Greece – Society for the Development and Creative Occupation of Children (EADAP)

By Natassa Papaprokopiou & Athina Kammenou

The Society for the Development and Creative Occupation of Children (EADAP) is a non-profit organisation founded in 1992 by a group of academic specialists. Since then it has been:

  • participating in European and international networks,Annex-20---logo-EADAP
  • engaging in academic research,
  • implementing training and distance training programmes in a local, regional and national level,
  • specialising in continuous in-service training,
  • organising innovative educational activities for young children,
  • encouraging cooperation between parents, teachers, health professionals and education and health institutions
  • getting involved in programmes promoting respect for diversity,
  • producing printed and audiovisual material and
  • organising workshops, conferences, festivals and study trips.

EADAP is an NGO certified by the Ministry of Health (Register No. 0994) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NGO Special Register No. 384, Hellenic Aid).  Since 1999 EADAP has been implementing programmes focusing on:

  • specific targets as has been done, for example, with the “Aesop” intercultural education programme,
  • specific themes such as, for example, health-related prevention for young children, health education, environmental education, evaluation, etc. and
  • formulating contracts between decision makers, middle managers and professionals.

What are the aims of EADAP?

EADAP’s objective is to promote quality of services aimed at children, youth and their families in and out of Greece through research, networking and participation in national, European and international projects and programmes concerning health, education, culture and the environment.

How do you work at national / regional levels?

The starting point of EADAP’s activities was to improve the living conditions of young children mainly in underdeveloped areas. The ongoing study of changing social patterns in Greek society and the difficulties in accepting changes has helped EADAP acquire expertise in the field of in-school training and techniques that promote changes in preschool and school structures.

For the past years, EADAP has been especially focused on comprehensive intervention for children and families and works more intensively on issues concerning prevention with regards to children’s and young people’s health. Particular emphasis is placed on how health structures welcome children and their families, as well as on action research promoting partnerships between state and non-state actors. During the past year EADAP has been looking into distance counselling for families in remote and isolated areas of the Aegean islands.

Why did you decide to become a Member of EuroHealthNet?

Greece has been confronted with an extremely difficult social and economic situation, which severely affected the existing health, prevention and educational structures of the public sector. To cope with the situation, we are in imperative need of support in forming collaborations with experienced, certified partners which have been confronted with similar situations and are opening ourselves to possibilities of transfer of know-how and expertise. It is also very important for us to have access and more information on European projects, activities and networks.

What is your vision (ideal scenario) for public health and health promotion in the EU? How can EuroHealthNet contribute to achieving this?

We believe that governmental agencies on the one hand and non-profit, non- governmental and more specialized organisations (e.g. NGOs, Doctors Without Borders, etc.) on the other can function complementarily through partnerships in promoting health equity.

Strengthening smaller management structures with the application of modern operational systems (close monitoring, external evaluation) may lead to targeted, fast and efficient action and guarantee the effectiveness of partnerships. We deem that in countries with serious issues of malfunction there is the need of direct control mechanisms applied directly from the funding party to the final recipient.

Making best use of funds available in governmental budgets along with profiting from the flexibility of private and non-governmental organisations can direct public health towards areas hitherto unexplored due to bureaucracy and top-to-bottom strategies. In this way the needs of part of the population and especially of those in urgent need of care will be covered more effectively.

EuroHealthNet is a very significant network of organisations and experts investigating, analysing and promoting innovative practices to improve public health policies throughout Europe. We deem that the expertise emerging from these partnerships can be adopted by leaders in the form of principles and complementary guidelines and be integrated in institutional contexts. Furthermore, EuroHealthNet can promote partnerships among various governmental and non-governmental organisations. This way public bodies will be able to meet more effectively the various target groups’ needs. After consolidating ideas and suggestions from different member-states which perhaps share common characteristics, EuroHelathNet can formulate and promote them to European Commision’s Directorates-General. It is important to maintain an updated sharing of strategies and best practices among EuroHealthNet’s members, in order to reinforce transfer of innovation partnerships.

Dr Natassa Papaprokopiou

Natassa holds a Ph.D in Education. She studied psychology and pedagogics in Paris at the University of Paris V-Rene Descartes. She is Associate Professor at the Dept. of Preschool Education at Athens Technological Educational Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of IEDPE (Institute Européen pour le Développement des Potentialités de tous les Enfants) and a member of the EADAP Scientific Committee. She has taught pedagogics and psychology at university level. She has also participated in European research committees for many years. Her research focuses on activities at schools and in particular nursery schools. Furthermore, she has been systematically engaged in studying educational innovations and in-service training of educators. Her research work has been published in reputable academic journals and she has made a large number of presentations at international conferences. She has promoted innovation at schools and has bolstered cooperation between education officers and educational bodies abroad.

Athina Kammenou

Athina has studied in the Faculty of Nursery/Kindergarten Teachers, as well as in the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Geneva. She has obtained a postgraduate degree in special education and integration of children with special needs into pre-school educational structures. She has taught in the Faculty of Nursery/Kindergarten Teachers of the canton of Geneva. As an educator, she directed kindergartens and day care centres in Geneva. She participated in day care centres' programme evaluation committees and was responsible for creating and implementing individualised programmes for the integration of children with special needs. Upon returning to Greece, she worked for two years as a pedagogical consultant at the kindergarten of Ionios School, in Athens. At present, she is a lab assistant at the Department of Preschool Education (formerly Department of Early Childhood Care) of the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Athens. Since 2004 she has been collaborating with EADAP in research and training programmes.