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FELLOWS

Maria Stroumpa

2019/20 Thessaloniki

Maria was born in Komotini, Greece, and currently lives in Thessaloniki. She studied Education Sciences in Early Childhood (Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis). Since she was young she has been seriously concerned about environmental issues and how a good relationship with the natural world can be cultivated, and this is the reason she undertook postgraduate studies in Environmental Education (Aristotle University, Thessaloniki).

Maria has worked in the field of sociocultural education in many ways: from being a clown and teaching Braille to adults to being an educator in environmental NGOs. She is devoted to her vision: to raise awareness of plastic pollution and set the right example (she always carries her metal straw in her bag!). Maria seeks to inspire others to take action too!

In 2019, the START fellowship program gave her the chance to enrich her competencies and bring change to her hometown, following the motto “Think globally, act locally”. Her project Kookoonari (Greek for pinecone) is to transform a public school in Komotini into a Zero/Low Waste school by engaging not only the school but also the local community - for our ecological footprint can only be reduced through collective action! Maria is determined to make Kookoonari grow and help it flourish in more schools around Greece.

Project Progress Phase III Phase II Phase I

Phase III

Scaling the projects in Greece

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Duration

Sep onwards

Project Title

kookoonari

Kookoonari’s main goal is to educate people of all ages on zero_waste philosophy and create a network of schools, groups and organizations that wish to follow our motto “Think differently, act NATURally, become kookoonari”. The begging was made at the 10th Public Kindergarden in Komotini. The evaluation of the project’s implementation showed the big interest of adults on the waste management who desire that older children, from other schools get involved as well. The next year will focus on that scaling process by observing the environmental movements of the local community of Komotini and partnering with more actors.

Phase II

Project implementation in Greece

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Duration

Dec - May

Project Title

kookoonari

The project is named “kookoonari” (Greek for pinecone) because our waste should be like a pinecone, for it becomes soil when falling down. Zero/low waste lifestyle could be represented by the circle of a pinecone’s life. It is well known that the percentage of waste that humanity produces is increasing quickly affecting every living being. Thus we need to be educated on how we can reduce this waste. “Kookoonari” wants to contribute to this effort! The project will take place at a public Kindergander in Komotini, where the school community (children, teachers, parents and others) will be trained according to the Zero Waste philosophy. This will be achieved through artistic and hands-on workshops, participatory educational techniques and further actions. The project’s scope is to transform this kindergarden into the first Zero Waste School in Greece and plant the “seed of transition” in order for more people to think critically, take action and become…“kookoonari”!

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Duration

Sep - Nov

Project Title

Μicro kookoonari

“Μicro kookoonari” was a “micro implementation” of the project in Greece. It aimed at spreading the principles of Zero Waste philosophy in three different groups through three parts. Children of 5 and 8 years old, young mothers and a mixed age group of beginners on Zero Waste philosophy were the participants of “micro kookoonari”. Getting inside this philosophy firstly we need to realize how big the problem is. Children of the Private Greek School of Nuremberg discovered their ecological footprint through playing (of course!) a giant floor game. Then they started thinking according to ZeroWaste principles. The mixed age group of beginners on ZeroWaste and young mothers got informed on what is happening in their city (Nuremberg) by the expert team of “ZeroWasteHeldenNuremberg” and finally took their first step by making their own toothpaste and beeswax wrap! The ZeroWaste journey has just begun!

Host Institution

Kulturbüro Muggenhof / Kulturwerkstatt Auf AEG

The Kulturbüro Muggenhof is one of the 11 "Kulturläden", sociocultural centres in Nuremberg. It is part of the city government. It was opened in 2016 at a former industrial area and unites different cultural institutions, such as the Musikschule Nürnberg, Kinder Kunst Raum, Akademie für Schultheater und Theaterpädagogik and Centro Espanol. 

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