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Local Initiatives

Starfish, through the generosity of Open Society and others, proudly supports the people of Lesvos, and defends communities and cultures frayed by the refugee crisis as it plays out.  The people of Lesvos responded actively to the drama of the refugees, who arrived in the thousands -- relieved to have escaped war, but anxious about an uncertain future. Faced with no alternative, Lesvos residents surpassed their capabilities while exhibiting generosity, humanity and remarkable patience.
The fight of the people of Lesvos, in the midst of a national financial crisis, is so desperate that it seems to go beyond human endurance. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees recognized the islanders’ superhuman efforts and declared Mytilene “the world capital of solidarity”.
Poets and refugees have always been part of our cellular memory. Our grandparents were refugees and our parents were immigrants.  But this efforts has not been without cost. Funding of local initiatives shores up institutions and families battered by multiple dramas not of their own making.
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Urban Non-Profit Company, Mytilene

NAN organized a three-day feast and celebration showcasing the island's food collectives, cooperatives and small producers including those in the Social Movement Supported Agriculture (KYGEO). The starting point was the need to provide opportunities to meet and to discuss food, environmental challenges for food producers, and promotion and enhancement of local products.

The ultimate goal is to create a stable network of local producers and cooperatives involved in all aspect of food production and food ecology, collaborating for joint promotions in this space.

Areas of focus include:

  • Seed preservation.

  • Economic support for small producers faced with social and environmental challenges.

  • Sharing canning ideas and methods; 

  • Advancing an understanding of composting (maximizing participation in existing programs and actions).

  • Highlighting local traditional food and desert recipes.

Culminating in a public feast with local recipes and ingredients


Lesvos Cycling Association


The cycling club gave away 100 cycling helmets, to children aged 5-15 years, during several different cycling events


One of these events is the Take a kid Mountain Bike Day (TKMBD), hosted by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), which strives to encourage communities around the world to join together and ride mountain bikes with kids. Children and guardians gathered in Tsamakia grove for safety lessons, before the mountain riding event.  Helmets were required for the event.


The event ended with the prize of 25 children helmets to 25 lucky young cyclists. Through the end of the year all of 100 helmets have been given to the children of Lesvos.

Biking photo.jpg

K-Gold Temporary Gallery

Agia Paraskevi,"Wear your best clothes on Sunday"

K-Gold Temporary Gallery is a platform for contemporary art that was founded in 2014 on the island of Lesvos. Aiming to bring contemporary culture closer to everyone, it offers artists and curators the opportunity to expand their research and practice through exhibitions, performances, publications, and educational programs.


The exhibition "Always wear your best," in January 2020, showcased seven Greek and international artists at their permanent space in Agia Paraskevi, Lesvos, and explores the boundaries between the worlds of art and fashion. Clothing, as a powerful tool of expression, can transform to become a symbol of desire or of power.

The K-Gold Temporary Gallery actively contributes to the  rejuvenation of Lesvos and the daily life of its inhabitants. The gallery supports the work of young creators and provides unprecedented stimuli to the new generation living on the periphery. Using art as a vehicle for personal and collective development, utilization of photography as an educational tool and connecting local actors in national and international networks. Finally, promote Lesvos as a tourist destination for modern cultural interest.



Koin.S.Ep, Mytilene

Creating a multi-space - music reception that will function as a place of meeting, collaboration, musical expression, supportive teaching and practice of the musicians and artists of the island and will provide them with work by organizing music and artistic events where they will present their work.  


Pelago will be a lifelong learning center, as well as providing traditional café services (with Lesvian products) and music.  We support and engage vulnerable groups of local musicians, both traditional and contemporary, in addition to dancers and artists in general. By providing employment at concessions, we also support the ultimate preservation and promotion of the artistic and gastronomic Aegean culture, with a special focus on women over 50.




The Library of Vrisa, Lesvos, holds activities aimed at children, with the help of vounteers, which provide knowledge and skills beyond the limits of school curricula.

Activities include:  Painting for beginners and advanced, computer science, learning musical instruments, creative employment of young children, chess, creative writing. At the same time, there is a children's theatrical group which has presented for two years in a row in the neighboring Polichnitos.

Additional activities include chess tournaments and painting competitions with remarkable prizes, and adult education in various topics such as diabetes and thyroid, or the production of cosmetics from olive oil.


Creative recycling program

POLYTROPON, at Thermi Primary School

"POLYTROPON" is a place of creativity and learning, organizing seasonal programs aimed at children, adults, the elderly or vulnerable groups in the local community.

"POLYTROPON" laboratory emphasizes active participation, and aims to:

  • offer innovative creative activities,

  • to contribute to the enrichment of their knowledge and skills participants

  • to help strengthen teamwork and socialization,

  • to assist in the empowerment and development of self-esteem.


The Primary School of Thermi is a school unit that is distinguished for bold and innovative initiatives.  They engaged POLYPTRON to introduce children in of 4th , 5th and 6th grades to the process of recycling.  The program included:

  • Gain exposure to the possibilities of creative recycling and re-use, old paper is recycled into new paper

  • Learn about the art of typography and bookbinding

  • Learn about professions related to typography, in particular the newspaper printing business

  • To experience the newspaper printing process

  • To experience the joy and satisfaction of creation and teamwork

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