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Become a member

Welcome Dear friend,

For many years now I have dreamt of bringing new life and vitality to my village, Amari. We often talked amongst ourselves, in Amari, about what to do for our beloved village, coming up with creative and exciting ideas. But always, in the end, nothing came to fruition.

In the summer of 2004, my teacher and friend, Sue Hollingsworth and her late husband Jim, came to visit me in Amari. With pleasure and pride I showed them around the village and we visited some beautiful homes, then neglected and dilapidated. Sue said how moved she was by the beauty and energy of the village and how sad she was that Amari felt like a village that was dying. I replied that every death contains the seed of new life, just waiting for the right moment to spring forth.

Then sitting in the sun outside the kafenio, we talked about how life could be brought back to the village, how people might return and how others might share its beauty. We spoke at length, one idea led to another and we decided to found a society called "The Friends of Amari" based in England. An International School of Storytelling and the Arts would be established in Amari together with a Cultural Centre that would hold conferences, exhibitions, many different courses, seminars, lectures, festivals ...... we were very excited. For the first time, I felt that this was not just talk; something really wonderful would actually happen. This time the dream would be realized.

We have come a long way since 2007 when a dedicated group who share this vision founded the international association, "Friends of Amari". We held our first fundraising event in April 2008 in Forest Row, East Sussex. In March an ‘Introduction to storytelling' course was held in Rethymno. We have developed a programme of courses and workshops. We have successfully raised money to refurbish an existing building which will become a cultural centre named ‘Estia Amariou'. This Estia (Greek meaning hearth/centre) holds our hopes and dreams for new beginnings for Amari and a haven for our community.

Meanwhile in Amari, over twenty homes have been refurbished, renovated or built from scratch. The village no longer looks neglected nor delapidated. The Women's Association of Amari has become very active and organises German lessons, an annual bazaar, other fundraising events, a museum and recycling.

I wish to thank all my friends and loved ones, in Crete and in England, for their continued love, support and hard work without which we could not have come this far. Friends of Amari has been built on love and trust.

On behalf of Friends of Amari, I invite you to join us and become a Member of our Association, to share our dream and together to build a sustainable future for Amari and the world.

Looking forward to welcoming you as a Member,

With loving trust
Stella Kassimati

Become a member

Types of membership

Anyone over 18 years of age may become a Member of the Association by agreeing with the aims and principles of the Association.

Guest member of the Association is one who expresses an interest in participating (from 1 to 21 consecutive days) in any activity; or who leads an activity; or who is a guest of a Member. The Guest Membership fee is valid for a one time visit to Amari and the Guest Members agree to uphold the principles and aims of the Association while in Amari.

A Member of the Association is one who declares an interest in the Association's aims and activities and pays a joining fee, valid for life, plus an annual subscription.

New Members have the following rights and benefits:

  • Take part in all activities of the Association

  • Receive advance information about programme and events

  • Have priority for bookings

  • Belong to the wider community "Friends of Amari"

  • Cultivate ties with Amari and with members of the Association

  • Make proposals for future activities, programmes and events

  • Participate in work committees

  • Have access to the list of members

  • Attend A.G.M. and General Assemblies as a non-voting member who may participate in discussions

  • Seek Full Membership after at least two years

A Member of the Association is one who shows a special interest in the aims and activities of the Association, and is willing and able to actively contribute to the community.

A Member has all the rights and benefits mentioned above, plus:

  • Stay in Amari using the Association's facilities (subject to availability)

  • Invite a friend(s) (as a Guest Member) to stay with them for as long as they are in Amari

  • Have the right to vote in the General Assembly and A.G.M.

  • Can serve on the Executive Committee and hold office

How can I become a New Member of Friends of Amari?

If you are over 18 years of age and agree with the aims and principles of the Association then fill in hereand a membership form and relevant information will be sent to you.

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