LYSO's Garden

people at the Friendship festival

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The Friendship Festival at the Art Farm on June 17th

....brought together about 300 visitors, a good number of the young people Lyso's Garden is working with, and a long list of performers on the two stages.  They found a varied assortment of bazaar stalls, great food including a lovely a vegetable dish made from Lyso's Garden biological products. Together, they enjoyed a wonderful evening in the Art Farm's beautiful setting, raising some money for  young people with handicaps, while having a great time.
Special mention should go to the local band BANDita me copo with lead singer Agi Mousouleas from Agios Nikolaos. Their repertoire, with international and Latin-American classics as well as popular Greek tunes found an enthusiastic audience until well after midnight.
If you missed this evening, you missed a very special and enjoyable event, which helped to raise awareness of the problems facing young people with special needs, in Greece, and the work being done by LYSO's Garden.FRIENDSHIP FESTIVAL

Lyso`s garden is a gardening workshop for young people with special needs, situated in Kalamata and in Stoupa, Mani. 





In Greece there are no jobs for people with special needs and once their school years are over they have nothing to do but maybe help at home as best they can.

 " With our gardening workshops we offer a small group of young people with various handicaps regular work and a small income in the future. All the gardening is based on the priciples of natural organic farming. We started with growing vegetables but also want to cultivate herbs. In the centre of one of the world`s best olive oil regions we will of course also work with olive trees. Pruning olive trees is an art and we will teach it!
And this is only the beginning!"

May 2017: Started by Dr Waldraud Sperlich and Eva Lang ( LYSO publishing ) in August 2016, the group sold their first products at the Kalamata Central market on March 24th. They were given a free concession by the Mayor of Kalamata. Now they have a stall almost every Saturday. LYSOs Garden at the Organic Market in Kalamata

How  LYSO's Garden got started
Through connections in Kalamata, Eva & Waldraud  became actively involved in helping out at Kalamata’s state-run school for children with special needs, and had a photo published on their  ΛΥΣΟ  website showing them with students at the school. By chance, this caught the attention of a Google-searching, German philanthropist from the Heracles Foundation, based in Liechtenstein. He was looking for a suitable cause to sponsor in Greece and specifically in the Mani – his uncle was a Greek shipping magnate and was originally from here.

Out of the blue they had a call offering them €50,000 on an annual basis. Then began the major task of setting up a  non-profit company. Also by chance they met  Eleftheria Xagorari who is a member of the Greek Organic Farming Organisation and  proved invaluable in suggesting locations in which to base the project.

The first site was set up in Kalamata, but the German benefactor really wanted a location actually in the Mani. Eleftheria suggested the organic greenhouse between Stoupa and Agios Nikolaos, called “Bio-GIS”, and  Giorgos and Iphigenia who run this place agreed to participate in the scheme. Note:Their van is driven  by a young man from Afghanistan living in our community, called Martin!  He is the young man who was helped by Margareta Wolf, when he first came to Mani, and worked on her stall at the Fadderfriends Bazaars

Now ex-pupils from the special school are able to work 3 days a week in Kalamata and 2 days in Stoupa, and are a very busy, but also contented workforce. And what of the future? There are plans to create LYSO’S Kitchen to educate participants in how to actually cook the produce they are involved in growing.

How can you help? Firstly, buy their products. You will be made very welcome if you visit the greenhouses in Stoupa or their market stall every Saturday in Kalamata, or from the “Bio-GIS”van .  Individual donations can be made through the LYSO's Garden's National Bank of Greece account.  : Lyso’s Garden

For the full story see INSIDE THE MANI 2017 - it is free to download as a PDF


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