Sunday, October 28, 2007

A last note...

So this was it!
It has been about a month that art for more has finished. We would love to say a million thanks again to everyone but you already know how thankful we have been and we are! So! we have some last news for you!!! Good news!!! Miranda in back in the Netherlands! Very excited, with a lot of energy and a lot of exectations about life currently wishing to study again! It seems life in Greece, volunteering in EDRA and art for more has waken her thirst for more knowledge! Isabel still in Greece, has been offered a job in EDRA to work in the day care centre within creative activities! Some of the art for more participants are actually moving to this centre, something that shows the great work done in art for more but also that there will be a cotinuation..sometihng many people were asking for...
Yes, this is not a goodbye from us..but just..a see you later..the world is small!
Isabel and Miranda

Photos from our last creations and our last exhibition...

Friday, September 14, 2007

We invite you to our goodbye exhibition....

Dear all!!!

All good things end...they say.....We don't want to believe so as this might be our last exhibition but we are sure the spirit lives on and new social initiatives will come up....and....yes....
everything is possible.
We invite you all to come and see our creations, meet with us, and be able to say a....."see you soon"..!!!

We are looking forward to your presence at the beautiful Netherlands Institute of Athens, Makri 11, near the metro station of Akropoli, on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd of September

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Towards the...end...(?)

Just a little note for the holidays and what is coming next...
As you understand we are closed for the summer. Our participants and us are trying to enjoy the hot days of August but still, with a lot of impatience to start again 1st of September. During these days, we have been reflecting on art for more...what it meant for us, what it meant for the participants, how we did things and more than can we continue it!! Our funding is over at the end of September. One month left and YES...we are trying to find the resources to continue art for more. In September, we will have our last goodbye exposition of which we will let you know on time. Nonetheless, we are looking for a sponsor to help us continue what started as an idea but is turning to something..more then real....
See you all soon

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Continue after a break

After a little break, because of the holidays of our participants and the heat here in Athens, we started today again with the workshops.
At the moment Isabel is at a youth exchange concerning art, which will be very interesting. I expect her to come back with many ideas and new input for our program. Isabel good luck in the seminar!
This time we work with materials like clay and plasteline. Today we made paintings with plasteline. The results are very nice. I keep being proud at our participants!
We are lucky receiving help during this period from the volunteers of EDRA, Mara (from Latvia) and Alexandra (from FYROM). Especially for me, it is important now, because Isabel is not here at the moment. Many thanks to you girls and Isabel I am happy to see you return next week!
We will continue the program untill August and then we will have our summer holidays. In September, we will continue again with new workshops.
So, this little update to all of you who follow us and are interested in our program.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"art for more" in a national mental health conference

Well, some more news from us...
On the 18th of June, "art for more" took part in the national conference of private organisations active within the programme of Psihargos (de-institunionalisation of mental health service users). The event was held in Pantios University, Athens and a number of academics and professionals in mental health issues were invited to discuss interesting topics about the effectiveness of Psihargos and the organisations applying it.
We were at the last session, dedicated to the exchanges of good practices, where we presented our project through a presentation that involved a video and a talk from us. It was an honour for us to be asked by EDRA to present our project and it felt really good when at the end of or presentation professionals came to congradulate us and ask us more about our activities and youth in action.
Regards to all,
Isa and Miranda

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our volunteeers...our friends

Maria is a Psychologist in EDRA, currently responsible of the day care centre. She has been our supervisor during our EVS and she has been supporting us since then with her ideas, passion, professional perspective and great smile!!! Knowing the way she works we have to admit that we are so lucky to have her with us. Thank you Maria! contact maria
Giorgia is taking part in our activities. She has studied psychology and she is about to do her Masters in the Netherlands (Good luck!!). She is into volunteerism and she is also volunteering for Fair Trade Hellas. Her help has been amazing and her motivation can wake up the dead!! Thank you Giorgia!
Maria is also employed in EDRA and she is coordinating EVS. She is at the same place as we are and she has always been there, ready to help us in any way possible, not to mention her shining spirit that makes all EDRA shine! Maria is also working as a clown!!! Thank you Maria! contact Maria
Christos has been helping us with video making. He is studying cinema, and although he is very busy producing or acting in some experimental movie, he always finds the time for us! His interest for mental health becomes stronger every time and he is preparing a proper documentary about the issue. Thank you Christos and maybe you soon win in Cannes, cos you deserve it! contact Christos

We are here because of Kostas. Art for more is possible because of Kostas. Active in youth work (EVS, trainings, coaching) has been our mentor and coach through EVS and through this project. He is there for us, at anytime, for whatever the reason. He believes the world will change through youth and with his motivation and ideas we are becoming certain that there is always hope for a better tomorrow. A big thank you Kostas! contact Kostas

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 Miranda

Well as you have already read, the exhibition ended last Saturday. To me it was a succesfull event as well and I'm very proud of the results and the way things went.
Thanks again to all the people who helped us to realize this exhibition. The video, the translations, the transportation we needed, the possibility to have a nice place to present everything, the visitors with their interest and attention and of course above all the participants of our project! Their enthusiasm and motivation during the workshop made this exhibition so beautifull and colorfull! The video, which was taken and played during the exhibition, made it to me for the first time possible to look as an outsider to the project. Inside things look different, because you're working and have many things which ask your attention. When I saw the video I saw the happy faces of the people during the workshop, I saw their concentration and motivation.. I felt (and still I do) very proud at our participants! They created beautifull things and made this with joy!
More then before, I also realized the importance of this kind of activities. I should have realized it earlier, because when I'm experimenting in my room with a certain idea for the workshop and the result is nice, I feel proud as well! Creating something by yourself gives you self-esteem and a proud feeling, because what you created is unique! Like Isabel wrote before, I don't consider myself as a hero and yes no way I can save the world alone, haha. Though I realize more and more that all small steps can help to bring more joy in people's life. We can help and learn from each other.
I studied social work in the Netherlands and my study focuses on the aspect of talking and conversation. During my time as an EVS volunteer and now during this program I realize the importance of expression through art. I see how you can feel calm, by putting all your concentration in an activity. I see how people learn to help eac hother and learn from each other by working in a group and see each others work. I see how the feeling of self-esteem increases, because you created something by your own hands. I see how you can be yourself by making your own choices in your unique creations....I think I made clear the importance of art and what it can bring to you.
Before coming to Greece I can tell you that I wasn't sure if I could make this kind of project. Another country, with another culture, another language, another way and rhytm of working, far from home...fears I had for sure. Now I look back at the last four months and I'm surprised about what we realised and I feel proud! Well, without the support of my dear collegue and friend Isabel, things would have been much more difficult. I think we make a great team together. We fullfill and complete things with our different capabilities and like this we can make the best of it, so we continue and are still full of ideas! We will keep bringing you news about the process of our project and we will work forward to our second exhibition, which will be in September. We expect it to be another great experience with the motivation of the participants, our motivation and of course the motivation and help we get from all the people around us. Where would we be without them! They make our project more rich and interesting, because of them we have more possibilities and this is very important. This importance is another thing I learned to understand very well.
Till now I can't be different than positive in my reflection to you. I'm happy for this and I will continue with a lot of motivation!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

our exhibition has ended... thank you everyone!!!!

After three intense days with the exhibition, yesterday, it finally ended. The truth is that we are very happy and satisfied: many people came, the atmosphere has been beautiful, and we have extracted very positive conclusions. This experience has definitely been very enriching as we have learned a lot and also it has given us the opportunity to get in touch with the people, to establish future collaborations, and to share part of this project with you. All of this has been possible thanks to the help of our friends, who have supported us at all times, and they have made us believe that this is possible encouraging us to continue and move forward.

So, we started on Wednesday organizing everything, preparing, mounting, decorating…making the place pretty and cozy. As you know our exhibition was held in Cosmos of Culture, a beautiful socio-cultural centre whose people are amazing persons that also helped us a lot. The doors were opened to the public on Thursday at 5 pm. During these days we shared our illusion with the people who visited us, the participants, other mental health service users, friends... and other special people that stimulated us to continue trying and believing.

Besides all the creations that until now we have realized with our users: flowers, pots, baskets, collages, moneyboxes, wallets, mirrors ..., in the exhibition it was possible to see a fantastic video realized by our friend Christos, in which a day in " art for more ", who we are, what we do and how was presented. We believe that it was a good way to make you feel our activity, our reality, to be able to understand it better and to have a clearer idea.

The feed-back that we have obtained has been wonderful. The comments, the messages of encouraging us were incredible!! Our guest book is full of positive and beautiful comments, it is full of messages of energy and passion, and from our blog we want to be grateful to you once again for all that you have supported us with your presence, with your words, and with your help.
We have definitily done all that with a lot of enthousiasm. It was our first exhibition and it was worth it to the smallest detail. Thanks to all of you, for visiting us and sharing your time and opinions.

See you in the next one!!

Isa and Miranda

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

our first exposition....

We invite you to visit our first exhibition in
Cosmos of Culture (Metaxa 20, Exarhia) that will take place
from the 31st of May to the 2nd of June to see our creations, photos, videos, our work and get to know us better…

Sunday, May 6, 2007 Isabel

Art for more is giving me the opportunity to be in touch with Greek social services and the surrounding social reality. At the same time, I learn more about the culture, the people, the human relations, the customs that give me a more general view of this city, of what the social services are, and of the local community’s conception of its own culture.

My experience in Spain is different from the one that I am having here, and for that, greatly enriching. Back in my country, things work in a more organized and more bureaucratic way. Here, everything works slower and I have the feeling that this is more human, as people have kept a closer contact to each other, almost like it happens in small villages. In Spain, I sometimes feel that the social services work, but in a mechanical way.

On the other hand, concerning mental health in Greece, I have realized that it is still invisible to the eyes of the society. It is not a conscious problem, and therefore people forget and isolate mental health service users and mental health as a whole. Economic resources are limited and human resources are there but…unemployed! The society continues ignoring this problem and even families attitude are affected turning them also to the ignoring-solution.

Thanks to the Future Capital and to these few people that are motivated and are helping us, the processes are easier for us especially since we are foreigners. We are trying to contribute something to this isolated and forgotten minority. Certainly it is a small step, because we cannot change the whole reality with our hands, but with small actions we are offering an extra granite of sand that promotes the way of the change. We hope that the results will be satisfactory not just for us but also for the "special" people with who we cooperate and work. Hopefully, our activities will play, even a small role, in the sensitization of the local community.

We are not considering ourselves as heroes. We simply think that through our will, time, knowledge and personalities, we will learn a lot in the social field and mental health but at the same time, promote the de-stigmatization of one of the most forgotten minorities. Our opinion is that nobody should be invisible and everyone should have equal opportunities because we may be different but still equal.

Thankfully, there are still motivated people that believe in this change. People that are sweating behind the scenes and that never run out of good will and strength. This makes our work easier and more significant as we know we are not alone and also that everything is possible.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Our Photos...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Isabel and Miranda, the co-ordinators of the project 'Art for More'! Here you see a picture of us to have an imagination of the people behind this project.

A few words about us...Miranda (on the left) is from Netherlands and Isabel (on the right) from Spain. We are both social workers with experience in the field of activities for people with fewer opportunities and we have been in Greece since last year.
Initially, we came as volunteers through the EVS program where we assisted in creative acivities in the productive workshop of EDRA, an organisation for people with mental disabilities. After the end of this project, we decided that we can take creative activities for 'special' people a step further by introducing a more centred into creative expression workshop...and here we are...with great motivation, a lot if ideas and will to make a difference, together with our participants, through our work...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Our Location

A few words about the place where we work...
We are situated in the west side of Athens in the suburb of Peristeri. The space we are using has been given to us for free by our lovely! support organisation EDRA. Edra by the way is a local NGO with great work over the fields of mental health and intellectual disabilities. So! The place! It is spacious! It is colourful! And it gives us a great feeling everyday to communicate, create, play enjoy! We are going to take some photos of the place so that you can all see it. As about the people of EDRA? A great thanks to all that have been very supportive and especially to Alexandros Oikonomou, Maria Tsalmatza, Maria Dinou and Kostas Spatiotis that encouraged us to realize this project and are always there for us when we need them.
So, come back to see some of the photos we have!
Regards to all!
Isa and Miranda

Friday, March 23, 2007

Welcome to our blog!!

Hello everyone!
We are Isa and Miranda and this is our blog of our project "art for more"!
We have been EVS volunteers in a Greek NGO called "EDRA" and we are now realizing with their support our Future Capital; a project funded by the EC and the Greek General Secretary of Youth through the Youth Programme - Action 3.2.
What are we doing? For 8 months we will be running creative workshops for mentally and intellectually 'special' people. Our workshops include expression through art with different kinds of art-forms such as painting, constructions, making jewellery and all that with the use of clay, paper, colour, recyclable materials and much more.
Keep visiting us for updates, exposition dates and more info on our project, the youth programme (now youth in action) and mental health.
Regards to all!
Isa and Miranda