BRACE: Transforming Greece. One Family at a Time.

BRACE: Transforming Greece. One Family at a Time.

Caring for Caregivers, Teachers and Parents.

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Last Update: July 5, 2014

The economic crisis in Greece has had devastating emotional, financial & social impact. Brace "heals" by training, coaching & mentoring caregivers to better support those in need. Furthermore, our Aflatoun program births youths' ability to overcome the poverty trap that has been created in Greece.

Founded: 2014 Type: hybrid

The Problem

The recession in Greece had a terrifying impact for its people. Specifically, the degree and number of depressed, socially excluded, poverty ridden, physically & mentally ill individuals & suicides in Greece has increased at an alarming rate. Caregivers lacking the support, adequate training and knowledge to cope with this problem have experienced increasing burnout- enhancing the problem. While youth have lost their hope in a better tomorrow!

The Solution

Brace transforms one family at a time in Greece by offering caregivers (Parents, Psychologists, Social Workers, Teachers, Nurses) the necessary mentoring, training, coaching and overall support and skills to deal with individuals in "crisis" and post trauma. More specifically, we offer 2 International Certified, Action Learning Training Programs for caregivers and children.The first program, Marte Meo, trains professionals & parents on emotional & social intelligence development, specific skills to generate empathetic emotional connection and communion. The second program, Aflatoun, provides teachers with the necessary skills to teach & support children (ages ranging from kindergarten to high-school age) in surmounting the poverty trap.


A household comprised of an unemployed mother, father, a young child and elderly parent is common in Greece. The Mother figure tends to be the emotional supporter of all parties. With Marte Meo, the mother is trained, taught skills and supported to positively impact her environment. Through repetitive filming of everyday interaction, we teach her to develop empathic healing connection(s) & positive leading. Thus, the caregiver ensures healthy growth & development for the child and an increased degree of autonomy for the elder. With Aflatoun training, a child facing household poverty & dysfunction, learns & develops a positive sense of self, cooperation skills, how to build an enterprise and become an agent of his life change.


Pay It Forward Program: For every two trainees that pay for their training, Brace offers free training to a caregiver with low income. Trainees to the Marte Meo Therapist course participate in a free Marte Meo Family Counseling Program. Each has to offer support at least to four families. The developed free counseling program already supports 37 families. 45 Marte Meo Practitioners in 10 cities of Greece. The first 9 trainers due to be certified in July 2014. Planned Trainings for academic years 2014-2015: Training of 10 psychologists in Athens supporting secure bonding between parents and adopted child. Training of 60 employees of a Non Profit Organization for Autism. Training for family counselors. Training for elderly carers and Dementia. Training on emotional and intellectual child development in kinder gardens. Aflatoun implementation is due to start in October 2014.

Full Impact Potential

Brace is building an extensive network of certified independent partners throughout Greece, developing a range of training programs. Objectives are cultural transformation bringing empathy in human interaction; positive & secure bonding of caregivers with caretakers; self reliant & self secure children; automous elderly, stronger local communities. Collaboration with Ministries of Health, Labour & Education allows Brace to increase its impact. Social impact measurement through the tools of Aflatoun & Marte Meo metrics: SROI, social reporting, 360º evaluation,field observation, focus groups

Budget: $10,000 - $50,000

Financial Sources


Sustainability Plan

With Brace, income is generated through customers & is redistributed for the provision of the program to beneficiaries. Our customers are attracted to us by our extensive network of affiliate partners which include NGOs, family training centers, the Hellenic society of social workers, private & public schools. To increase free services to beneficiaries we plan to use a crowd funding platform, company sponsorships, organizations & foundations.


In Greece, only Brace offers certified action learning training for carers. It's uniquness is its low cost, practical approach orientation to everyday life. Also it is part of a Globally Recognized Network. Our programs lead to real personal change. Each carer is recorded in real action & is guided step by step to new interactions and resolutions. Intervention ends ONLY when change is accomplished- demonstrated impact! For kids, there is Junior Achievement offering training in financial skills. Aflatoun is the combination of Social & Financial Skills Training and SCE projects.

Founding Story

As a professional family & drug addiction field therapist, Maria Stamataki used to deal with the burden of families. When she came across the Marte Meo method, she knew that through such an effective tool, change of caregivers' everyday life was possible. The journey had begun. She started offering educational programs on Marte Meo. The constantly increasing number of certified professionals with eagerness and dedication to Marte Meo was decisive for the birth of Brace. Yet, the vision was about to evolve. As Maria was searching for ways to explain to her son the multiple dimensions of poverty, she was led to Aflatoun. She immediately realized that Brace should expand its impact by intervention in the field of child poverty prevention.

Team Explanation

M. Stamataki, founder and director. N. Moraiti, Msc Aflatoun trainer. L. Ioannou, Msc- special education. V. Stathatos, Msc Schools, and adoption program. A. Papaioannou, Phd Marte Meo and the Elderly. At the moment, Maria Stamataki is training the rest of the team. In July, 2014 the members of the team will be certified as Marte Meo Trainers and in September it is planned to undertake training programs as part-time employees of Brace.

Team Members


Comments & Activity

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Comments & Activity


Galatia Papacharalampous profile img
Sat, 06/14/2014 - 03:26

It was already two years, of unsuccessful attempts to cope with some attitude problems that concerned my son, when I heard about Marte Meo and decided to enter the program. The method proved to be very efficient and effective. Throughout the training process, I had the opportunity for the first time to recognize and understand the problem. Following the procedure and the guidelines provided by the professionals, I learned how to identify my strengths and weaknesses and turn them into positive "tools" with great impact on the emotional and social development of my son and the rest of the family. Our communication skills and problem solving abilities improved significantly and a healthy emotional environment has been achieved. Thank you Marte Meo and Brace. That was the biggest gift I could ever offer my family..

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 14:21

As first-time parents, my husband and I we were introduced to Marte Meo as a method to enhance the emotional and social development of our 18-month old daughter. I can confidently say that the guidance and training we have been offered by Maria and her team has been pivotal not only to our daughter’s, but to our own development as parents and as individuals. It is truly a blessing to see our child grow more independent, confident and genuinely happy every day, and even more so knowing that we are the ones who have achieved this – on our own strength.

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 14:38

Marte Meo method is essential for the positive attribute of social communication of adolescents diagnosed with ASD. Through the processes of "positive leading" and "naming", people diagnosed with ASD have a clearer view of which parts of the communication need to be enhanced. The use of video is an essential visual tool which optimizes self evaluation.
Ioannis Voskopoulos Psychologist.

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 15:03

Marte Meo method helped people with high functioning Autism to locate and recognize in the their self various emerging social skills, as well as to understand the importance these skills have in the social adaptation. Furthermore, focusing on a specific behavior, the goal that is being set each time to the person, becomes clear. The gradual attainment of this goal, in combination with the systematic use of positive guidance by the therapist, result to the improvement of the sense of self-esteem.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 03:56

Through Marte Meo Program I managed to support families, with children and teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorders, to develop communication and social interaction skills, which constantly contributed to the improvement of the family’s quality of life and the gradual social inclusion of the child or teenager with autism.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 05:38

Marte Meo program has helped the parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder to improve their communication with them, through the use of visual information, specific goal setting and positive reinforcement. Additionally, Marte Meo has helped the parents to cope more effectively, with the organization and the training of their children in everyday skills.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 07:03

The MARTE MEO method was applied to families with children between 5-7 years old where the parents were facing problems associated with cooperation, connection and communication with their children, and it was proven to effectively improve the parents's skills of communication, which consequently resulted in a substantial improvement in the quality of their relationship with their children in general.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 13:52

The Marte Meo program has helped me, as a crew manager, to improve the communication in a very sensitive and multicultural environment, which are the crew members of an ocean going vessel.
Apostolos Stefas

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 18:55

When I was informed about Marte Meo method, I was impressed indeed. Immediately I started the educational program realising its strength in connecting theory with practice. Since then, the parents who experienced the method with me, were so amazed with the transformation in their relationship not only with their child but also with the whole family.

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 13:35

"Marte Meo" means "On One's Own Strength"; and this is actually what I gained during my Marte Meo Therapist trainning under Maria Stamataki's surervision: based on my own strength and via learning how to support and excel developmental processes in my daily interaction moments, I managed to interact effectively with others (family, students, colleagues, clients, friends, etc. - especially adults that I'm more interest in). In other words, via the Marte Meo Programme in general I was encouraged to effectively use my own strength and have a better quality of life. That's why my goal is to teach/learn/communicate it to others, too. [Dr. Afroditi Papaioannou-Spiroulia, CUC Psy Lecturer, Systemic/Family Counselor]

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 00:40

The Marte Meo method taught me how we can simply and naturally activate our abilities in order to connect with other people and communicate positively with them. Metaphorically speaking, it reminds me of the fairytale where the frog turns into a prince. What I mean is that everybody is a "frog" waiting for his kiss which will turn him into a prince.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 05:58

22 & 23 February 2014 ‘ Nourishing the child-brain’ . Seminar on the development of child-brain by the Scientific Supervisor of Brace SCE.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 06:03

14 April 2014, Meeting on “Entrepreneurship and Employment”, by Attikain. Presentation of Brace SCE and its educational and training programs

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 07:53

29 April 2014, the Scientific group of Brace presented at the Scientific Department of ‘ Children & Teens Center’ in Peristeri, the Marte Meo method and its great impact on people on the Autism Spectrum. Training of the caregivers will follow.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 07:59

12 May 2014, “Gender, Social Entrepreneurship, Immigrants. Workers and Social Enterprises” EP.E.K.S.A. Presentation of Brace SCE and its educational and training programs> Paradigms of Brace's actions to support social and economical inclusion of vulnarable population.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 08:01

15 June 2014, “ Experiential Workshop: From Me to We” Laboratory of Human Relations, Harokopio University . The Scientific team of Brace participated with the experiential workshop on "The Development of Empathy”.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 06:12

19 June 2014, the scientific group of Brace SCE presented at the Scientific Department of “Children & Teens Center”, the Marte Meo method, technique and impact.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 08:04

17 & 19 December 2013 “ Discovering the classroom: challenges, interventions, prospects” , Paradigms of including the vulnerable students and increasing cooperation and empathy throught Marte Meo. Educational meetings on the training of the teachers of the 22nd District of Municipal Education. The scientific group of Brace presented the method and technique of Marte Meo. (Brace was under development at that stage)

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/20/2014 - 06:19

28 March 2013 The Scientific personnel of Brace presented the Marte Meo method on kindergardent at Palio Faliro. (Brace was under development at that stage)

Maria Stamataki profile img
Tue, 06/24/2014 - 15:42

And we are happy to announce that BRACE is under the auspices of UNESCO. Thank you UNESCO for all the support!

Galatia Papacharalampous profile img
Tue, 06/24/2014 - 16:16

congradulations!!!You deserve it have so much to offer in order to create a better tomorrow..At these difficult days of Greece, we are so lucky to have you. Thank you Brace and good luck

Maria Stamataki profile img
Fri, 06/27/2014 - 06:31

The trip to Holland came to an end and it was a great success! Maria Aarts, developer of Marte Meo program, helped us design the next programs on the fields of adoption, autism, dementia and education and supervised us on the further development of the training process.
Furthermore, the meeting with Ana Rodrigues in Aflatoun's central offices in Amsterdam was also more than delightful and helpful. Ana gave Brace guidance on the implementation of Aflatoun and shared with us useful experiences. We were happy to Know that Jeroo Billimoria, the founder of Aflatoun is an Ashoka Fellow!
We are so lucky to have the support of two so experienced women! Thank you both! Knowing that we have your by our side, gives us confidence for the healthy and successful development of Brace!

Maria Stamataki profile img
Sat, 06/28/2014 - 04:35

On the 26th of June the results of the research on the difficulties women social entrepreneurs face were presented in Athens. The research was conducted by WISE (Women Innovators for Social Business) .
Brace sce, was invited to present its vision and interventions, as it was considered a good practice model.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Mon, 06/30/2014 - 08:05

For more information about Jeroo Billimoria, AFLATOUN'S founder. Great Woman!

Maria Stamataki profile img
Tue, 07/01/2014 - 02:16
The support of our network is beyond description.

Maria Stamataki profile img
Thu, 07/03/2014 - 06:37

Activity of our network:
Marte Meo won a Social Innovation Prize in Germany for MOKI (Monheim Fur Kinder) program!

Maria Stamataki profile img
Wed, 07/09/2014 - 06:47

On Thursday 10th of July, Brace SCE is invited by the Club for UNESCO of Piraeus & Islands to present, at a Meeting on Social Entrepreneurship, as a best practice its programs Marte Meo & Aflatoun.