The Hellenic Initiative (THI), has stepped forward in the wake of the conflict that engulfed Ukraine a year and a half ago, extending much-needed support to Ukrainian families who sought refuge in Greece. In total, THI has dedicated $120,000 for this cause helping these families through its partners, SOS Children’s Villages, Together for Children, METAdrasi, and Melissa.
In total Greece has hosted over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, and THI’s donations have facilitated various kinds of crucial interventions, including supporting these families with their monthly expenses, providing them with shelter, securing food aid, and providing general assistance regarding issues related to their presence in Greece.
The majority of these funds have come from the estate of the late John Pappajohn, who was a THI Executive Committee Member, Mr. John D. Georges, another THI Executive Committee Member and finally, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Orleans.
Founded in 2012, THI is a global non-profit organization that brings together Diaspora Greeks and Philhellenes to invest in Greece today through programs focused on economic development and crisis relief. Since its founding, THI has invested more than $20,5 million in Greece and is the largest Greek Diaspora organization in the world.
Operating in Greece since 1975, SOS Children’s Villages established a program in response to the Ukrainian crisis. THI funding ensured that Ukrainian families received vital support for their food and non-food item needs over a period of 5 months. Throughout the years THI has committed close to $850,000 in support of the SOS Children’s Villages programs in Greece.
Founded in 1996, Together for Children serves as an umbrella organization of entities dedicated to assisting children and families in need. Since 2012, THI has channeled over $550,000 to support a diverse array of children’s services offered by Together for Children. With this gift Together for Children extended a lifeline to 20 Ukrainian single mothers and children under the age of 15 residing in a shelter in the downtown of Athens.
METAdrasi, founded in 2009, is a dedicated organization facilitating the reception and integration of refugees and immigrants in Greece. THI initiated its partnership with METAdrasi in 2015 and has since committed over $350,000 to support various programs, with a significant portion directed toward protecting unaccompanied minors arriving in the country. THI’s commitment to this cause will enable METAdrasi to provide secure and supportive shelter through its dormitory facilities in Athens.
Melissa, a network for migrant and refugee women living in Greece, aims to foster empowerment, active citizenship, bonds of solidarity and improved communication with the host society. With this new collaboration with THI, Melissa will address the ongoing needs of the Ukrainian population it supports, by offering educational courses, mental support and critical childcare and parenting services.
George P. Stamas, THI Board President, stated: “THI’s swift and effective response to the needs of Ukrainian refugees is a testament to the enduring partnerships we’ve cultivated with our remarkable philanthropic partners on the ground. THI and its partners remain poised to create a positive impact for those in need within Greece.”
John D. Georges, THI Board Member, stated: “I am proud that through THI the Greek Community in New Orleans and I are able to help the people of Greece move forward, and it is also important to be there for the people of Ukraine in their time of need.”