Mikros Dounias

Katerina Varella

I grew up in Thessaloniki and have been living on the island of Lesvos since 2015. I studied law in the Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki and followed an interdisciplinary masters on “Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights” in the Free University of Berlin. During my studies and ever since, I have been researching the topic of adultism, which I consider extremely crucial. The term “adultism” stands for the usually unnoticed yet constantly present discrimination of children on the grounds of their young age.

During the years that I spent in Berlin, I worked as a teacher in the Free Nature School in Stadtgut and took part in the project “Bildungsbande”, which practically supports the idea of peer learning. Moreover, I attended a two-year training for teachers of the Free Alternative Schools of Germany and spent time in several of them.

The aforementioned experiences have persuaded me that adults and children can unite their powers to create frames that directly correspond to children’s needs and desires; that allow them to express their feelings and creativity; that offer to them variety and freedom of choice. Frames, in which relationships based on love and mutual trust are built day after day and where adults respect and admire each child for what he/she really is. That’s what we are trying to do in Mikros Dounias every single day.

Giannis Kladakis

I studied pedagogics in the University of Rethymnon and have been working as an elementary school teacher from the North to the South of Greece during the past seven years. I chose this profession due to my inherent love for children. Since the very first days that I started working as a teacher, I have been dreaming of a school that is more creative, more free and more fun. I am a person that loves playing and being in the nature; I strongly believe that a combination of the two can set the conditions for a happy group of children and adults. My main concern for Mikros Dounias is the creation of loving relationships among us, as well as of smiling faces, who feel Mikros Dounias as their second home and the people involved in it as friends on whom they can rely.

Kyvei Koukoudaki 

I have studied pre-school education in Volos and since I was studying for years, I have been looking for a different education than the one we experience most. I traveled to Spain and Italy where I worked in Montessori and then in a free school. Somewhere in my way, the forrest elves appeared to remind me that among the trees I can freely explore myself and co-create new, real and imaginary worlds. This year I reach Mikros Dounias, where youngers, olders and differents we build boats and houses with wood, we have wings of reeds, and when it rains, we draw in the mud our dreams for a world of love, solidarity and unity where every unique soul is happy to live in.

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