Merimna Paidiou Katerinis

“Merimna Paidiou Katerinis” is a Greek non-profit NGO that was founded in 1979 in Katerini by a handful of concerned citizens. Our latin logo-name is “Care for the mentally disabled of Pieria”. Our purpose is to advance the rights and well-being of disabled persons especially the one with mental disability, autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disabilities.

This has been accomplished so far in two ways. By running facilities that provide services to persons with disabilities and with actions in the community that shape a better society, a society of inclusion through education and awareness.

Currently we have two facilities in operation that provide Day Care services to the persons of the province of Pieria with disabilities. Their total capacity is 91. At these facilities, among the day care, there are also programs of therapies (speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy), preparation for autonomous or semi- autonomous living, sports, leisure, psychological support etc.

Since the beginning of 2020 we have begun the operation of three houses of semi-autonomous living where a total 12 people are accommodated. People with disabilities have the right to live independently and choose their future on their own. In these houses we provide the needed assistance to fulfill this goal. Our target is to expand this action, make a net of houses throughout the province and meet the full demand for independent living in our area.

Merimna is also carrying a series of action in order to raise awareness of the public regarding the rights of persons with disabilities and their inclusion in the society. An educational program approved by the Ministry of Education is performed every year to the students of the high school classes. The target is to shape an ethic code for the citizens of tomorrow. A code that makes them respect disability. After all disability is not just a personal medical problem but it is also a problem of the society, its structure and way of functioning.