Fascinated by Martial Arts since a young age, Thomas Croc started his journey with Shotokan Karate in his teenage years. He was told by his teachers that he could become a champion as they were very impressed by his natural gifts for Martial Arts.
However, his path led him along a different direction. During his travels throughout Asia, Thomas discovered the Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat in the mountains of northern Thailand. The lifestyle and practice immediately resonated within his heart and the real journey began.
With the guidance of Master Iain Armstrong and the Senior Instructors of the school, Thomas dived deep into Old Style Kung Fu, living several years the monastic life of the school, living and breathing Kung Fu every day.
As the understanding of the Arts deepened within him, so did the understand of himself and nature.
Everything is connected by natural forces, and Kung Fu is a way to harness them, to follow them and direct them where it is needed.
To be one with nature and its way, not against it, is the way of Kung Fu.
Since 2020 Thomas lives and teaches in Greece and has co-founded Nam Yang Greece with his life partner Ageliki Croc.
Katerina Tranouli has been trained, active for many years and also constantly further educated, academically and experientially, in the fields of counseling, adult education, psychology, psychotherapy, kinesiology, complementary medicine and yoga. She is a mother of two children, 11.5 and 10 years old.
She is interested in non-directiveness in our relationships with others and the freedom to be where we truly love to be, recognizing its value, but also that it is perhaps the most difficult thing in our world.
In recent years, she has been systematically informing parents and teachers about the idea of libertarian pedagogy and upbringing, about how to follow children, with respect, how to understand their needs and desires, which are very different from our own, planning personalized, individual, family, or school care strategies.
She participates in groups, associations, schools, institutions that promote free thought and democratic, libertarian pedagogy because she is very deeply and consciously interested in changing our pedagogical intelligence (upbringing – education).
Val Osborn has lived in Greece since 1974 and moved to Corfu in 1977 where she ran the Lucciola Inn and Casa Lucia.
After initially concentrating purely on the regular tourist industry, she diversified into t’ai chi workshops and classes inviting teachers from Thailand, China, Greece and all over Europe. These gradually expanded to include yoga, walking tours, painting holidays, writing and poetry etc. She was at the same time practising t’ai chi as well as co-leading classes for local residents, eventually qualifying as a certified teacher in the European School of T’ai Chi Ch’uan.
Alongside this, as her children were growing up, she was involved in setting up and running educational projects in Corfu, in particular the Guilford Youth Centre which provided extra-curricular activities and sports for children of all ages as well as foundation courses for University entrance abroad; and the SOS environmental group made up of several local families whose main activity was cleaning beaches and stretches of countryside, and campaigning for correct rubbish collection and disposal. She is proud that all the children involved in these projects have either gone on to become environmental officers, organic farmers, and ecological activists; or are positively leading their lives in the most environmentally friendly ways possible. Local authorities also took note and responsibility for cleaning up the island and now even have a recycling unit. An alternative, ecological way of living and conducting business is second nature to her.
Janna Kraan was born and raised on Corfu. She studied in Athens at the Academy of Ancient Greek and Traditional Chinese Medicine, where she graduated as a Reflexologist. At the same school she learned Orthopedic Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Creative Healing and more.
In 2016 she went to Holland where she followed the courses (Full Body) Baby Reflexology and the JJ Doula training.
She helps women become, and stay pregnant, enjoy birth and create a strong bond with their babies.
Alexia Stouraȉti has for many years studied Psychodrama and Drama with renowned teachers such as E.Skoti-Theatro Epi Kolono, D Sirou, and K. Philippoglou. She is a Mediator, specializing in Education and Family Mediation, trained in Non-Violent Communication (CNVC) and in the basics of Systemic Psychotherapy. She was trained as a co-ordinator of Restorative Circles by Kay Pranis, and she collaborates with the Department of Restorative Justice at the Panteion University of Athens. She is also a colleague of Attachment Parenting Hellas, and she writes for the websites kediaa.gr, e-psychology.gr, and eimaimama.gr. And in addition to all this, she is a graduate of the Athens Law School.
George Moschos former Deputy Ombudsman for Children’s Rights and co-founder of InArt12.
Mariza Vamvoukli was born and raised on the island of Lesvos. She graduated with honors from the Department of Music Studies at the Aristotelian Polytechnic of Thessaloniki. Simultaneously, she studied piano, accordion, theory of music and theatrical movement. She furthered her studies with a post-graduate scholarship in England at Middlesex University in the Department of Music Education and at York University on the subject of Community Music or “Music in Society” (music activity and appreciation, mostly for underprivileged groups).
From 2003 on, she has taught as a tenured music teacher at the elementary school level. As of 2008, she does music coaching for the pre-junior section of the children’s choir ROSARTE. From 2011, she has directed the children’s choir of the National Odeon of Neo Heraklion, Attica and from 2012 she is the chorusmaster of the cross-cultural youth choir POLYPHONICA. In conjunction with Elsa Kundig and Myrto Tikof Mariza is responsible of the musical coaching and music education of the choir.
She also works as a music teacher and music therapist in the Center for Individuals with Special Needs, in the psychiatric rehabilitation centers EPIPSI and EPAPSI, and as composer and interpreter for amateur theatre groups. She is a member of the “National Conservatoire”, of the “Koinoniko Odeio” (Social Conservatoire”), a recently founded initiative of music teachers.
The keystone of her philosophy (equally for music and teaching) is improvisation and “soundscapes” (the sensitizing to sounds around us), which lead to the creation of personal sound collage-compositions. Her main influences have been the pioneer music educators Murray Schafer and Christopher Small, men who have seen music most importantly as a teaching-instrument and not as a matter for specialists alone.
Marjan Hoogendoorn arrived as a sailor in 1989 in Corfu.
In 2011 she went to the Netherlands and followed a three-year course “Herbal Medicine”. She is convinced that a major cause of chronic diseases and imbalance can be found in lifestyle and diet.
In 2012 she attended the course “Nutrition according to orthomolecular principles.” And from 2013 to 2015 as a sequel to that the course “Epigenetic Therapist”.
Nutrition according to orthomolecular principles teaches us what substances are present in our diet, and what they do in our bodies.
Epigenetics provides insight into the external influences on our cells. How nutrition and lifestyle, toxins, stress and hormones affect our health. And how to restore the balance.
Sophia Michalopoulou is a therapist and educator on land and in water. She used to work at Iliaxtida School Corfu and run waterhappy swimming groups for preschoolers at Nafisthoos Kerkyra. She is a volunteer for the Special Olympics young swimmers programme and holds workshops in water both locally and abroad.
As a Doula Sophia thinks of birth as something beautiful, sacred and pleasurable. So lets come together and share birth stories, fears, joys, ideas. Because Birth Matters and by Better Birth we make a Better Earth.
Daphne Moschou-Chatzokou is a social worker and mother and is trained in devised theater and theater games.
Zoë Valerie grew up in Corfu. She completed her postgraduate degree in Choreological Studies, Choreography and Education in 2002 at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.
Since then she has lived, taught, danced and studied in Holland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, the Ukraine, Thailand, Israel and else where.
For over twenty years she has been performing, choreographing and teaching with people of all ages. She has developed ‘Ensoma’, an amalgam of various therapeutic methods, movement techniques, improvisation and choreological study. ‘Ensoma’ cultivates detailed perception, awareness and management of the bodymind, re-connecting with the precious wisdom that we embody naturally and its innate tendency towards health and self-healing.
She is convinced that emdodied learning, where the body is fully involved, can resolve the gradual and systematic degeneration of the neurological ability to think, feel and therefore act autonomously and critically.
She is committed to educational reform, protecting the freedom of choice in education and safeguarding environments where human development is allowed, encouraged and facilitated.
Clowning, Tai Chi, Puppets, Storytelling, Theatrical Alchemy, in the service of experiential philosophy. 3 Laloun
Violeta Natsi: she did a 7 month placement in Free School Leipzig and is a member of the initiative to organize the conference EUDEC 2018.
Leslie Ocker: co-founder of EUDEC, and member of the Council, co-founder of the High School of the Free School Leipzig. Former teacher at the school and mother of two children. One of her sons still attends the Free School, while her eldest daughter graduated five years ago.
Dalia Hochbach: graduate of the Free School Leipzig and former member of the Council of EUDEC.
Stelios Despotakis works as a Mental Health Counsellor in private practice and the Network of Social Solidarity and Psychological Support “SynYparxi”. He was trained in the Person-Centred Approach at the Institution for Counselling and Psychological Studies (ICPS), where he continues postgraduate studies in Psychotherapy. In addition, he has completed brief intensive training in Non-Violent Communication (Tunisia) and Conflict Resolution (Armenia) under Erasmus+ Programmes, and has participated in Psychodrama Workshops.
His first degree was in Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol, UK (BEng – First Class Honours). He then began a Postgraduate Certificate in Mathematics Education at the University of Oxford.
Ideological differences with the prevailing educational system led him to Berlin, where he worked at the alternative Democratic School “Democratische Schule X”. Since 2009, he has taught mathematics at a state school (King Alfred’s School, U.K.), at a private Lyceum (COSAT, South Africa), to university students (U.W.A., Australia) and adults (Greece and Germany).
Lastly, in 2013-2014 he spent a year living on farms/communities in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines), where he explored the concepts of Self-Organization, Permaculture and Meditation. In his free time, he likes sports/exercise (football, yoga, pilates) and plays music (piano, percussion instruments).
Despina Filippaki is an intersectional activist in the field of education and social work, Board Member of the Victorian BMC of the Australian Association of Social Workers and Coordinator of the Sig Green Social Work. She has coordinated and worked in minority/ethnic schools, Out-of-home Care/Child Protection, community and urban gardens, self-directed autonomous schools, colleges and farms. She is active in self-managed and democratic unconferences, groups of Allied Health Professionals for the Climate, and groups with an anti-extractivist and anti-capitalist agenda.
Natalie Mandila was born in Athens in 1981.
It was only after she finished with her academic studies at the Ionian university, that she engaged with dancing.
Her interest in movement has led her to get involved in different physical practices such as aikido, tai chi, yoga, acrobatics, dance, improvisation and somatics, practices that enrich the multifaceted concept of body and movement.
In 2010 she graduated from the State School of Dance in Athens, where she participated in dance performances of both emerging and established artists. Two years later Natalie moved to Corfu where until today, she teaches the sense of motion to different age groups and levels.
She collaborated with “Garage” – Performing Arts Center (@GaragePerformingArtsCenter) as a dance teacher and performer. An outcome of this collaboration is a solo project titled ‘Casp’, choreographed by Garage21.
She has also collaborated with actor/director and animator Giorgos Nikopoulos who combines real action with animation and with Andreas Monopoli’s music producer and inventor.
As part of the Residency Program of GPAC she has been working on her first choreographic work, a union of three projects under the general title ‘Feral’, which discusses the notion of an “animal–human” hybrid. The first two projects have already been completed and presented to the public (“Feral”, Garage Performing Arts Center, Theseum Theatre, Athens), (“Feral in the woods”, Vida Laska Arts Festival).
Christiana Moschou is a graduate of the faculty Philosophy Pedagogy and Psychology and the faculty of Theater Studies, both at the University of Athens. She completed her postgraduate studies in Psychopedagogy of Inclusion at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has worked in Greece and Mexico as director, stage manager and director’s assistant, and has joint as a member various theater groups. She has also worked as a philologist teacher, drama teacher and special education teacher. During the last years, she has been working with Educational Drama and Community Theater designing and implementing social and educational artistic projects. Her work has been presented at international conferences and published in scientific journals. In 2016 she taught Community Theater at the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, while this semester co-teaches, with Konstantina Richatou, the course “Pedagogy of the Theater: Theater of Augusto Boal” at the School of Drama, faculty of Fine Arts, at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Currently, she is writing her doctoral dissertation about Democratic Adolescents’ Interaction through Community Theater.
Wolfgang is a physicist who works on various environmental problems, and who discovered his interest in education when his son turned three. Despite his prior teaching experience, it was then the issue of freedom to learn which cauWolfgang is a physicist who works on various environmental problems, and who discovered his interest in education when his son turned three. Despite his prior teaching experience, it was then the issue of freedom to learn which caught him and led him on various trips throughout Greece and abroad. He believes that the role of the parent is key in education, because only as a parent (or someone someone who assumes the role of a parent) you live sufficiently close to the child in order to fully feel and appreciate all the consequences of your actions as far as the child is concerned. He now has two children and lives in Pelion.
Born in Thessaloniki. Studied Translation, Spanish Language and Latin American Culture. Completed training in education for adults at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, worked in a newspaper for almost a decade and in movie subtitling at the Thessaloniki Film Festival for 2 years. Work in the city occupied most of her time and the only time she felt alive was when dancing.
Her real passion is her organic herbal garden and growing all kinds of herbs, mostly medicinal, which she then uses to make homemade, natural remedies. Living in nature gave her the opportunity to recall her childhood memories when her grandma would take her to the mountain to collect wild herbs to prepare the winter remedies the family might need.
Even though the idea of leaving the city was always on her mind, it was the coming of her daughter Zoe that made the decision easy. She wanted her child to grow up in a healthy environment and that means clean air, clean water, trees and sky as far as the eye can see.
Born in Athens in 1972. Beyond the protective bubble of friends and family, he experienced a society without sense, organized in an ugly and self-destructive way. Studied sound-engineering in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Returning to Greece in 1999, he worked at Athens Mastering, a state-of-the-art studio in Athens. In the following nine years I developed my skills as a recording, mixing and mastering engineer, set up two studios from scratch, wrote the book “About Music and Engineering”, gave mastering classes at SAE Athens, was Editor in Chief for the magazine “Soundmaker”, engaged in a publishing company producing audio-books and became the Technical Supervisor at the Goethe Institute in Athens. Still, the way the business world was set up didn’t satisfy his need for healthy perspectives, transparent relations and meaningful action. He decided to search for a shelter close to nature and gradually moved to the land he is living on now with his partner Stella and their daughter Zoe.
MpiNtou team is a mysterious team, of which little we know.
Unknown is the number of it’s members, unknown even is the exact subject of it’s activities.
From valid confidential sources, we know that MpiNtou promote the idea of having Carnival five times per year, instead of once, and at the same time they fight hard for the right to eat icecream DURING winter.
A team’s close friend confidentially told us, that every December MpiNtou meet in Kali-Kali island, with the goal to gain at least 4 new fantastic inventions and 2 new dreams for life…
Herbalist and wild Herbal Collector: the use of herbs as therapeutic tools, a surviving behavior that can be found in all living beings as part of nutrition.
Beetherapist: a specific use of bee products for empowering and healing (honey, pollen, propolis, beeswax, royal jelly, bee venom)
Healer: traditional Greek and modern Cupping therapy (vedouzes) and Tibetan Kum Nye massage, techniques for the body, to unblock or tonify, depending on the need.
Katerina Provata theatre, music and movement teacher.
Dutch singer-musician Igor Ezendam and his italian partner Arianna Artioli on their decade of touring with Feeling Sound have touched the hearts and minds of many people along the way.
Igor’s music is an example of the use of the voice as a therapeutic instrument and source of self discovery. His personal style of vocal harmonics, a pure and crystal clear sound developed over thirty years of experimentation, is capable of clearing the energetic body of old fears, stuck emotions and karmic weight.
Arianna Artioli’s caring presence, poignant humor and emotional sensitivity help bring people back on track into love through truthful processing of old traumas. Together with Igor’s compassionate feedback and practical suggestions for improvement, being part of one of their retreats is a truly liberating experience.
Read more about Igor and Arianna here.
Κalliopi Anthi was born in Prague, Czech Republic, to Greek parents. She studied Special Education at Charles University. She worked in a Foundation for children with physical disabilities for 7 years.
In 1990 she settled in Greece and participated as a special educator in the Vocational Training Center for people with special needs of PIKPA Corfu.
She has worked with children and adolescents with mental retardation, hearing problems, autism, learning disabilities and speech problems for over 17 years. She gave them speech therapy and special education, reading and writing lessons and they taught her a life lesson. She learned to appreciate diversity and to respect the limits of possibilities and destiny.
Her next “University” was Iliachtida, a protoype private kindergarten in Corfu, where she realized how important a sense of security and emotional need satisfaction is to enable the manifestation and development of mental capacity. She connected with her inner child. At that time she began to attend specialized kinesiology seminars at the Educational organization “Three in One Concepts”, a holistic approach aimed at self-knowledge, relieving negative stress and restoring physical, emotional and energy balance. These seminars helped her to heal the wounds of her inner child and to meet its needs.
In 2002 she became a mental health consultant (facilitator) and since then she has been working professionally with the “3in1 Concepts” method, reducing emotional stress and promoting the reconnection of individuals with the sources of their strength and creativity.
She studied for 5 years at the Hellenic Institute of Systemic Representation Bert Hellinger. Through this training she discovered the deepest ties and influences we receive from our family. We are unable to solve many of our problems individually, because they do not only concern us. It is important to accept our parents and ancestors with love, with all the conditions and difficulties they have faced, because through them we were offered the gift of life. When we find our right place, we draw support and strength from the Collective Soul of the family. When we value the gift of life, then we can make the most of it.
Sophia De-Rosa Ortiz is a woman, a mother and a midwife who believes in the transformative power of birth.
She has studied midwifery and worked in the UK. She have had two amazing birth experiences of her own, one in a midwife led unit and one at home.
She approaches her life, work and studies with an open heart and mind. From this sensitive centre she offers tools that can empower women and families to have an informed, prepared and unique birth experience. The ripple effects of a confident and positive birth can affect the family, society and our world.
Poppi Triandafillou was born in Rhodes and graduated from the Pedagogical Department of Primary Education in Ioannina in 2014.
She then studied the art of Theatre Games in Athens, completing a 3 year course at the School of Theater and Educational Theater at the Cultural Education Workshop “School of Play” (2015-2018).
In addition to her studies in Theatre Games, she attended the annual puppet making and animation workshop (2016-2017) as well as the three-month puppet animation seminar (2017-2018) at the Ayusaya Puppet Theatre.
She also attended the Seminar “An epic tale of Instability”: Theatrical Clown Workshop (Physical Theater Workshop) in Corfu (11/2018).
She has participated in Theatre Games educational programs, puppet theatre and children’s radio programs.
Since 2015 she works with children aged 3-12 as a teacher and as a Theatre Games facilitator.
Since 2015 she works with children aged 3-12 as a teacher and as a Theatre Games facilitator.
She believes that play and the cultivation of imagination are essential elements of life, not only for children but also for adults. She is not fond of teacher-centric methods and prefers to build a trusting environment focusing on respect for the uniqueness of everyone.
She is enraptured by the way the world of children works and believes that every day with children is a different journey, and you never know where it will take you.
Lonaïs Jailais is a qualified Mountain Leader, outdoor watersports Instructor and Nature Guide with experience in countless lands and waters from the Polar Circle to the Equator. He imagined and created Swift ! (sChOoLwith OuT frOntiers!).
Amateur Astronomer, BSc in Physics
Eleni Christoforatou over the last ten years has been dealing with herbs.
She gather herbs, make beeswax creams, tinctures, syrups, etc. , teach and lead herbs recognition walks.
She received her degree from the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, where she completed the Herbal Medicine Making and Herbal Immersion Course. Since September 2019 she has been studying at the David Winston School of Herbal Studies where she specializes in Clinical Herbal Medicine
Sal Menjivar works to instill the belief that positive coaching and a fun atmosphere helps children EXPERIENCE the JOY OF FOOTBALL.
He has created fun lesson plans that teach players to have confidence with the ball. He is a Licensed Soccer Coach with a USSF National “D” LICENCE certified by the ENYSA Coaching Academy.
Sal has played in a number of private leagues including the FLUSHING PANAMERICAN LEAGUE, the NEW YORK BANKING SOCCER LEAGUE and the COSMOPOLITAN LEAGUE.
He worked as a Travel Coach from 2003-2007 with the Eastchester Youth Soccer Association in the Town of Eastchester and the Riverdale Soccer Clubs, Riverdale, NY. He worked as assistant director at Future Stars Soccer Camp in Purchase, NY, directing between 300-700, 6-15 year old boys and girls. 2002- 2007, as Co-commissioner and Coaching Director of the Junior Division for EYSA in the town of Eastchester, overseeing coaches and trainers for 450, 5 and 6 year old boys and girls. irected 16 travel teams from ages U10 to U13 in conjunction with Allegro Sports Academy for Club EYSA.
Yaacov Hecht founded, 30 years ago, the Democratic School in Hadera, Israel – the first school in the world called a “Democratic School”.
In 1993, he initiated IDEC that facilitated the establishment of hundreds of innovative democratic schools around the globe, 30 of them in Israel.
In 1996, he founded IDE – the Institute for Democratic Education.
As part of Yaacov’s work in IDE, he opened the first academic program for training of democratic education teachers in Israel’s leading college of education.
Then he opened a graduate program in Democratic Education in Tel Aviv University.
In 2007, Yaacov initiated the Pioneer training program for innovative and groundbreaking school principals.
In 2010 Yaacov started Education Cities – the Art of Collaborations
In January 2017, Education Cities was chosen by the Finnish project HundrED, as one of the leading education initiatives in the world.
Yaacov regards the preparing and directing of the educational system towards the future as his main mission today.
He lives in Hadera, he is married and has 4 sons.
Katina Vlachou was born in Corfu in 1950. She studied architecture in France and worked in Cologne, Athens and Corfu, where she has lived since 1988. She has written books of prose and poetry. Her texts have been published in the literary magazines ‘Katafygio’, ‘Porphyras’ and ‘Nea Estia’, as well as on the internet, and her vignettes in the Corfiot periodical press.
Zoe Trandalidou, after completing law studies in the University of Thessaloniki (2009), worked in Athens to legally address refugee-related issues. Since 2013, she has been taking part in european mobility programs as group leader, and coordinating Erasmus+ projects, among which “Heterotopia Tours”. Her activity has been dedicated to networking, mediation and support of non formal education models, addressing alternative economy, cooperation, social innovation and intercultural dialogue and in 2019 she co-founded CoLabHouse SCE.
She has been dancing and playing music since her childhood. She found herself in adulthood searching for re-learning, touching and feeling tradition. Having her family roots in Creta and Minor Asia, she took part in wonderful groups singing songs from the above areas, as well as Polyphonic songs from Epirus and the Balkans. She studied West African traditional dances for several years and then got into exploring improvisation, healing and kinesiology and the Axis Syllabus and Ensoma communities.