21st July 2016… I had just got home after spending three weeks at my parents’, recovering from a double mastectomy. During the preceding seven weeks, apart from the shock of my diagnosis, the emotion uppermost in my mind was gratitude. For the support and love I received, for divine guidance and guidance from the universe, for the help I was given at every stage, and for my own strength which was revived by this challenge.

On that day, 21st July 2016, I felt the need to say THANK YOU.

Flashback to the evening of 30th May 2016…returning home with a diagnosis of breast cancer. It had been a very emotional day, with tears, shock, bewilderment, and unshakeable support from my sisters and my niece, even though she didn’t know why I was crying.

Spontaneous question: ‘If I die tomorrow, what will I regret?’

Immediate response: ‘Why didn’t I set off at seventeen and travel around South America for a year??’

And so, when these two moments in time coincided, Walk With Me was born, not as a plan for a holiday, but as a way of saying thank you.

Like many others, I firmly believe that Mankind’s future and destiny lies in the hands of children. And I also believe that every teacher has an opportunity (and it’s an honour) to make his or her own small contribution to shaping the character of every child who will later become a member of our society, as an adult. Regardless of where that child lives, or in what society.

One of my guiding values is empowering people to make their way through life, relying on their own strength and wisdom. Kinesiology helps me to put this into practice. Brain Gym offers me an opportunity to give children tools that allow them to stand on their own two feet, and to take responsibility for their own learning, as far as possible.  One of the surest ways to do this for school children is to expand their understanding as well as that of their teachers of how we learn and how important MOVEMENT is FOR LEARNING.

But however many children I might be able to see in the course of my trip, I would never be able to work with the hundreds of children that a primary school teacher sees throughout his career! So approaching the teachers seemed like a better solution.

My plan may have been crazy – and it really was crazy, because it is very difficult to gain entry into state schools – but with a helping hand from life itself and from all of those who found my idea inspiring, my project is becoming reality!

In Peru the project will be implemented in a whole district, and via 750 teachers in state primary schools, it will reach more than 20,000 children! That number will increase as time goes on.

10.000 children
In Peru the project will be implemented in a whole district, and via 750 teachers in state primary schools, it will reach more than 10,000 children! That number will increase as time goes on.
250 Teachers
In Chile the project will reach four different geographical areas, and the 250 teachers involved will be able to make a difference to the lives of more than 8,000 children.

All of this will be captured by the photographic lens of a professional, who will record the work of teachers and children, their moments of adversity and victory, the changes and evolutions leading to learning without stress, throughout the project’s six month duration, from April to September 2018.

I still find all of this hard to believe, and I’m the one who has spent hours on end trying to make all of this happen!

The first obstacle, which was the teachers’ participation, has gone.

The second obstacle can be overcome with your help; it is the question of funding for the project.

Any contribution, however small, is valuable, and together we can reach the 56,500 euro target. That is the cost of implementing the project. Of course my own contribution, 1000 hours of teaching, is free!

I am asking you to… Walk With Me.

In the funding campaign that will launch on 20th January, and by sharing the information and the link with your social network.

Thank you!
Maria Karakostanoglou