The orphanage was founded in 1919 with the aim of housing children who had lost their parents in the First World War; next year it will be a century old.
We currently care for 19 children. They range from a 3 year old girl, to a 25 year old boy who has recently finished his master’s degree with an A and is now serving in the army.
The purpose of the Orphanage is to house, care for, protect, educate and integrate into society, children and citizens who are uncomplicated and will be productive in their lives and society. We support them during their university studies, when they are done with their studies we find them jobs (whenever possible), and we protect them until the age that we can.
The management team provides its services voluntarily, and I believe that in order to do such a job voluntarily, you need to put your soul into it.
Our staff comprises 10 people who are paid for their services, including 5 teachers, the president, a social worker, a cook, a cleaner and myself.
Our institute does not receive any government funds. Unfortunately the orphanage receives zero state help. It is maintained on people’s donations by well-known and anonymous people, starting from 1 euro, to whatever each person can and is willing to offer.
We are in a very critical financial situation, I must admit, in a very bad economic situation. I don’t know what will happen, what heavenly-sent, God-sent thing could reach us here and help these children who we are protecting with all our might at this moment.
We try and try again, asking for help, we send letters, hoping that they will support us… I don’t know to what degree they can support us, I don’t know who will support us… The state that we turned to cannot support us I think.
This year we have had to pay 15.000 in taxes for some property the Orphanage owns in Athens, and another 9.500 euros income taxes. Summing up, we had to give 24.000 euros to the government. The government doesn’t give us anything back in return, but anyway…
How can we help?
First of all, the people were close to us during the recent earthquakes (2014) and we thank them very much. They were very close to us, helping us with food, clothing, support, and with money that they gave us from their savings and their abilities.
At this moment we are in financial need. We currently have enough food to cover this basic need; during the earthquake we gathered food for our medium-long term needs. Our need is now financial, to be able to pay for wages, as it is a big burden on the orphanage. We are currently spending 12.000 euros on salaries monthly. We also need to maintain the Home and cover electricity, phone and other expenses. And we need to support the children because we house children who also need professional help, like speech therapists, psychologists, doctors, and those who attend extracurricular education. We are lucky to have the Orphanage’s President who is a doctor and covers all their medical and dentistry needs, vaccinations, etc.
This year’s party (Carnival)
The economic crisis that has hit almost all households and families has also knocked on our door. Our finances are in a terrible state! In the beginning we thought that this year’s party should be cancelled. But we soon let go of that thought. We thought of the joy that we would deprive our children of, and immediately decided to do the dance. Our Home was once again filled with laughter, joy and love.
Text taken from a recent interview of the Home’s President.
You can see the full interview here (in Greek):