Mylopotamos Home Economic School



WCC Team-Kythera and the Mylopotamos home economic school

Mylopotamos square, 12 August 1964, speech held in front of Dutch summer campers.


“Dear friends, it is a privilege to welcome you all at this table and we are thankful that you accepted our invitation. As we made clear to you, we live and work in America. Our presence here comes from our wish to enjoy our vacation here at our birthplace, amidst our beloved and acquaintances. You will understand how surprised we were to meet at Kythira a group of young people who were unknown to us and did not speak our mother language. More surprisingly was to see how these youngsters enthusiastically dug in the bare earth to pour a firm base for what will become a home economic school for girls from Kythira. Believe me, we could not comprehend this. Even less when we understood that you came here on vacation and worked in your spare time without being paid, that you came to this to you unknown island to help a poor and often passive community. For us this is a very special experience and being back in America we certainly will tell about your work and charity. We hope that your enthusiasm will inspire others, where ever on the world, to support your kind of work. To this we will raise our glass!”


These serious words are a quotation from a diary in Dutch from Hans van Oosterom, who was a member of the 2nd group summer campers from Holland who came in 1964 for the first year to Mylopotamos to start the construction of the rural school for girls. This diary otherwise gives a very detailed and humoristic daily relay of actual happenings and the youngsters work during their three and a half weeks stay.



1971 Home Economic School


This new to build school was Anna Koksma’s project!

The school for 54 young girls in 1960 was housed in a rented building and had two classrooms. No gymnastic lessons were given yet, but in October Anna found Mr. Altanius, teacher in Chora, willing to give them their first gymnastic lessons, which, on request of Bishop Meletios, were photographed. The need for a decent building is felt in December when too many girls fell ill from flu and other sicknesses. In May 1961 Anna writes a request on behalf of the school to Her Majesty the Queen of Greece. Most probably this was not of much avail. Anyway, architectural drawings were made, and it was decided to start the construction in a limited way in 1964 with the so far received donations and the property in hand. The first workers had to be summer campers, ecumenical youth from Holland, sent through the “OJR” (Ecumenical Youth Council) in Utrecht, The Netherlands. These youngsters paid their own fare and worked for free under supervision of and with construction drawings of the Kythera Team. In the year 1965 a Swiss (Seconu) continuous summer camp from June through August continued with the foundation works, again followed in the years 1966 and 1967 by summer camps from Holland.  To finish a large building like this would take year after year. Enough money had to be found somewhere to subcontract the complete building and to finish it as soon as possible. They wrote to the Vice Prime Minister Mr. St. Pattakos (junta 1967-1974!). In a letter dated 18 November 1968 he answered among other things: “I gladly inform you that the National Government is willing to support by all means the construction of above-mentioned school building. We are reminding you that one of the primary objectives of the revolution of the 21st of April 1967 is the education and therefore the support of our Government in this sector will be great. Proceed then to the carrying out of the work and we, as Government, will support you”. But no money came forth with this letter. Fortunately, in January 1969 there came positive news from Holland. The “Directory of International Technical Help” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands is willing to give a large donation to build this school. In May money is transferred from Holland to WCC office Athens. The team now needs a supervisor and from Holland in July comes civil engineer Piet Goozen. Again, a Dutch summer camp comes to Mylopotamos in 1969; they start the required digging of trenches for the sanitary wastewater system. Local civil contractors Nassos and Kosmas Karidis started the construction in February 1970.  Early 1970, Anna and George had the honor to speak to Her Majesty Queen Juliana of The Netherlands about their work at Kythira.

The new school building was opened 24 September 1971 and stayed in use until 1980. Mrs. Marietta Avgerinos, headmistress of the school as of May 1961 until 1980, told me that since all children then had to attend the gymnasium until their 15th year, no more girls did sign up.

In a financial overview made by George Koksma the total expenditure in drachmas (value of those years!) for the school was as follows: local participation 20.000, from Team 252.000, from America 180.000, from various funds 1.200.000 and from Holland 3.800.000.

Jean Bingen, April 2012.

Article as published in the Kythera Summer Edition 2014


** Achievements of summer camps 1964 – 1969 for the Home Economic School in Mylopotamos

**Photos made by summer camper Piet Goozen in 1969 1970 en 1971 from the Home Economic School in Mylopotamos

**Γιώργος Λουράντος 2022


Mylopotamos 1964, inauguration of the school


Mylopotamos 1966, first group of summer campers with papas Manolis (Photo Bob Scholten)


Mylopotamos 1966 second group of summer campers with papas Manolis and Bob Scholten and his wife Anneke (Photo Bob Scholten)


1971 A serie of photos of the Home Economic School in Mylopotamos, click on a photo to enlarge



1971 picture by Sofios, Mylopotamos school, inauguration


1971 Mylopotamos, opening school

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