“Children’s HELMEPA” is an environmental education program that every year offers the opportunity to approximately 6,500 young volunteer students to gain information and take action in order to protect the marine environment of our homeland. Divided into groups of 10, and under the supervision of a volunteer teacher, the students select and carry out the program’s activities for one year. HELMEPA submits the program’s content and supplementary material for approval to the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs annually.
“Children’s HELMEPA” was established in 1993 following the proposals submitted by 150.000 students who visited HELMEPA’s environmental exhibitions between 1983 and 1992, receiving information about the importance of the marine environment and the dangers that threaten it. The coordinated research carried out among the children showed that the ages 5-13 are the most receptive when it comes to HELMEPA’s environmental message. Moreover, many students’ suggestions showed that children asked that they be given a podium from which they can express their concerns regarding the environment, put out their own ideas and claim from the elders the respect they are due.
To give the children participating in the program the opportunity to become responsible and environmentally conscious, and help them become active citizens when they grow up. Through their participation, children get to know the natural environment of our country by learning how important it is and why we need to protect it. The program’s activities promote the relationship between every day individual actions and environmental pollution. The children discover that the solutions to significant environmental problems, such as rubbish on the coasts, are not only given by the local authorities and the government, but also by each person’s environmentally responsible behavior. The program also aims to cultivate a collaborative spirit among its volunteer members. Within the group, its 10 members learn to work with each other, take initiatives and develop organizational and coordination skills. Moreover, through the competition among the groups, the children develop a sense of good sportsmanship.Through the experience they gain from participating in the program, its members gain awareness and become the most effective carriers of positive environmental messages in their local community. The teachers who wish to take part in the “Children’s HELMEPA” program, and would like to receive more information, can visit the website www.helmepajunior.gr or contact the program’s managers via e-mail: [email protected], telephone: +30 210-9343088, or fax: +30 210-9407327.
HELMEPA operates two permanent environmental exhibitions, which are hosted by
the member-company “Costamare Shipping Company SA” in Paleo Faliro and at the
“Ceres” building in Piraeus. During the last five years, more than 15,000
students have visited the aforementioned exhibitions from schools in Athens and
Piraeus; the Piraeus exhibition is also visited by Naval Academy students,
university students, and Greek and international shipping executives. Teachers
who are interested can call +30 210 9343088, in order to schedule a visit to
the environmental exhibitions. The cost of transporting students from public
schools in Athens and Piraeus is covered by HELMEPA.
The “Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos” Foundation is a constant supporter of the work of “Children's HELMEPA.”