Teta Mara

Teta Mara is an informal youth group created in early 2022. The initiative was created based on the needs expressed by young people living in remote areas and rural areas around Kastoria. Living in one of the poorest and with the highest unemployed rate areas of Greece, the young people of the group expressed the need to create opportunities to express themselves, acquire skills, and to expand their horizons to new experiences, while fostering active participation and citizenship at the local level. Teta Mara is working at the grassroots level, having always as a priority the needs and interests of the young people involved within. Teta Mara is based at Nestorio but at the same time, it works as a reference point for all the young people of the surrounding villages and settlements, in the area of Kastoria and Western Macedonia.

Teta Mara means Aunt Mara (Θεία Μάρα) and it's used as a way to refer to bears in some villages around Western Macedonia. The bear is strongly present in the mythologies and folk tales of the area of Kastoria. Although big and threatening in appearance, in stories, the bear always has positive characteristics, while often helping people (especially children and youth), hence the name 'Aunt'. Our group envisions building on this legacy, being a beacon for the youth of the region, not just creating opportunities for training and employability, but also creating a safe place to grow and create within a framework of diversity, acceptance and equality. In particular, we aim to fight the inequalities created due to economic status, distance from big cities, fewer opportunities to participate in formal education, as well as the stereotypes that follow young people who live in small, remote and rural communities.

Western Macedonia is located in north-western Greece, a sparse, mountainous province that has a population of approximately 280,000 people mostly living in rural areas. As of 2021, the region had one of the highest unemployment rates in the European Union with the unemployment of young people to be near 47% - with the biggest part being NEETs and/or young women. The region is fairly isolated from the rest of the Greek mainland. Only two airports, serve the region while the mountainous landscape and lack of public transportation can make it difficult to traverse between villages or even towns. While officially the main economic activities of the region are mining sites, electric power production, tourism and fur - in fact, most rural residents are engaged in agriculture, livestock and logging. The whole region has only 36 upper-secondary school units, the lowest number in Greece. It is also a fact that most young people who leave their villages and cities either for vocational training or for university education do not return, washed away by the high rates of unemployment and the lack of opportunities both in terms of economic development and in terms of quantity and quality of the services offered to citizens (hospitals that are under-functioning, lack of opportunities for entertainment, missing social structures such as psychological support, social workers, etc.). All of the above, combined with the almost complete lack of civil society in the region, let alone organizations working with and by young people, led our group to become active and rally around the vision of Teta Mara.

There are currently 20 people actively involved in the group, either volunteering or taking part in frequent events, with the number growing daily as the group becomes better known in the area. Most of these people live in rural and remote areas, are NEET themselves, or have such people in their circle of friends and family - but most of all, they are people who love their area and want to see it progress and develop. At the same time, people originating from the region but living and working in other large cities are also actively involved in the group, especially since many of these people have previous experience with non-formal learning, human rights education, diversity and inclusion, and/or environmental protection, issues which also strongly concern the young people of the region.

Target groups: Youngsters living in remote and rural areas, between 13 to 30 years old, regardless of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation. Special interest in NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) regardless if they have this status due to short or long-term unemployment, are unavailable due to family responsibilities, are discouraged workers or are inactive for other reasons.

Fields of work: Non-formal education, human rights education, environmental protection and ecology, active citizenship and participation, youth empowerment and employability in rural areas, diversity and inclusion

OID: E10304525

Available downloads:

Teta Mara has 2 current projects:

  • Villagers of EU

    Youth Exchange about the inclusion of NEETs & youngest with fewer opportunities, employability & empowerment of youth living in remote & rural communities

    Partners found!
    This project takes place:
    from 2023-07 till 2023-07
    and relates to:
    Youth Exchanges
    This project can include young people with fewer opportunities.
  • Tell Your Story, Learn Your Rights

    Youth Exchange aimed for newcomers in non-formal education and youngsters with fewer opportunities, focused on storytelling and human rights education

    We're looking for:
    6 more partners
    Deadline for this partner request:
    This project takes place:
    from 2023-03 till 2023-03
    and relates to:
    Youth Exchanges
    This project can include young people with fewer opportunities.
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Teta Mara

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Teta Mara is

a Informal Group of Young People
based in Greece (Nestorio, Kastoria)
  • Greece Nestorio, Kastoria
focused on
  • Coach for Youth Initiative
  • Democracy/Active citizenship
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environment
  • European citizenship
  • Human rights
  • Leadership
  • Non-formal learning
  • Unemployment/employability
  • Urban/rural development
and interested in:
  • Youth Exchanges
  • Training and Networking
  • Transnational Youth Initiatives
  • Strategic Partnerships
Teta Mara in 160 characters:

Teta Mara is a group created by the initiative of youngsters living in remote & rural areas, promoting Non Formal Education, ecology and the inclusion of NEETs

Partner connections

Teta Mara has no connections so far.

Short URL to this project:


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