The American College of Greece
In January 2023, our Foundation gladly accepted the call of The American College of Greece (ACG) to participate in the sponsorship of the “Lesvos Mission Blue” project.
ACG has been offering transformative education for over 148 years, cultivating a fertile intellectual and cultural collaboration between Greece and the United States. In this occasion, ACG's Center of Excellence in Sustainability partners with the nonprofit Healing Lesvos and the University of the Aegean to implement the project.
Utilization of donation
"Lesvos Mission Blue" is a research initiative that engages science and society to protect, preserve, and revitalize the Aegean Sea. It aims to ensure that the Aegean Archipelago is sustainably managed, safe and flourishing with marine life while the society is supported.
The island of Lesvos, with its rich marine biodiversity and ecosystem, is in the heart of the Aegean. It has also been massively affected by the refugee crisis following the Syrian war and other conflicts and instability in Asia, with direct destructive impacts on the environment and the local communities. This initiative addresses the environmental, societal and economic pressures on the island through youth empowerment with a goal of providing critical and lasting enhancements to Lesvos’ sustainability.
The project will focus on promoting the conservation of the Mission Blue Avlaki Hope Spot in Lesvos and on establishing Mission Blue as a lighthouse of education, sustainable development, and social impact. In alignment with this priority, the first Citizen Science Hub in the North Aegean will be created. Its main purposes are to:
- Educate, train and empower the local youth, including young refugees, community, and low-income citizens
- Engage all local high schools and relevant University departments
- Engage ACG students in the training of the local youth, refugees, school children and professionals of primary production sectors (farmers, fishermen)
- Create a time series data record of marine biodiversity at selected spots in the North Aegean Region.
Working closely with local and global youth, stakeholders, authorities, academia, refugee centers and organizations in Lesvos, for education and R&D in the local area, the project will ultimately achieve a three-pronged goal:
- Transform the area into the first public Marine Protected Area (MPA) - Diving Park in the NE Aegean
- Establish the Citizen Science Marine Centre (CSMC) to become a permanent body on the island to educate youth, inspire and raise awareness of marine life protection for broad audiences, and encourage diverse skill sets and adaptability
- Create a prototype of best practices that could be followed in other islands facing similar stresses.