“People beware, don’t pollute the waters!”
This was the message of the children-representatives of 6,004 members of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program, who came to Athens on Friday 13 December to celebrate 26 years of “HELMEPA Junior”.
This is the environmental educational Program that HELMEPA offers to children, 5-13 years old, throughout Greece. As every year, the event was hosted by Member-company Costamare Shipping at their premises, in Paleo Faliro.
Τhe twelve children, leaders of the Program’s most active Groups during the 2018-2019 school year, came to Athens from Agrinio, Alexandroupolis, Armenochori in Florina, Gournes in Heraklion/Crete, Ioannina, Istiea in Evia, Neos Marmaras in Chalkidiki, Nikaia in Athens, Rhodes and Samos, accompanied by one of their parents and their teacher.
While the children convened and exchanged experiences about the Program, parents and teachers were briefed on HELMEPA’s main mission and activities in shipping and the wider community.
The guests were greeted on behalf of the family of the late Captain Vasilis Constantakopoulos by his son, Mr Chr. Constantakopoulos, who expressed his admiration to the volunteer pupils and teachers for their efforts and mentioned that his family and Costamare are glad to support this Program, which their Father embraced from the very first moment, in 1993.
HELMEPA’s Chairman, Dr. G. Gratsos, noted in his speech that the voluntary participation of children and teachers is the objective of environmental awareness provided by HELMEPA and a prerequisite for the Program’s success.
Participants in the event included the General Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education, Ms A. Gika, who attended on behalf of the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Ms M. Colountzou,who represented the Directorate for Program’s Support and Education on Sustainability, Commander A. Mari on behalf of the Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Chairman of the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC), Mr. J. Maragoudakis. The Board of Directors of HELMEPA was represented by the General Secretary Ms I. Daifa, the Deputy Treasurer, Mr M. Dalakouras and Members P. Zachariadis and A. Beis as well as the Chairman of HELMEPA’s Educational Committee, Cpt. J. Drakogiannopoulos.
Addressing the event, Ms Gika mentioned, among other: “We support and admire the HELMEPA Junior program for its selfless contribution for so many years and we thank HELMEPA and the teachers for nurturing and expanding the horizons of young people”.
A brief review of the “1982 innovation”, as he said, “of Greek seafarers and shipowners, who voluntarily founded HELMEPA” was made by the Director General, Mr. D. Mitsatsos. “This innovation”, he said, “revolutionary for its time, has now spread worldwide, having established like-minded Associations in 7 more countries.”
The Executive Coordinator, Ms. Ch. Prekezes presented the 26 year-long evolution of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program and the activities of children and teachers in all ten Regions during the past school year.
At the end of the presentation, Mr. Maragoudakis expressed his admiration for the work of HELMEPA and the variety of activities that children-members perform through the Program each year.
The children’s message: “People beware, don’t pollute the waters! The trash you throw away, you won’t get away with it, you will eventually eat it!” will be
Communicated by HELMEPA, with the help of the media, because the future belongs to children who are entitled to a clean natural environment.
The event ended with the awarding of commemorative diplomas and gifts to children and guests by HELMEPA, as well as a buffet lunch offered by Costamare. Following, HELMEPA has organized a visit of its guests to the Eugenides Foundation Planetarium to watch a screening on “Space Storms & the Polar Aurora”.
Mr Chr. Constantakopoulos welcomes the event
Dr G. Gratsos addresses the guests
Ms A. Gika, representing the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, during her speech
Ms M. Kolountzou
Mr J. Maragoudakis
Mr D. Mitsatsos
Ms Chr. Prekezes
Children members of the 26th HELMEPA Junior meeting of representatives with the Vice Chairman and Secretary of the outgoing Board
Mr Chr. Constantakopoulos presenting the commemorative awards
Mr. J. Maragoudakis (left) presenting the commemorative awards
Commander HCG A. Maris presenting the commemorative awards
Commemorative photo from the event
(L-R) J. Drakogianopoulos, A. Beis, Chr. Constantakopoulos, Chr. Prekezes, Dr. G. Gratsos, I. Maragkoudakis, P. Zachariadis, I. Daifas, D. Mitsatsos, M. Dalakouras