Translation of the original post in Greek: Panayiotis Lolos
NPO “Me Alla Matia” is particularly happy to announce that the permission for the training program “Des ti Zoi Me Alla Matia”, implemented in schools to raise diversity awareness, has been officially renewed.
Disabled people coordinate free conversations with students. Together, they approach the reality of each individual’s impairment, accessibility, and uniqueness through experience. As tomorrow’s active civilians, children are awakened and realize the value of solidarity and accepting each other.
The program starts with a speaker describing their everyday life. Afterwards, the students are encouraged to discuss the living conditions of people facing barriers and how everyone can make a difference. In this manner, we endeavor to create an inclusive society, beginning as early as the school years.
The individuals coordinating this program are flexible toward their audience: each time respond according to how the children express themselves verbally, emotionally, and behaviorally. Thus, the program is not one-dimensional but reflects its audience contextually while elevating everyone’s uniqueness. At the same time, since this is a child-centered program, the students get the chance to define what will be discussed, express their thoughts, emotions, and experiences, and actively participate in the coordination. Essentially, the speakers interact with a sample of the actual social diversity, ensuring that they praise each individual’s uniqueness and usefulness.
This interaction and the common understanding are the main requirements for changing existing beliefs and mentalities regarding diversity, disability, and social exclusion.
It should be noted that last year, almost 3.000 students from all across Greece participated in the program. Even though it first started with physical visits, due to the pandemic and the need for protecting public health, we also conduct the program from a distance now, depending on the case. In the last five years, one way or another, we have managed to speak to over 21.000 children! Just like every other year, our talks take place during one teaching hour for free.
➡️ The training program “Des ti Zoi Me Alla Matia” is addressed to elementary, middle, and high school students in general, professional, or special schools all over Greece.