Leading women join forces to launch new philanthropy movement in Melbourne

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A new and inspired circle of giving to address poverty, inequality and disadvantage in Greece will be launched in Melbourne, Victoria this week, with the support of leading women in the community and business.

Women in Philanthropia, under the auspices of The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Australia, will harness the collective strength of women’s generosity and a love of Greece.

Chair of Women in Philanthropia and Board director with THI Australia, Freda Miriklis, said: “We are a movement in the making, born out of a need to recognise how women can harness their passion for their Greek heritage, and give back.”

The global financial crisis of the late 2000s and a prolonged period of austerity measures had a devastating effect on Greece. This has been compounded by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and effects of the war in Ukraine.

Unemployment continues to disproportionately affect women, leaving them more vulnerable to poverty. A shortage of basic goods such as food and energy, plus high inflation has exacerbated income inequalities.

THI Australia’s mission is to help build a bright and secure future for Greece and its people by enabling collaborative projects that provide social, health and economic benefits and address geopolitical considerations.

Its collaboration with corporate and charity partners is having a vital impact on the lives of people living below the poverty line, the elderly who find themselves alone, and the homeless and destitute in Greece.

This has included, for example, support to more than 2,400 at-risk people in Attica each year; a program that enabled more than 43,000 school children at over 400 schools to participate in volunteerism to become active citizens; and the delivery of essential health and psychosocial programs to more than 7,000 vulnerable community members in Athens.

Under THI Australia’s Internship Program, young Greek graduates have the opportunity to spend six months in Australia with a host organisation to gain valuable experience in their professional field.

To date, more than 25 graduates have completed the program. It also includes opportunities for Australians travelling in Greece to be part of relief efforts on the ground, working with THI Australia’s charity partners.

THI Australia’s Volunteering Program provides all Australians travelling in Greece an opportunity to be a part of relief efforts on the ground with their partner charities.

Ms Miriklis said Women in Philanthropia would work with THI Australia to identify the most suitable charitable endeavours to advance the needs of women, young people and vulnerable communities in Greece facing continued challenges across education, health, social services and employment.

Women leaders of Australia’s Greek diaspora and Philhellenes will come together on Friday evening, May 26 at The Ritz-Carlton in Melbourne, to show their gratitude, strength and support for Greece, and launch the new movement for inspired giving and strengthened connection.

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