For more than 91,900 children that have participated in the Program since 1993, HELMEPA Junior has provided them with the means to become environmentally aware and active, as well as motivate friends, relatives, local authorities and communities in many parts of the country.

The mobilization of the children would have been impossible without the support of over 3,350 Teachers who voluntary assisted the HELMEPA Junior Groups in their actions all these years.
HELMEPA Junior

According to teachers themselves, HELMEPA Junior constitutes a valuable tool for them to express their creativity and provide a voluntary social service to their country.

Global 500

The first international recognition of HELMEPA Junior came in 1998 when the United Nations Environmental Program - UNEP, awarded the children of HELMEPA Junior the Global 500 Award.

In March 2000, two children-members of HELMEPA Junior were invited by the International Maritime Organization - IMO to its headquarters in London where they addressed the plenary session of its members, i.e. 166 countries and 63 international NGOs.


In simple meaningful words, the children expressed their concern for the state of the marine environment and described how Greek schoolchildren become active through their participation in HELMEPA Junior. Since then, Environmental Awareness in Youth features as a topic of the regular meetings of the Marine Environment Protection Committee - MEPC of IMO.
Children - members of HELMEPA Junior
The HELMEPA Junior in the offices of European Parliament in Athens

In November 2002 the Office of the European Parliament in Greece awarded the 2,667 children-members of HELMEPA Junior and their teachers for their voluntary participation and interaction in this environmental program. In this ceremony the Coordinators for Environmental Education were honored for their contribution to the operation of the Program as well as a representative-member of CYMEPA Junior, the Honorary Chairman of HELMEPA Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos and the coordinator of the HELMEPA Junior Program.


HELMEPA is already promoting the creation of an international network for communication and cooperation between children from countries where HELMEPA helped create similar Associations. Specifically, similar to HELMEPA Associations exist in Ausrtalia - AUSMEPA, Cyprus - CYMEPA, North America - NAMEPA, Philipinnes-PHILMEPA, Turkey - TURMEPA, Ukraine - UKRMEPA and Uruguay - URUMEPA. These associations cooperate now within the framework of INTERMEPA, which they jointly founded in June 2006.

In October 2004, Groups from the Junior sectors of HELMEPA and TURMEPA exchanged visits between the island of Chios in Greece and Cesme in Turkey.

Children from both the countries, escorted by their parents, teachers and staff members of the two Associations, had the opportunity to exchange ideas, inaugurate a painting exhibition with children's drawings from TURMEPA, take part in voluntary beach cleanups in both countries, give interviews to press representatives and prove to everyone that the environment recognizes no frontiers.
Teams of children's programs HELMEPA and TURMEPA
Communication amongst children from different countries may help eliminate prejudice amongst nations and enhance the understanding of the global dimension of environmental threats. Thus it may become a common consciousness to all that marine pollution recognizes no man made frontiers and that life on our planet depends on a well balanced and clean environment.
The HELMEPA Junior ambassador of JMO for the marine Environment
Moreover, in October 2006 two 12-year old children-members of HELMEPA Junior from the Island of Leros and TURMEPA from Istanbul, were invited by IMO and addressed the national delegations, stressing that time is running out for the protection of our environment.

Following the invitation of the Secretary General of IMO, in July 2005 children- members of HELMEPA Junior from the island of Kalymnos, CYMEPA from Cyprus and TURMEPA from Turkey participated in the Children's World Summit for the Environment as « IMO's Ambassadors for the Protection of the Marine Environment». The Summit took place under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Japan with the participation of 600 children from 66 countries. Since then, children-members of HELMEPA JUNIOR have participated in similar conferences organized by UNEP in Malaysia in 2006 and in Norway in 2008.
The HELMEPA Junior ambassador of JMO for the marine Environment
The HELMEPA Junior ambassador of JMO for the marine Environment


The Chairman of HELMEPA Junior's Board of Representatives from Santorini and a member of CYMEPA Junior from Limassol participated in the conference held in Norway. At the end of the Conference the children presented the following Voluntary Commitments, which they adopted and decided to communicate to the children of their countries:


ENERGY
• Reduce our reliance on cars by walking, using bicycles and public transport more often, encourage children and adults to car-pool
• Turn off lights when not in use
• Switch off appliances and entertainment systems at the mains and not leave standby modes.
• Support and campaign for the use of renewable energies
• Encourage the use of energy-saving bulbs or globes
• Reduce the need for indoor heating by dressing up warmly

WATER
• Take shorter showers to reduce water usage
• Close all taps properly to minimize water wastage
• Not dump any material or waste into rivers and oceans
• Participate in Beach and River Clean-ups campaigns
• Reuse water
• Where possible, use cold water instead of heated water

BIODIVERSITY
• Plant a tree on every birthday.
• Encourage and teach others not to over-fish, over-hunt and over-eat
• Reduce deforestation through campaigns, education and tree planting initiatives.
• Help preserve endangered species of plants and animals
• Participate in environmental awareness campaigns in our school, community and in our region

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
• Eat local and organic food, whenever possible.
• Minimize use of plastic bags and paper.
• Buy Fair Trade Products
• Reduce consumption, e.g.eat less, re-use, and only buy when really necessary
 

   
 
 
Athens,