The First Ecogenia Social Service Program Launched in Litochoro

LITOCHORO – Ecogenia announced the start of the new Social Service Program in Litochoro, Pieria, at a press conference on March 29. The project, entitled Social Service Program – Olympus 2024, focuses on mobilizing young people to build and strengthen climate resilience at the local level.

In collaboration with the Municipality of Dion-Olympus and under the programming direction of the Pieria Forestry Directorate, the project hopes to strengthen the participation of civil society in disaster prevention in Greece, starting from the wider area of the Municipality of Dion-Olympus. Litochoro was chosen as the base for the project and the interaction with the local community, as it is a place of strategic importance and the main entrance to the Olympus National Park. As tourism continues to grow in Greece, this area has the opportunity to set an example of sustainable tourism, prioritizing community needs and setting standards for environmental management and natural resource conservation.

“It is a work of hope that is happening in our area and I wish there would be more efforts such as this in our Municipality,” said the Deputy Mayor of the Litochoro Municipal Unit for Education, Tourism Promotion and Development, Sofia Zourzoura, representing the Municipality.

For his part, the Director of the Directorate of Forests of Pieria, Petros Papapetrou, welcomed the cooperation and referred to the imminent signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the General Directorate of Forests of the Ministry of Environment and Energy and Ecogenia.

The interview was also attended by Pieria Deputy Governor Sofia Mavridou, who mentioned the important nature of the project, “in addition to the Administration and local leaders, it is important to have agencies and organizations that support society against emergency situations. One of them is Ecogenia.”

Under the motto “You Contribute – Train – Get Paid,” this Ecogenia project is part of a strategic partnership with the U.S. Embassy, while also providing the framework for conducting an exchange of know-how and obtaining training from the largest and oldest environmental protection body globally, the California Conservation Corps (CCC), with the goal of incorporating best practices from the CCC on ecotourism and natural disaster management to strengthen local climate resilience in the wider region.

During the Ecogenia program, a group of members from the program and CCC leadership will be in Greece for two months, and will work with the Ecogenia team as part of this educational exchange.

It should be noted that in the afternoon of the same day as the press conference, a meeting to get to know the community was held at the Olympus National Park Information Center. There, members of the Ecogenia team analyzed the pillar actions to residents and stakeholders of the wider area of Litochoro in an event that was embraced by the local community, and had a great turnout.

Ecogenia thanks all partners, sponsors and the community in general for their support and cooperation during the preparation of the innovative social service and best practices exchange program.

Ecogenia is the first NGO in Greece that promotes sustainability through civic engagement, training and employment opportunities for young people. Through a service year model, Ecogenia connects Greek youth with organizations dedicated to creating sustainable solutions to environmental and societal challenges.

More information about the organization’s efforts and the paid social service program can be found online: https://ecogenia.org/.


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