The Sotir Orphanage was founded in 1919 with the aim of housing children who had lost their parents in the First World War; it recently reached a 100 years of age!
“It was created by private initiative, the property being a donation of the English embassy. In the past it housed up to 104 children. It was partly destroyed and rebuilt during the 1953 Ionian earthquakes.
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.
No Government funding
Our institute does not receive any Government funds.
Unfortunately the Orphanage receives zero state help. It is maintained on people’s donations by both acquaintances and total strangers, 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.
Challenging financial situation
At this moment we are in financial need. 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.
And amidst the difficulties of the Orphanage’s survival, it is obliged to pay the government thousands of euros in taxes every year…” (Ms. Anevlavi Vera Zervou, Orphanage President)
You can see the full interview here (in Greek):