ESTIA was created by two exceptional idealists, Kurt and Doris Eisenmeier, founders and life-long residents of two innovative communities in Germany for adults with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers.

They decided to dedicate the proceeds from the sale of their family company in Greece, to establish a similar center for the benefit of Greek society.

In 1992, ESTIA AGIOS NIKOLAOS was founded in Germany as a Charitable Foundation, recognized by the state of Hessen, where it is based. In Greece, a year later, the homonymous branch was founded in Galaxidi.

The choice of Galaxidi was purposeful. In 1990, Mmes Beatriki Argyropoulou and Rodoula Stathaki-Koumari, had founded the Greek-Swiss Foundation ’The Dolphins’ in Galaxidi, with the aim of creating an exemplary unit for people with learning disabilities. The Eisenmeier couple visited them in Galaxidi in 1991, and both sides decided to join forces to realize their vision.

ESTIA was licensed by the Greek State in 1993 as a Public Benefit Institution and received its first residents. In 1994, ESTIA was recognized as a subsidiary of the German Foundation, through a joint decision by the Greek Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Health and Welfare. This decision created the conditions for the establishment of other foreign Foundations in Greece.

With time, ESTIA’s unique model has been acknowledged in Greece. In recent years it received two exceptional recognitions: In 2015, the Award of the Citizens’ Movement from the President of the Hellenic Republic, and in 2018, the ‘Life Achievement Award‘ by the Association ‘Together for Children’ was given to the ESTIA co-founder Rodoula Stathaki.