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The Hellenic Initiative Australia announces four new grants for the vulnerable in Greece

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The Hellenic Initiative Australia has announced four new grants totalling approximately AU$53,000, which have been awarded to Greek charities Emfasis Foundation, Ithaca Laundry, Mazi Gia to Paidi, and Wise Greece from its 2021 Winter Appeal.

The first round of grants to Emfasis Foundation ($10,000), Ithaca Laundry (€11,745), Mazi Gia to Paidi (€9,500) and Wise Greece (€6,000) will address food insecurity, provide basic necessities, help with utility bills and temporary accommodation for many vulnerable and isolated people in Greece.

“We wholeheartedly thank all our Winter Appeal donors as these grants to worthy charities in Greece would not have been possible without their generosity,” THI Australia President, Mr Nicholas Pappas AM, said.

Emfasis Foundation will support urgent cases requiring temporary accommodation for homeless and vulnerable people, help avoid the disconnection of utility services for families with minor children and elderly people with chronic health issues, and provide survival kits with food items, clothing and hygiene products.

THI Australia welcomes its newest partner charity, Ithaca Laundry, which has received a grant to enable a person from a disadvantaged background to be employed for twelve months as a driver of a mobile laundry van and participate in Ithaca’s reintegration program. This employee is responsible for the laundering of the clothing for the homeless in Athens.

Ithaca Laundry was founded in 2015 by three students who, after watching a program about a similar project in Australia, decided to create the first free mobile laundry for the homeless in Greece and Europe.

Ithaca aims to improve living conditions and increase social inclusion through hygiene services, reintegrate vulnerable people into the labour market, raise awareness about the problem of homelessness and poverty.

Each month a mobile laundry van receives approximately 250 visits by 100 beneficiaries. Clothes are left with the driver and volunteers and the beneficiaries collect their laundered clothing the same day.

Mazi Gia to Paidi will provide immediate relief to children and their families by providing 30 eligible family members with monthly supermarket vouchers for six months. Beneficiaries will also be able to seek the support of a social worker and the Counselling Helpline provided by Mazi Gia to Paidi.

Wise Greece will deliver approximately one tonne of food products to elderly residents at the Konstanteio Care Home in Kavala and one tonne of food products to young children living under the care of Kivotos tou Kosmou in Epirus and Kalamata.

Stergitsa Zamagias-Hill, THI Australia’s CEO, who is currently in Athens and has volunteered with several of its partner charities said, “it is saddens me to see so many elderly people who are on their own sleeping
rough in Athens and Piraeus while it is only 7 degrees.”

“The need for our support remains great during these challenging times. Australians should know our
partner charities will ensure that even the smallest donation goes a long way to helping vulnerable people in Greece.”

THI Australia has a secure online donation page and if you wish to donate to one of these partner charities
please do so. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia.

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