The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA (www.helmepa.gr) was founded in 1982 by Greek seafarers and shipowners, who voluntarily pledged to participate in a joint effort towards preventing marine pollution from ships. HELMEPA’s mission is to foster environmental consciousness within the maritime community through information and awareness-raising for all, “from shipowner to the last seafarer”.
To date, more than 15,000 Greek seafarers have become members of HELMEPA and declared their voluntary commitment to protect the marine environment.
In parallel with efforts in the field of shipping, HELMEPA launched in 1983 its annual summer awareness-raising campaigns for Clean Seas and Beaches, using its well-known Seagull as the campaign’s symbol. .
In 1993, the environmental program “HELMEPA Junior” (www.helmepajunior.gr) was created, in response to the request of more than 150,000 schoolchildren who, after visiting the environmental exhibitions of HELMEPA and learning about the importance of the marine environment and the dangers which threaten it, expressed their willingness to contribute to its protection.
Each year, 3,000 pupils, 5-13 years old, from schools all over the country register as members of “HELMEPA Junior”. Organized into groups of ten and with the support of their volunteer teachers, HELMEPA Junior members implement the Program’s Action Plan. Since 1993, more than 50,000 children and 2,000 teachers in 1,000 schools all over Greece have become active, through HELMEPA Junior, for the protection of our country’s marine environment.
Αiming at the strengthening and expansion of the “HELMEPA Junior” program, the UK-based independent charity The Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF) offered its financial support to a program starting from September 2008 over a three-year period, consisting of the following activities:
- Increase of the number of children participating as members in HELMEPA Junior to 4,000 annually.
- Enrichment of the program’s Action Plan with activities and experiments that bring the children closer to shipping and scientific fields such as biology, environment and ecology, zoology and physics.
- Design and operation of the “HELMEPA Junior” program website www.helmepajunior.gr/en/ in English.
- Initiation of a new members’ category, “HELMEPA Cadets” for youth between the age of 13 and 30 and design of the program’s websitewith useful information on the marine environment, shipping, marine science and sea-related professions.
The principal purpose of Lloyd's Register Foundation (formerly The LRET) is to support advances in transportation, science, engineering and technology education, training and research worldwide for the benefit of all.