Who we are
We live and operate in Lesvos, an island that is affected by changes due to the refugee flows. Many of us work in several levels of public education and we all share a common love for nature and a common interest in an alternative pedagogical approach. Lesvos has come to the forefront of world news in recent years as a recipient of populations persecuted from their countries because of the war or other adverse conditions. This is how our idea was born: to act in order to create a common, friendly and safe place for children in a natural environment. The prospect of coexistence of locals and refugees with a common place and purpose, beyond racial, economic, class criteria, has been a promising challenge for us.
Thus we began in the spring of 2017, by organizing frequent assemblies as well as environmental activities for children of different ages. Our concerns and discussions, coupled with our organized actions, gradually brought the first important result: A common venture that we envisioned and started to organize with our fellow partner, Lesvos Solidarity (open place for the hosting of refugees, former PIKPA camp). Its purpose is to organize educational activities in nature, based on the principles of democratic education and forest education, for children of refugees and locals.
Mikros Dounias (Little World), which is how we named our venture, is a non-profit organisation based in Mytilene.Our vision is “Making Mikros Dounias a better place for everyone!”
We believe that by investing in democratic education, integrating and reclaiming cultural diversity and following the principles of forest education, we lay the foundations for a healthy society with respect for nature and humanity.
The driving force of our dreams and actions is love for the environment, the fellow man, the child and all the living creatures of nature in its magic beauty.
Trust and unity
We trust each other and rely on the strength of the many to achieve our common goal. All together for a world without discrimination, with respect for human existence and everything that surrounds it.
Excitement and will
The lesson that we take every single day from children is that you can get where you have imagined if you have strong will and excitement! This is how we started this common journey, refugees, immigrants, locals, children and adults from all over the world, with the aim of making this Mikros Dounias a better place for everybody!
Our specific objectives are:
● Creative activity
● Strengthening the relationship with nature through immediate contact with it and development of environmental consciousness.
● Free activity in nature, in the forest, according to the principles of “forest education”, “outdoor playing and learning” and “democratic education”.
● Educating and informing adults and children on issues related to environmental protection.
● Coexistence and communication between children and adults regardless of racial, economic and social criteria.
● Promoting awareness and active involvement of society in the migration issue.
● Building solidarity among involved people.
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us "universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."