”Welcoming the Swallows”

”Welcoming the Swallows”




Ceramics Department of the Workshop


Target Group

People with intellectual and associated disabilities over 15 years old


Environmental training is a way of social inclusion, acceptance and active participation for all, including people with disabilities, by promoting their awareness of environmental issues.
For this reason, "PANAGIA ELEOUSA", in collaboration with the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the Management Agency of Messolonghi Lagoon, has been a pioneer in Greece thanks to a very important and innovative action, which is being implemented every March, at the beginning of spring, when the arrival of migratory birds is signalled. This action focuses on the need to protect migratory birds, migratory routes and the habitats where they are stationed to feed and rest in order to continue the long and difficult journey to the wintering areas.

It is implemented in three phases:

A) In the first phase, representatives of the Ornithological observers and members of  the Management Agency of Messolonghi Lagoon visit "PANAGIA ELEOUSA" in Messolonghi and make a presentation with a video entitled "The Swallows of Greece" and they show pictures of the birds of the National Park .

B) In the second phase, the service users of the Ceramics department build with clay one nest each, under the constant supervision and guidance of the people in charge, for the swallows visiting our region.

C) In the third phase, when these nests are dry and ready, they are placed in the Nautical Sport Center of our organisation located in Messolonghi harbor and in other parts of our city, to welcome the swallows.

Our service users are enthusiastic and really encouraged with this action, but also our staff have a special experience, escaping from the daily routine and by helping our service users to get to know the beneficial influence of nature's elements with man, which contribute to the mental uplift of people with intellectual and associated disabilities and improve their quality of life. 

The benefits are numerous for the participants, the service users and employees, as they acquire new knowledge about the natural environment and the way we can better take care of it, they entertain and empower themselves through experiential construction, they meet new people and visit places of natural beauty. The greatest success is that all the service users and employees participating in this action express positive emotions and great enthusiasm about it.

Due to the promotion of this action in the printed and electronic press, secondary benefits also arise, such as informing our local and wider community that people with intellectual and associated disabilities can be involved in environmental issues and as active citizens can participate in community based actions and in the implementation of good environmental protection practices. "There is no discrimination in nature". All that is needed is enthusiasm, imagination and love for people with disabilities.


1.Greek Ornithological Society
2.Management Agency of Messolonghi Lagoon
Staff Trainers, Scientific and Administrative staff of the organisation "PANAGIA ELEOUSA" 
Resources  The costs of this action are subsidized by the Ornithological Society
Duration  12 days a year
Finances There is no financial cost for "PANAGIA ELEOUSA"
Contact/more information Name:   Workshop “PANAGIA ELEOUSA”

Email address :panael@otenet.gr