELMEPA Junior members.
Between 3 - 4 April, schoolchildren from all the Elementary Schools of the island had the opportunity to be informed by a HELMEPA Junior staff member about the dangers threatening marine ecosystems and other environmental challenges our planet is facing.
The former Chairman of the HELMEPA Junior Board of Representatives, 14 year old Sotiris Kopatsaris, spoke to the children encouraging them to continue their voluntary work. The presentations took place in the P. Nomikos Conference Center in Firostefani. In parallel, an Exhibition of the children´s artworks, open to the public, was hosted at the premises of the Center.
On Saturday 5 April, despite the bad weather conditions, a voluntary beach cleanup was organized with the participation of 241 schoolchildren and their Teachers, members of IWOS and the Cultural Association of Messaria, as well as representatives from the Port and Local Authorities of Santorini. In only a few hours time the children filled 77 large bags with all types of garbage items including large amounts of construction materials and garbage items related to fishing activities. On Sunday 6 April four more beach cleanups were organized in other parts of the island by the members of IWOS and their families.
The environmental awareness project continued on the island of Syros, where 150 children are active members of HELMEPA Junior. On 9 April, a HELMEPA Junior staff-member visited the Elementary School of Poseidonia and addressed 80 schoolchildren, who afterwards voluntarily cleaned up the beach of Agathopes with their Teachers and representatives from the Local Authorities. On 10 April, 300 schoolchildren from the Elementary Schools of Syros participated in the HELMEPA Junior environmental presentations at the Cultural Center of Hermoupolis organized by the Environmental Education Dept. of the Cyclades.
Such environmental activities often become the incentive for children to become motivated and cultivate a healthy environmental consciousness that leads them in their everyday life. Lets all wish, that these future citizens of the planet will protect the environment, learning by the mistakes of the elders...