18 Feb 2022

Educational Kick-off with Healthy Seas in Athens

Kicking off our Healthy Seas educational activities this year, with a special programme in Athens This year’s first educational programme had special meaning. With COVID restrictions being lifted in many countries, we were happy to be able to kick off our activities already in the first quarter, at the Serafio Center in Athens, a venue with particular significance for us.

At 9 am, the twenty-eight 2nd graders were nowhere to be seen. This delay in the schedule gave us extra time to prepare for the day, together with our volunteers. At half past the hour, we started to hear the sweet bustle approaching. Everyone was on toe to greet our colorful guests, but first they needed a snack.

At around 9:45 finally they were ready to sit, sort of. Grabbing the attention of 7 year olds is no easy task but we managed! We were surprised to learn that many of our guests had an uncle who was a diver, or a fisher, or a diverfisher…? Most importantly, they were very aware of marine pollution and excited to learn ways to combat it.

A short break followed and then the children prepared for their first cleanup mission by putting on their diving masks. Joining us that day was a ghost diver who brought all his equipment, including double tanks, breathing device, lift bag, dry suit and knife! We could see it on their faces, it was like meeting an astronaut.

After learning the basic hand signals divers use to communicate underwater, our guests were ready to “dive” into the sea with their buddies and rescue toy animals entangled in real nets. Their Healthy Seas experience wrapped up in the best way, when they put on the virtual reality headset! It doesn’t get more realistic than that.

At 12:15, it was time for the send off which was literally sweet, with each kid receiving a handmade cupcake from our hosts.

This education programme was dedicated to our friend George Papaspyrou who during his short time here was a true ambassador for Healthy Seas. That is why we donated a bench in his memory to Serafio / Municipality of Athens, where he loved to work. The bench is made by BlueCycle in collaboration with The New Raw from plastic from discarded fishing and shipping equipment collected by the BlueCycle network in Greece.

We are very thankful to all who helped us make this day special: Erofili, Nelli, Sofia, Stamatis, Nikos, Eleana, Ismini, Maria, 73rd primary school of Athens, Ghost Diving Greece, Serafio/Municipality of Athens.

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