Demi from Greece sets a great example on how to promote the Earth Charter

Dimitra ‘Demi’ Smoloktou, 24-year-old Greek student, has shown an incredible initiative in promoting the Earth Charter in her home country and serves as an outstanding example for other young people that want to support the values and principle for a sustainable future.

By the time when Demi found out about the Earth Charter, Greece did not have any EC activities. This is why Demi decided to start actions herself!

“This is a wonderful example of what just one committed person can do! Truly, the great illustration of the EC+10 slogan: It starts with one!” says Marina Bakhnova, ECI Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia.

Read Demi’s letter and get inspired – we can all be the change agents, if we just want!

“I am a master’s degree student in corporate environmental management at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

How did I get to know about the Earth Charter? Everything started when I attended an info session by Lisa Jokivirta (a former EC intern and EC Youth Leadership Team) about internships. Lisa told us about the possibility to intern at the Earth Charter International’s secretariat.

Moreover, after some courses and lectures from our master’s curriculum, I became familiar with sustainability issues and sustainable development. I got very excited but I didn’t know from where to ask more information or which door to knock. Then it came to my mind ‘ohh Ms Jokivirta might help me!!’ So as you can imagine, she introduced the Earth charter and Marina Bakhnova (ECI Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia) to me after explaining to her my interests.

As I have said already to dear Marina, I feel so disappointed that in Greece the majority isn’t informed about the Earth Charter Initiative. And that is why I am willing to help; to increase the awareness on sustainable development!

To spread the word in Greece, I have created an email which I have sent to organizations and individuals. In this friendly letter I introduced myself, my study background and my interests towards the Earth Charter. With this letter my intention was to get people together to form a network that would promote the Earth Charter in Greece. Additionally, I have researched the Greek organizations that I thought would be interested in Earth Charter. My next plan is to contact all of them and convince them to endorse the declaration and join the Earth Charter Initiative.

I was able to find an NGO that is highly interested in all kinds of efforts and actions that would promote the Earth Charter in Greece and in the world. Specifically, they are interested in organizing workshops, promoting the Earth Charter Initiative through Internet, as well as networking with NGOs, universities and other institutions. They already support the Initiative a lot by forwarding information about the Earth Charter to other ecological NGOs and by including translated and updated information in their website.

I am so happy that finally we have plans with some friends on how to start more effective promotion in our home country. First we are going to build a national Earth Charter website; translate the text and buy the domain. Once we have the website in Greek it will be easier to promote Earth Charter and cooperate with other NGOs.

Secondly we are going to establish an Earth Charter Greece, an organization that will be part of the Earth Charter Initiative. From now on, there will be a legally acting NGO in Greece that is supporting and promoting the Earth Charter in our home country. Furthermore, we are definitely planning to cooperate with other Greek NGOS, universities and institutions, since we have a good network.

Greece is the country where democracy, freedom, philosophy and other sciences were born and it is a pity that nowadays the interest for development and sustainability isn’t really high. I wish from the bottom of my heart and I will do my best for this initiative to be successful. Let’s be the change.” 

Find Demi’s contact details from Earth Charter Youth / Student Activists’ wiki-profiles.