Future Goals

During these years of our operation, we have met and benefited (both cognitively and psychosocially) more than 30 adults with disabilities, as well as their families. Also during these years, the Garden has provided permanent employment to 7 people and has helped them to move forward in their lives, to raise awareness, to fight for equal rights, equal opportunities and the elimination of poverty and all kinds of discrimination within the society.

The primary objective of Lysos Garden was and continues to be the education in organic agriculture, the development of environmental awareness, the development and demonstration of the special abilities of the trainees and their socialization. At this point of time, we are very proud of the fact that 4 of our students, after completing the training program and being deemed fit (both cognitively and mentally), have moved on to the next stage, work (at the Votani). The number of people who “graduated” may seem small, but in reality the difficulties faced by these individuals often seem insurmountable (both from personal factors and governmental barriers-constraints). For both workers and beneficiaries of the programme, its continuation and progression is now the only way forward.

So starting from the most feasible.

  1. We want and need to continue to educate and encourage our students, as we believe that for these people, the only solution is continuous and lifelong education, since their rejection, isolation and exclusion throughout their lives (remember that these are adults from 20 years old and above) cannot be easily overcome or dealt with in 3 or 4 years in a programme.
  2. The constant willingness of new children to participate, who reluctantly appear in the garden, makes the continuation of its operation and its further development necessary. The release of places in the training programme due to the absorption of people from the working programme (Votani) has contributed substantially to this.
  3. The aim of the programme is to expand the subjects and activities that the beneficiaries are involved in. We have now moved on to the process of processing and standardisation of the products we produce in the logic of holistic management, where nothing is thrown away and everything is exploitable. Our immediate plans still include the expansion of the spaces used by our structure in order to enable more students to work. An effort is being made to find a space where we would like to create an orchard so that the students, in addition to the knowledge they are receiving so far in vegetable growing, can also learn about the organic cultivation of fruit trees. At the same time as we are increasing the areas we have cultivated so far in both vegetables and fruit and aromatic plants, the ultimate goal is to eventually acquire such production potential that we can offer some of our products in the form of donations to local community structures that care for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the sick, etc. Through this process, the ultimate goal is for the beneficiaries to understand the value of social contribution, solidarity and self-organisation of social groups.
  4. Lysos Garden is in close cooperation with KANE and gives the opportunity to young volunteers from all European countries to come and work in Greece. Through this process our garden has become a cradle for the exchange of cultural practices, ideas, opinions and ideals.
  5. We have already started and we want to expand our cooperation with the Greek-German Youth Foundation (DGJW) through which our beneficiaries will be able to visit and get to know different places in Germany and open their horizons, but at the same time we want to give the opportunity to young people from Germany to visit and get to know Greece and its people and thus ultimately achieve the exchange of social, political and historical elements between the two nations.
  1. Also in cooperation with the municipal authority we have already secured the concession of a traditional wagon (which we are currently renovating) in one of the most central and beautiful parks of our city. We aim to make this wagon a place of social interaction between the beneficiaries and the people of our city, so that we can have a base where we can hold possible events and communicate our work.
  2. Furthermore, we have immediate plans to organize open events in our garden at regular intervals and invite all social welfare institutions, as well as ordinary citizens, in order to provide information on various phenomena that plague our society (cyberbullying, sexual education, stigmatization of groups with special needs, family conflicts, etc.) and to exchange ideas and experiences.
  3. Another action that we have planned,is the visits of the garden’s trainees to other structures with vulnerable groups (nursing homes, hospital, psychiatric clinic, mental health centres, rehabilitation and reintegration structures) in order to gain a complete picture of our society, to avoid the idea that they are “different” and therefore have fewer rights, to take a comprehensive approach to their difficulties and to develop empathy that will help them to become active and strive for personal and social well-being, in whatever way they can.
  4. At the same time, our longer-term goals include the creation of an assisted living home that will be able to accommodate people who are training or working and who cannot maintain their own home and household.
  5. Finally, we believe that our structure is a shining example for other groups of people who believe and are governed by similar principles and want to contribute to what we call Civil Society, while at the same time the existence of this program is a great proof of the friendship between two nations (Greece, Germany) who, despite any historical differences they may have had, manage today to cooperate and grow for the benefit of each other, opening new paths and horizons of harmonious and peaceful cooperation.