The “Heliotropio” Social & Environmental Action Organization was supported by the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation in implementing special educational programmes of therapeutic gardening to connect children with disabilities with nature. Together with the children we created a garden to regenerative, organic and biodynamic cultivation standards; through a combination of educational exercises and games, the children had the opportunity to get in touch with nature while learning about teamwork as well as themselves. Moreover, the actions bring together children with and without disabilities, who are thus able to know one another and play together in nature.
“During 2021 we embarked on a special programme for a profound connection with trees, whereby the children adopt a specific tree and develop a deep link as they take look after it. The priority here is to forge collaboration and cultivate a team spirit. Children with or without disabilities took part together in “The Call of the Circle”, a programme that fosters communication skills and promotes creative coexistence, respect and the acceptance of differences and disabilities. This action provided a safe context where the truth can be heard and collective intelligence is understood, leading naturally to an interface of communication and wholehearted sharing. Additionally, the special training sessions for educators, parents and carers of children with disabilities continued normally, under special health measures, in order to provide support during this difficult time of the pandemic”. G. Dousikou, Head of Educational Programmes.
“Heliotropio” is active in designing and running special educational programmes for people with and without disabilities through a comparative approach to educational / training programmes for different levels of education and different disabilities. It is the sole institution in Greece to combine environmental and social action through special environmental programmes for children with different disabilities, which help them develop their skills, demonstrate their potential and become part of society. Moreover, the organization continues for several years now to organize innovative educational actions for children, young people and adults.