Lysos Garden

The Non-Profit Company under the name “LYSO Educational- Management Foundation” with the distinctive title “The Garden of Lysos”, was founded in 2016 and is represented by Eva Lang and Waltraud Sperlich. It is located in the city of Kalamata (Lakonikis 87 Street) in an area granted by the Ministry of Agriculture with renewable two-year contracts and is funded by sponsorships and donations from private entities.


The aim of the programme is to integrate adults with intellectual disability and mild kinetic disability into the social fabric, so that they can be and feel equal members. By offering them three years of training in organic horticulture with patience, perseverance and love, the trainees, upon completion, have the skills to work in a public institution, privately or even own their own farm and thus provide an income or a significant part of their diet. By participating in a safe, non-judgmental and stress-free environment, they learn to engage creatively and productively in nature, with their own personal purpose to fulfill. To stop feeling that they are living on the margins and cut off from all the necessary responsibilities of an adult, but that they belong, contribute and receive. In this way, they acquire knowledge and, by extension, rights.


In addition, during their training they participate in groups in experiential exercises, which are mainly carried out through crafts and musical and kinetic actions. They work through and learn to manage the emotional part of frustration, fear of the future and the stigma that has followed them since they entered into their first interpersonal relationships.
At the same time, they learn to express feelings and thoughts that helps them to identify themselves and their peers. Anger, sadness, self-confidence, empathy, courage, cooperation, self-regulation, trust, self-control, are some of the concepts they grapple with and slowly decode, learn to manage and master.


But the most important benefit of the programme, and the strongest wish of all of us, is that the people who participate socialise, change habits, stop isolating themselves, meet people, make friends, interact, test themselves and try to improve the areas that prevent them from forming relationships. Both in the context of their training at the place where they attend the courses and through the walks, excursions and festivals organised at regular intervals, the trainees gain experience and relate to all aspects of human nature. First and foremost, meaningful contact. This is perhaps the greatest victory, above all for them, because they toil hard to overcome negative experiences and disappointments. For this, those of us who know and work with them always feel an incredible pride in their risk-taking and daring.


It becomes, essentially, a holistic approach for people with intellectual disabilities and mild disabilities, where as time goes by we see a huge change and at least a touching bond with the program workers, worth trying for many years and many more apprentices. Therefore, an additional goal is to implement other programs/frameworks to expand it further into the community. Starting with the “Votani of Lysos”, in Stoupa, which has already started employing some of the people who have completed their three-year training and is about to grow more creating several job-employment opportunities, securing a large percentage of our graduating students in the future.


The training of the apprentices, their transport, their food and generally everything included in the programme is provided completely free of charge. In addition, support is offered to the apprentices themselves and their guardians, both psychologically and in terms of bureaucratic obligations, visits to doctors/hospitals and state benefits. At the same time, families facing financial problems are also provided with material support.