Creating human-centered spaces that nurture, inspire, and raise environmental awareness
To help individuals and communities become more resilient through connection with nature and stewardship of the enviroment
EcoHub was launched by Better Days in 2017 with support from LUSH cosmetics. Its goal was to relieve the crippling physical and mental health effects of stagnation, one of the biggest challenges facing the local asylum-seeking population. Previously unused land at the One Happy Family Community Center (OHF) was transformed into a tranquil garden space where visitors to the center could relax and learn more about the environment. As the project grew, its scope expanded to a broader advocacy of environmental stewardship on the island and in the operations of our partners in the humanitarian field.
EcoHub’s headquarters are its gardens and greenhouse-classroom. But EcoHub is much more than a site: it is a concept, an approach and a philosophy – one that encourages environmental stewardship, regenerative practices and symbiotic relationships.
We believe that respect for humanity and the environment go hand in hand. Our programming is designed to provide what displaced populations often lack: healthy food, mental health resources, educational access, and employment opportunities. In doing so, we strive for a holistic approach that emphasizes connections: between the health of the planet and those who call it home, between displaced and host communities and between the actions of today and the future.
Our goal is simple: to help individuals and communities become more resilient. EcoHub is an open, equal-opportunity place for participants to learn together, share expertise and resources, build community and work together to care for the environment.
EcoHub’s objectives were designed to address some of the primary concerns identified by local displaced populations:
Malnutrition continues to be a critical issue, particularly for those living in camps. All the vegetables grown on site are donated to people in need and access to healing herbs is provided through our medicinal herb garden. We also run workshops and classes on how to grow vegetables and care for plants to encourage gardening in private and communal living spaces.
Nature heals – this much we know to be true. But one must have opportunities to engage with it in order for this healing to be possible. EcoHub strives to increase these opportunities by creating peaceful, green spaces for visitors to relax and escape the harshness and chaos of daily life. Participants enjoy expanded access to nature through field trips, classes and off-site garden expansion and are invited to take part in ecotherapy activities designed for groups and individuals.
Education is at the core of all EcoHub activity. Whether through workshops for the public, permaculture training for our garden team or simple moments of daily discovery with visitors in the garden, we strive to make every moment an opportunity to learn. Our workshops for children and adults cover a wide variety of subjects, such as gardening skills, natural cosmetics and herbal remedies, to name just a few.
Asylum seekers face an increasingly challenging job market as they transition from camp into society. EcoHub’s dedicated garden team members learn key vocational skills, increasing their employability. We facilitate our garden team in finding jobs, linking our team members and course graduates to employers who are looking for experienced garden assistants.
EcoHub encourages environmentally conscious behaviour to reduce the environmental impact on our planet. In our operations, we strive to be a zero-waste operation by reusing, recycling, upcycling and composting as much as possible. We also work to assist others make a positive environmental impact in their own operations by directly contributing to their existing effective efforts and sharing our experiences and resources to facilitate positive change and new endeavours. Most notably, we work with our hosts at OHF to approach each aspect of the center with an eye to sustainability, ultimately creating an example of how effective humanitarian aid and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand.
Copyright 2021 @ Sporos Regenaration Institute
Milies Village, Lesvos, Greece
Contact: +30 698 108 0900