09 March 2018
Today Friday, the 9th of March 2018, “The Smile of the Child” presented the actions that it has been implementing since 2016 through its presence on the island of Lesvos, as well as its new structures at the disposal of children and their families in the wider region of the Northern Aegean.
Present in the event that was held at the venue of the Lesvos Chamber of Commerce were: the Deputy Head of Social Policy for the Northern Aegean Region, the chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Mytilene, representatives of the Hellenic Police, the Coast Guard and the Fire Brigade, the National Center of Immediate Assistance (EKAV), the Director of Vostaneio Hospital, the Vice-Rector of the University of the Aegean, the Director of Primary and Secondary Education of Lesvos, the representative of the Canadian Initiative for Lesvos Mr. John Georgoudes, as well as representatives of local associations, companies, individuals, supporters and volunteers of the Organization.
The President of the BoD of “The Smile of the Child” welcomed the supporters and friends of the Organization and thanked them for the warm welcome of the Organization by the local society of Lesvos. “For many years now I have met with important people in Lesvos who serve in public services, as well as outside. These people have made the difference and have distinguished themselves for their sensitivity and intention to support our work. Since 2016, when we established a physical presence on the island by operating the Mobile Medical Unit of intensive care for newborns and children, incorporated in EKAV, we have highlighted the good aspect of our society, along with all of you, with the goal to ensure the smile of every child. We complement the work of the services, unite all the good efforts, and support the institutions by working hard to give a kiss of life to children in need regardless of ethnicity, citizenship or religion”.
Based in Mytilene, “The Smile of the Child” has been operating since 2016 a Mobile Medical Unit of Intensive Care for newborns and children, equipped with an incubator and staffed by certified professional rescuers of the Organization. It is worth mentioning that from the first day of its operation and until December 2017, our team conducted 667 transfers of newborns and children, as well as 322 transfers of adults by covering more than 32.000 km across the island.
During the event, Mr. Costas Yannopoulos talked about a special and very sensitive person whom he had the fortunate opportunity to meet many years ago, namely, the late Cornilia Binou. Thanks to her donation to “The Smile of the Child” the Organization has a beautiful building in the region of Tachiarxes of Lesvos.
The building was renovated through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency’s, “Multi-sectoral assistance to and protection of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece” project funded by the Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Office of the European Commission (DG ECHO).
The contribution of “The Canadian Initiative for Lesvos-CIL” was also precious. Following the support of the late Cornilia Binou, the Home was named after her as “The Home of Aunt Nelly” and will operate under the umbrella of the nationwide network of Homes of the Organization when the necessary financial means will be secured.
The presence of the representative of “The Canadian Initiative for Lesvos” Mr. John Georgoudes was a particular honor, as he travelled from Montreal to Lesvos for the event. Mr. Georgoudes, in a highly emotional moment, shared the message of former Ambassador of Canada to Greece, Mr. Robert Peck, Honorary Patron of “The Canadian Initiative of Lesvos-CIL”.
“It is an honor to be among you in the beautiful world of “The Smile”. For the first time in the history of the Greek Community of Canada such a big amount of money was gathered in such a short period of time. We did so by mobilizing companies and individuals with the aim to help the work of the Organization. For all of us living far away from our country being a Greek is a way of life and not an issue of citizenship. The care for children demonstrates our culture and this is why all of us, trusting the enormous work of the Organization, decided to support the actions of “The Smile” in Lesvos”, said Mr. Georgoudes.
It is important to mention that “The Smile of the Child” obtained a Vehicle of Direct Intervention equipped with beacons and a wireless transmitter that will cover the needs of the children in Lesvos from part of the funding of “The Canadian Initiative for Lesvos- CIL”.
“The Smile of the Child”, thanks to a private donation, also has a building in the city center of Mytilene, which is fully reconstructed and equipped following in-kind donations by local companies and citizens of Lesvos. This new location will operate as a Center of Direct Social Intervention under the umbrella of the nationwide network of Centers of Direct Social Intervention (CDSI’s) as soon as the necessary financial means will be secured. The structure will be staffed by a social worker and a psychologist, who along with the other actions of the Organization will provide services to every child victim of violence, missing child, a child with health problems and every child and their family living or threatened by poverty.
During the event, “The Smile of the Child” honored with special plaques all the companies and the individuals who have contributed in-kind and with their services to the work of the Organization.
Upon the conclusion of the event, a Holy Ceremony at the “Home of Aunt Nelly” took place where all participants had the opportunity to see from up close the Home and be informed on the works completed with hard labor and love.
Photo material is available here
Watch the video material from the event here