The Smile of the Child
Member: NGO Premium
Voluntary Children's Association
10, Zinonos Eleatou Street, GR-151 24 Maroussi, Athens, Greece
The Smile of the Child: “The Canadian Initiative for Lesvos”
The Hellenic Communities of Montreal embraced “The Smile of the Child” with great enthusiasm
The Wine and Tasting Festival was held with resounding success at the heart of the Hellenic Community of Montreal, on 6 and 7 May 2017, organized by “The Canadian Initiative for Lesvos” (CIL) in support of the Organization “The Smile of the Child” and in the presence of the President of its Board of Directors, Mr. Costas Yannopoulos.
Over the two days of the Festival more than 2.000 people took part in the event that was hosted at the Hellenic Community Centre of Montreal “Adrianos Maris”. The Consul General of Greece in Montreal, Mr. Nikolaos Sigalas, elected officials, both past and present, from all three levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal), representatives of community leaders and organizations, sponsors and supporters of the event were among the participants.
“Our presence in Montreal is very important as it gives us the opportunity to meet all those people who give a voice and strength to the significant effort taking place in Greece. I would like to thank all of you who stand next to us and became members of this effort for the protection of children”, said Mr. Costas Yannopoulos in the presence of representatives of Hellenic communities, supporters and members of volunteer groups.
Children from the Hellenic Community presented in a symbolic gesture to the President of the Organization the drawings that they created for those children in need of protection and love in Lesvos during the welcome of “The Smile of the Child” at the Festival. The crowd was entertained by the wonderful group of musicians from Greece comprised of Vagelis Konitopoulos, Kostas Mitsios, Polychronos Korros and Christina Galiatsou.
The event carried an important message. The Festival hosted the photo exhibition “The Forgotten Children of Lesvos” through which the Canadian artist Jeff Malo captured the tragic images taken in the summer of 2016 of thousands of refugees, among them many children, who arrived at the Greek shores. Quebec singer Lynda Thalie, a one-time refugee herself, also performed at the Festival in support of the cause for children.
“The Canadian Initiative for Lesvos” (CIL) was created by a team of dedicated volunteers who have united their efforts in order to ensure the necessary funding for the operation of a Home for Children at risk in Mytilene and the Center of Direct Social Intervention of Lesvos. "As honorary patron of the “Canadian Initiative for Lesbos” (CIL), it was gratifying to witness such an impressive response from a broad range of supporters, including from across Canada, and even in New York City. It is my hope that greater awareness of the important work undertaken by "The Smile of the Child" will result in new sources of support for the Organization", said Robert Peck, former Ambassador of Canada to the Hellenic Republic.
Upon the initiative of the New York-based non-profit Organization “Hellenic Relief” members of the Hellenic Communities of New York met with “The Smile of the Child” on 2 May 2017 on the margins of the official visit of the Organization and its meetings in the framework of its international actions in the field of child protection.
The final amount of the proceeds will support exclusively “The Smile of the Child” and will be announced in mid-June at a public event in Montreal.
Find photo material from the event and the visit of the Organization in Montreal here.
Watch the video for the inauguration of the photo exhibition “The Forgotten Children of Lesvos” of Jeff Malo and Lynda Thalie.