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Last year, 2 teachers (Kiriaki Zervou and Artemis Kefalidou) and 48 students from the 6th Intercultural Primary school of Eleftherio-Kordelio (Greece) joined Nemesis and kicked off a project called “Let me tell you a Story”.
The project was conceived by students during participatory activities that they carried out together with teachers, parents and community stakeholders as a means to tackle loneliness and isolation. The young change-makers decided to write stories. They decided they would read these stories to people to make them feel less lonely, becoming volunteer readers in hospitals, elderly care centers, and for individuals with illiteracy, visual impairment, and other disabilities. They also came up with the idea of creating a “Friendship Bench” as a symbol of their work. They wanted it to serve as a place where their stories would be read aloud and made available to every person feeling lonely. With a concrete plan for the project, previous year students went through different stages to design all the details of their ambitious project. They went through self-reflective training and researched the subject of loneliness to develop a deep understanding of what it really means to feel isolated. They also planned and designed a host of activities. Students wrote their own stories and produced various drawings of benches as well as a 3D-printed bench prototype using the school’s computer lab. On top of this, they managed to get a grant from a supermarket chain to buy real benches.
This year, their mission is to take action fast by building the friendship benches in real dimensions and beginning their visits to nursing homes, orphanages, children’s hospitals, etc. so as to share their stories and offer companionship, compassion, and happiness to people who really need it.
The co-creation lab this year to help develop the project, then, was launched with Efi Papadopoulou. As a local Social Innovation practitioner who uses the power of art to bring people together and foster social inclusion, he was a perfect match for the project. Efi joined the NEMESIS lab and together with students and teachers discussed the different techniques they can apply to paint and decorate the benches.
They also exchanged ideas about creating a special place under the benches for storing all the stories written by students. The next meeting of the co-creation lab has already been fixed and the transformation of the benches is ready to start.
Last but not least, future plans include inviting the NGO “Reading for the Others” to the co-creation lab, to help the young change-makers realize their mission through practical tips and guidance!
Stay tuned…. more updates are coming soon!
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Number of students
48 primary students
Do you want to contact this school? Write to nickaman4[at]gmail.com