Projects-2015

Again, for this year, we have examined a few organizations in Greece utilizing a series of on-site meetings. We have studied their needs, taken into account their requests, prioritized accordingly and proceeded with the following projects:

American Farm School (AFS)

In 2014, on Hellenic Hope’s initiative, together with AFS we designed and launched a pioneering three-tier programme, giving the opportunity to secondary school children from very disadvantaged backgrounds to access AFS’s top educational and commercial activities. In a region of Northern Greece with unemployment rates exceeding 30 percent, we asked Greek NGO Prolepsis to help us select schools in areas particularly hit by the crisis. The programme aims to engage these children’s interest in education and agriculture as well as in the development of their own future, while building up their confidence.

In the programme’s first year, 700 children from 9 different schools participated and completed mini projects administered by Hellenic Hope. All children visited the AFS grounds and 60 were selected for 3 weekend workshops, where they engaged in group activities (planting, cooking and learning farming techniques while being creative).

Hellenic Hope offered a full two year bursary to one of the children to complete their secondary education at AFS. In July 2015, two candidates successfully completed the AFS admissions process, which included interviews and went on to study at the AFS as of September. Elina is fully supported by Hellenic Hope and Loukas is supported by AFS, which stressed that both students are strong additions to the general and technical lyceum, respectively.

A few words about the American Farm School: The American Farm School of Thessaloniki, Greece, is an independent, non-profit educational institution founded in 1904 to serve the needs of Greece and the surrounding Balkan areas. Today, major educational divisions include the Primary School, Secondary School, the Perrotis College of Agriculture, Environment and Life Sciences, and Adult Education and Research.

Anatolia College, Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

In 2015, Hellenic Hope took the initiative of sponsoring 6 underprivileged students to attend CTY Anatolia’s excellent summer programme for talented youths. The children that were selected came from families with an annual income below 14,000 euros. Through a specifically designed selection process, their academic talents were identified. The summer programme then gave them the opportunity to develop those talents through time-tested courses, specifically tailored to each student, such as “Introduction to Biomedical Sciences”, “Fundamentals of Computer Sciences” and “The Sensory Brain”.

A few words about the CTY Anatolia College: Center for Talented Youth (CTY) in Greece is the culmination of the strategic partnership of three organizations with a long tradition in education and social contribution. Anatolia College (a top educational institution in Northern Greece), Johns Hopkins University in the US and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, all came together to establish a center that is unique to Greece and to Southeastern Europe. CTY in Greece, funded exclusively by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, is where the most highly able and motivated young students in grades 2-10 can realize their academic potential, satisfy their curiosity, and find a community of learners.

SOS-Eliza

In 2015, Hellenic Hope partnered with SOS-Eliza organization to support the VIMA/STEP programme and ensure the protection of 95 vulnerable children. The programme focuses on the prevention of child abuse and children’s social integration. A result of the combined effort of ELIZA and NGO “One child, One world”, the VIMA/STEP programme aims to help particularly vulnerable young families facing problems related to poverty, unemployment, child rearing, family breakdown, social isolation and the rupture of social cohesion. It is worth pointing out that The VIMA/STEP programme acts mainly preemptively and engages with parents whose living conditions are indicators of possible future child abuse within the family.

A few words about SOS-Eliza: The SOS-Eliza Home for the therapy and rehabilitation of abused and neglected children is organized, supported and operated in partnership with the SOS Children’s Villages of Greece. The SOS-ELIZA Home welcomes infants and children up to the age of 5, supporting them in many different ways: immediate protection from further abuse or/and neglect, thorough diagnostic evaluation of the family situation in view of the possibility of danger-free home-care for the child, multiple and customized therapeutic intervention, legal coverage in the child’s interest and an individual programme of rehabilitation for the child’s future in a secure family-like environment.

Filoi tou Paidiou

Since 2013 and on on-going basis, Hellenic Hope has been funding medical and pharmaceutical support, via the NGO Mission ANTHROPOS (formed by volunteer Greek doctors/nurses/technicians/administrators), for all the children supported by NGO Filoi tou Paidiou. Medical services are provided on a per-request basis by Mission ANTHROPOS which provides humanitarian medical aid in the most cost effective way. In 2015, we added food support to our existing educational and medical /pharmaceutical support programmes. We provided on-going support, via the Food Bank, by giving monthly food supplies to 50 families with 84 children in need and allocating funds for English language tuition fees for 9 children. Hellenic Hope continues to fund the specialist-led sessions of 6 children with learning disabilities.

A few words about Filoi tou Paidiou: Active for more than 25 years, Filoi tou Paidiou have an impressive track record of supporting disadvantaged children and their families. The organisation plays an active part in all aspects of family support. Many of the families it supports face serious health issues and socioeconomic difficulties.
Among other:
– The organization provides clothing and food and aims at the improvement of each family’s living conditions by supplying household goods, oil for heating, payment of utility bills and also by covering tuition fees, offering school equipment and financial support to children excelling in their studies.
– It provides a specialized psychologist to assist single mothers by offering group and individual consultative and supportive services.
– Finally, since 2007, the organization also runs a day-care centre in the Metaxourgeio area of downtown Athens. The centre admits and looks after 2.5-5 year old children whose parents do not meet the minimum criteria set by the state in order to attend a municipal nursery.

Children’s Home Foundation

Hellenic Hope’s collaboration with the Children’s Home Foundation dates back to 2014. We started our initiative by paying the fees needed to move 11 children from half board to full board attendance. These children belonged to families from deprived socioeconomic backgrounds with limited financial means. Via this service extension, we ensured that children are fed a proper meal at lunchtime and spend more time in an environment conducive to their cognitive and emotional development.
Throughout 2015, Hellenic Hope continued to support the Children’s Home Foundation by funding the extension from half board to full board for a further 14 children. Together with the Jephcott Trust Foundation, we co-funded the salary of a teacher for one year.
As a result, 25 children in total have been given access to quality education and have been integrated in the primary educational system more easily. This project will continue running until early 2016.

A few words about the Children’s Home Foundation: Established in 1931, the Children’s Home Foundation has been providing nursery services with the aim of enabling mothers to become part of the active workforce. Today, it accommodates about 400 children, from 6 months to 5 years old, in its four model “homes” in Athens and Piraeus, from 7.00 until 16.00. The teachers in all the “homes” ensure a comprehensive educational and recreational programme, which includes theatrical performances and educational visits. Twice per day, healthy and nutritious meals are provided.

Mission ANTHROPOS

In 2013, Hellenic Hope and “Oi Filoi tou Paidiou” implemented a joint programme of medical care for children at “Oi Filoi tou Paidiou”, administered via Mission ANTHROPOS. In 2015 we continued to assist Mission ANTHROPOS by supporting the programme “Stiri-zoume” which provides medical and pharmaceutical support to children whose parents are uninsured.

A few words about Mission ANTHROPOS: Founded in 2010, Mission ANTHROPOS is committed to offering free and effective treatment and medical support worldwide, by organizing voluntary medical missions to various countries.
Since 2012, Mission ANTHROPOS is running the following programmes in Greece:
– “Emvolia-zoume: children without insurance, not without protection”, trying to secure that uninsured children receive all vaccines prescribed by the National Vaccination Programme (NVP), regardless of their socio-economic status.
– “Stiri-zoume”, aiming to provide medical and pharmaceutical help to uninsured and disadvantaged children already in the care of other humanitarian organizations or social services.

Schedia

Elefsina
In 2015, Hellenic Hope supported the excellent work of NGO Schedia, by continuing to fund the majority of expenses relating to “Fighting Poverty through Creativity” educational programme for a period of 6 months. “Fighting Poverty through Creativity” is an extracurricular programme which occupies children for 3 hours daily, 5 days per week.
During this time the children prepare and share a meal, as well as participate in themed artistic activities. These activities aim to enhance their self-esteem, improve their oral expression, expand their field of cognitive development and facilitate their integration in and out of school.

Drapetsona – Keratsini Annex
The supporters who attended our fundraising event in November 2014 in London, may remember Mrs. Vafea, the driving force behind the Schedia Art Centre. Mrs. Vafea spoke passionately about the impact of the Centre in Elefsina and her ambition to open a second Centre in another disadvantaged area. Hellenic Hope pledged to help make this ambition a reality with the help of our donors. Through your support, we secured the funds needed for the educational element of a second Schedia Annex, so during 2015 the second Centre opened in Drapetsona-Keratsini supporting 82 children! The area was chosen for its higher than average unemployment rates and outbursts of racially motivated violence directed against the large number of immigrants who have settled there.
The launch of Schedia Drapetsona-Keratsini is accommodating 50 children in the first year of operation, but has the capacity to cater for 100 in the future. We continue to finance the educational programme, similar to the one in Elefsina. The Municipality of Drapetsona-Keratsini, recognising art as a means to combat poverty and improve cultural integration, provided the premises and covered refurbishment costs. Through Hellenic Hope’s efforts, the food element was covered by the Bodossaki Foundation for a period of 1 year and some operating expenses were partially covered by the Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.

A few words about Schedia: Schedia is an organization that seeks to promote social inclusion and respect for diversity among children by engaging them via creative activities. Since 1994, Schedia has focused its activities primarily on the use of art as a means to combat discrimination and social exclusion and has worked on:
– Planning and implementation of social intervention programme, using artistic expression to promote the respect for diversity in Greece.
– Teacher training sessions and seminars for professional development through artistic expression.
– Development of educational material both printed and audio-visual.
– Development and presentation of theatrical plays.

Network for Children’s Rights

During July 2015, and under the shadow of recently imposed capital controls in Greece, the Network of Children’s Rights (DDP) approached Hellenic Hope to cover a funding gap they were facing which affected their food provision programme.
Hellenic Hope had previously worked alongside DDP with great success in 2014. This time, Hellenic Hope was able to show speed and flexibility in approving monthly food parcels to 35 large families with 121 children, in collaboration with the Food Bank. This allowed for the smooth continuation of vital food supplies to reach these vulnerable families.

A few words about the Network for Children’s Rights: The Network for Children’s Rights (DDP) is a Greek Non-for-profit organization established in 2000 by children, parents, teachers, writers, academics, Greek parliament representatives and EU parliament representatives. One of its main goals is to bring out the problems faced by children who belong to sensitive groups: children socially excluded, abused or exploited, children of immigrants, and children in prisons or institutions.
In 2012 the creation of the “Culture Lab” in central Athens, gave new direction to the Network: from then on their task was to respond to the new living conditions imposed on children by the recession. The question of their rights acquired new meaning and substance. The daily timetable consists of creative teams, educational programmes, meetings with authors, events, visits and guided tours as well as a lending library which was intended to become a major constituent of the centre and its activities.

Christodoulio Foundation

This organization is a new partner NGO for Hellenic Hope in 2015. We were immediately impressed with the professionalism and genuine care that the management and staff of the NGO showed toward the girls residing at the Foundation.
Having assessed the Foundation’s most pressing needs, Hellenic Hope funded the cost of a psychologist and a social worker. Their role is to help care for 34 orphaned children and help them come to terms with the difficult situations they experienced before arriving to the Foundation, with the majority of the girls having been removed from their families by court order. After a lengthy recruitment process in the second and third quarter of 2015, we are pleased to have secured the services of 2 very capable professionals and are excited to have them start their work in January 2016.

A few words about Christodoulio: The Christodoulio Foundation For The Protection Of Children is a public benefit, non-profit foundation that takes care of little girls who, for a variety of reasons, are in an unpropitious state. Christodoulio was established in 1943 and currently hosts 34 girls, ages 4-23. While at the Foundation, the girls attend nearby schools, and the Foundation provides support until they complete their studies and obtain a job.

Elix Volunteering Programmes

In 2015, Hellenic Hope funded the “Vacations at Schools” Summer In the City Work Camp programme of NGO ELIX, over 2 consecutive two-week periods. The programme gave the opportunity to 134 children, whose parents cannot otherwise afford extracurricular activities, to enjoy the summer break by participating in artistic and athletic activities and making new friends.
The Programme, which is aimed at 6-12 year-olds, takes place from the end of June until the beginning of August at the premises of the participating state schools. Organised in groups of approximately 60 children, each ‘camp’ is run by two specialist educators, two team leaders, and 12-15 volunteers from all around Europe. Due to the multicultural and multilingual background of the volunteers and, invariably of the children (many of whom are children of immigrants), art is one of the main ways of communication, along with either English or Greek.

A few words about ELIX: Elix (previously known as PEEP) is a non-governmental organization established in 1987 which organizes international voluntary actions (Work camps) of short, medium and long duration in Greece and abroad. Elix aims to protect the environment, preserve cultural inheritance, and promote culture and social service. It is an accredited organisation for hosting, sending and coordinating European Voluntary Service programmes.