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 takes stock of services provided and announces its next actions
The meeting was held on the 5th of October at the Operational Center and Support Center for Children and Families of Eastern Attica, operated by “The Smile of the Child”. The actions and services provided by “The Smile of the Child” for the people affected by the deadly recent wildfires east of Athens (in the areas of Rafina, Pikermi, Marathon and Nea Makri) were presented during the event, while the Organization also announced the services that will be initiated soon in order to support children and families in the affected areas thanks to sponsors and supporters who were present from the first moment in this endeavor.
The Mayor of Marathon Mr. Ilias Psinakis, the Mayor of Rafina Mr. Evangelos Bournous and the Vice-Prefect of the South Athens district, Mr. Christos Kapatais took part in the meeting and thanked “The Smile of the Child” for the immediate, substantial and steady support to the affected families, while they expressed their gratitude for the substantial work of the Organization. Representatives of public and institutional actors, companies that donated items and services for the victims, as well as volunteers who participated in this action took part in the meeting.
The President of the Organization, Mr. Costas Yannopoulos welcomed all the participants and said: If we all unite, we will succeed has encouraged us the 10-year-old founder of the Organization, Andreas. Today’s meeting and presence proves the value of uniting our efforts. We managed to unite sound forces around the cause of providing support wherever needed. “The Smile of the Child” did no collect funds for this specific action, as it considers that funds should be given directly to the people affected and not through intermediaries.
Mr. Yannopoulos also added: “In cooperation with the responsible institutions, we were there from the first moment and steadily next to those affected, at every location where there was a need. Our primary goal was to support every child affected and his/her family, while we also –due to the circumstances—covered the needs of adults, and mainly the elderly”
“The Smile of the Child” presented the overview of services provided and actions undertaken by the staff and volunteers of the Organization in the period from the 24th of July to the 23rd of September, with the goal to cover the needs of the people affected on the ground of this crisis.
- Material support to 185 individuals (69 families)
- Counseling to 20 individuals through the SOS 1056 line from psychologists who were present in the area
- Management of 3 cases of missing children
- Transfers of 7 children and 2 adults to hospitals and Health Centers (serious respiratory problems due to smoke, injuries, food poisoning, a case of a newborn with high fever indications)
- Medical exams for 10 individuals at the Multi-Mobile Unit of “Hippocrates”
- Mapping of needs for 112 individuals (36 families) at the 5th Camping Area of Aghios Andreas
- Transfers of 15 individuals to safe zones
- Recreational Activities to 10 children at hospitals
At the same time, 100 pallets with water, first necessity goods and food items, as well as 8 pallets with medicine were collected. It is worthwhile to mention that 449 volunteers of various age groups and specialties contributed substantially and tirelessly to the collection and storage of items offered by citizens and companies.
The logistical and technical infrastructure provided free of charge includes:
- A Support Center in Nea Makri fully equipped in order to ensure the safe reception, storage of food (including fresh and frozen), as well as other items
- Trucks and refrigerated trucks to transfer and distribute products, as well as pallet carriers
- Mobile Medical Units for newborns and children (Ambulances) equipped with mobile incubators
- Mobile Medical Units for Preventive Medicine, including a Multi-Mobile Medical Unit “Hippocrates”
- Emergency Vehicles with lights and sirens and rescue service jeeps
- A Call Center (National Line SOS 1056) available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, free of charge from landline and mobile lines, as well as interconnection with the European Emergency Number 112
- Mobile Crisis Management Center “Odysseas”
Parallel to the existing services, “The Smile of the Child” is proceeding with the following:
- Development of a Mobile Technical Unit with the aim to repair small indoor and outdoor damages in homes affected by the fires in order to make them appropriate for future accommodation if approved so by the competent authorities. In this action "The Smile of the Child" has ensured the voluntary participation of the Technical Chamber of Greece. Specific social criteria will be applied in cooperation with the social services of the municipalities.
- Availability of the Day Center “The House of the Child” for the provision of therapeutic support to children traumatized by this tragic incident and its consequences who live with their families in the affected areas and within the Attica region.
- Development of a Unit that will provide direct relief and psychological support and care to children based at the Support Center of the Organization in Nea Makri. This action will be based on a very specific scientific methodology by putting emphasis in approaching parents who will later support their children and achieve their empowerment. It will be implemented in cooperation with other non-profit agencies and Organizations by uniting the resources and efforts of providers of mental health services to children and adolescents. It is worthwhile to mention that such a cooperative endeavor that utilizes the forces of various actors constitutes a true innovation in the field of child protection in our country.
- Organization of recreational activities for children with the goal to empower them and assist their return to "normality". The actions will be diversified depending on the range of the age groups of children residing at temporary housing structures for wildfire victims.
- Information actions on health education and empowerment in local schools in collaboration with the Directors of Schools and Health Education counselors in the region.
Upon the conclusion of the meeting an open discussion followed on the immediate actions that need to be jointly undertaken in order to effectively support our fellow citizens in need.
Participants had the opportunity to be introduced to the logistical and technical tools that “The Smile of the Child” sets at the disposal of the competent authorities with the goal to cover any need that may arise.
“The Smile of the Child” would like to warmly thank the following businesses and organizations for their trust, support and in-kind donations and services for the people affected:
ALINDA - VELCO Α.Β.Ε.Ε, ALMI TANKERS, BERLING ABEE, CARDLINK, CENTRAL PACK Α.Ε., COCA COLA 3E, COLGATE PALMOLIVE, COSMOFISH Α.Ε., DHL HELLAS, DRAEGER, E-FOOD, FLEXO PACK, FOOD PLUS ΑΕΒΕ - PIZZA HUT, FRIESLAND CAMPINA, GARDENA, GIVING CHILDREN HOPE - ΗΠΑ, HEWLETT PACKARD, HSBC, IMAGIN FACILITY MANAGEMENT Α.Ε., INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGIES, INTRASOFT, INVENTOR A.G. Α.Ε., IPSARIARIS COSTA - SWITZERLAND, KARCHER, LIDL HELLAS, MERCEDES, NELIOS-AXIA HOSPITALITY, NUMIL HELLAS A.E., OZOO, PAPOUTSANIS - ΠΑΠΟΥΤΣΑΝΗΣ Α.Β.Ε.Ε., PEDMA, PHILANTHROPISCHER VEREIN GRIECHISCHER AUSWANDERER - GERMANY, PRAKTIKER, PROFAL, ROBERT BOSCH, ROLOPACK, SIMSIRIKIS, STATHIS, UNISYSTEM, VISA, VODAFONE, WILO, WINGS OF HELP - GERMANY, WURTH, AGRAFA, ATHANASIOS GIANNIS & KEN JEBSEN, AIVALIOTIS CONTAINERS, ELIA CONTRUCTION, GREEK ORTHODOX PARISH VELBERT "AGIOS DIMITRIOS" - GERMANY, KENTROS STRATOS, MEIDANIS TRANS, MINERVA, MOTODYNAMIKI YAMAHA, ΟΚΑΑ, OPAP, ΠΑΝΚΩΣΚΑΛ, ΣΚΑΓΙΑΣ Μ. FRAGKISKOS TRANSPORT, COOPERATIVE BANK OF CHANIA, FOODLINK Α.Ε., CHIOTAKI ΑFOI Α.B.Ε.Ε, CHOROMIDIS.