With the COVID pandemic surging in Greece, threatening family health, and being a drag on economic recovery, the vulnerability of children continues. The Hellenic Initiative’s donations to organizations like ‘Mazi Gia to Pedi - Together for Children’ (TFC) that make palpable differences in young lives are more important than ever. TFC’s mission is “to provide immediate and effective support to children, families, and individuals with disabilities who are in need,” and with its most recent donation of $30,000, total contributions of THI have surpassed $500,000.
Maria Chatzinikolakis, Director of Programs and Fundraising for TFC, notes that “during the pandemic, we have seen further increases in poverty due to underemployment and reductions in incomes that hit families that did not previously know poverty – and now they face rising energy costs and general inflation. Since September there has been a 30% increase in people we have helped join food relief programs.”
TFC is a non-profit/non-governmental association comprised of nine member organizations in the field of child welfare. Working with 220 child protection organizations at 183 points across Greece, TFC provides assistance to more than 30,000 children in need each year. In cooperation with other international organizations, TFC and its members are pioneers in the adoption and development of best practices, as well as the promotion of scientific research concerning children and young people in need.
Chatzinikolakis spotlights the importance of THI’s financial support: “There were things that our organizations could not do, and THI’s funding enabled them to be implemented,” including community awareness campaigns for Juvenile Diabetes that provide families with crucial information.
Chatzinikolakis said TFC’s appreciation for THI goes beyond the economic support it provides. “THI created a vital awareness abroad for what we do for children, and it undertakes valuable ‘calls to action.’” And THI’s strict reporting requirements reinforced TFC’s already high standards. “We made ourselves even more transparent and accountable,” – which attracts donors who need to know that their contributions make a maximum impact on the lives of children in need.
It is TFC’s philosophy to address poverty in a holistic fashion: in addition to programs that provide health and educational assistance to children, TFC also helps parents help themselves and not be dependent on government and NGOs. “When parents are able to work, we help them with resumes and we send them on interviews,” she added.
Alexandra Martinou, President of TFC, said, “We feel tremendous gratitude towards THI for its support through the years. Its contributions have helped us to improve the day-to-day lives of the children in important ways, and it is very important for us to know that in the face of great need there is such a stable donor that we can rely upon.”
Caterina Papoulias-Sakellaris, THI Board Member, stated,“The twin pillars of THI’s mission are aiding the most vulnerable in Greece today and helping build a better future for Greece. TFC’s work with children helps Greece move forward on both fronts. We are proud to support their work.”
Michael Printzos, THI’s Director of Programming stated, “When THI identifies effective and trustworthy organizations that in turn find worthy partners, there is a multiplier effect, giving THI’s donors the proverbial ‘more bang for the buck.’ TFC is one of those associations whose vision, energy, and judgment we both admire and rely upon.”