Worthy Causes


WORTHY CAUSES SUPPORTED BY NEWCOMERS 

Newcomers isn't just about socializing.  We also support the following worthy causes.  Learn more about each cause and what Newcomers Members (you!) have accomplished through the generous collection of donations.

AVLONA JUVENILE DETENTION CENTRE (Di Drymoussis) 


Originally a military prison - the Juvenile Prison at Avlona, 45 km northeast of Athens, was remodelled in the early 90s for civilians and was intended for approx 100 inmates. Mainly Greek and Greek Roma juveniles were transferred from Athens’ main prison at Korydallos and relatives provided clothing and other support as needed.

However, over the past 20 years or so, the prison populations all over the country started to escalate, filling up to bursting with immigrants, both legal and illegal. When I began volunteering in the summer of 2010 there were 400+ housed in Avlona, but by 2017 the number has halved to approximately 200± young males between the ages of 17 to 21 yrs. In addition, there is a handful of older, responsible inmates who have been transferred from adult prisons providing useful services (plumber, electrician, etc) and they stay in a separate section.

Approximately 70% of the inmates are non-Greek with no family support. Most are serving sentences for petty crime or are awaiting trial – it can take as long as two years before being brought to court for trial and sentencing! Unless they are already enrolled in the prison school programme, if they have not finished serving their sentence, on reaching 21yrs they will be sent on to adult prisons such as Korydallos. The prison school is run by dedicated teachers who inspire, encourage and are loved by their students. Many of these guys – for any number of reasons - did badly at school but now have the chance to remedy their past performance and with the encouraging support of the teaching staff realise they are not as ‘stupid’ as they had been made to believe! Indeed, the number of guys passing for university has averaged three or four per year, over the past few years.  

The generosity of Newcomers members and a few special donors, has enabled the provision of shelving and books for a foreign books library in the school; a number of clothes washer/dryer machines, cool air fans for the summer and hot air fans for winter for the cells; an industrial floor-cleaning machine; an electric guitar, speakers and microphones; 9 midi-ovens; dozens of used 14” TVs (sadly now out of commission); and for the gym that the then director set up: 3 cycles, two punch bags and a bench/weights set.  Countless sacks of clothing and shoes, bedding and toiletries continue to be delivered at least monthly – most of which are kindly provided by our Newcomers members. There is a great deal of satisfaction knowing that Newcomers has helped improve – even in a small way – the lives of at least some of these young guys and I am grateful that support continues . 



AG. ANNA ORPHANAGE (Laura Foti-Liverakos) 

The girls orphanage “Agia Anna” was set up 40 years ago to provide spiritual, material, and social support to young girls who had no parents.  In the past 40 years, the orphanage has supported over 250 children in many different ways. Specifically, the orphanage has provided shelter, food, clothing, health and educational services to these children as needed. The orphanage receives donations from Newcomers monthly of food, and toiletries, and received gift donations for Christmas.  Thank you newcomers, for your support and donations.

PAMMACARISTOS (Chrisula Kolokouris)

Located in Nea Makri, Pammacaristos is a school and orphanage for children and young (at heart) adults who have mental handicaps - primarily autism.  There are 24 girls in the orphange and 130 day students in the workshops. There is a ceramic workshop, a catering workshop, and a crafts workshop among others where the students make items to sell. Please keep in mind that the workshops can use all kinds of materials you might no longer need such as old jewellery, ribbons, materials, buttons,etc. There are another 200 students who attend the special public school on the premises.

Pammacaristos is one of the only places in Greece which provides a place for especially autistic young people to interact with one another and learn self-help skills. For the children and young people who go there, Pammacaristos is their home, it's the one place where they truly belong.

Newcomers has played a part in helping Pammacaristos over the past 15 years.  Many members have helped individually by running in the marathon, donating money, goods, and time.  Newcomers as a body helped pay for the restoration of one of the rooms in the orphanage, the air-conditioners in the workshops, a sink and cupboards in the ceramics workshop, a water-heater for one of the bathrooms in the orphanage and together with Habitats for Humanity we painted the main building which had not been painted since originally built in 1953. 

The monthly donations from Newcomers of clothing and toilet articles go a long way towards providing for these girls who have no families.  At one point – in the summer of 2016 - it looked very much as though Pammakaristos would have to close as they were financially unable to pay their employees and pay the expenses of running the Foundation.   However, a new president was elected to the board who did an amazing job of reorganizing and restructuring the running of the institution and getting it back on track.  The teachers have begun to get paid something every month.  He has worked on getting funding and has been able to find benefactors. 

They are SO grateful to Newcomers.  Whenever I go there they never fail to mention it.


The ANGLICAN CHURCH in Greece (The Rev. Deacon Chris Saccali)

Here since 1843, and serving the whole of Greece, the Anglican Church in Greece is totally self-supporting, relying entirely on donations to keep its doors open and continue its valuable services to the community.

Donations brought to the Newcomers meetings are much appreciated. Used books, quality clothing are welcomed throughout the year. Other items (eg quality knick-knacks) are welcomed from September onwards to raise funds from the Annual (longest running) Christmas Bazaar held in Zappeion.

Regular Coffee mornings are held - Proceeds benefit the Anglican Chaplaincy and its nominated charities: 

COMMUNITY-CONNECT ATHENS – the 2nd  Wednesday of the month at the Swedish Centre, Diadalou 18, Plaka. from 10.30 hrs – 12.30 hrs.  Coffee, Cake, Home-made Jams and Preserves, Hand-made Greetings Cards, Books, Good-as-new Clothing. Collection of Bottle Tops and used stamps for Charity. 

AND

COMMUNITY-CONNECT KIFISSIA - the 3rd Wednesday of the month at Loida Scripture Union Home for the Elderly, Ionias 46 / Levidou 77, Kifissia from 10.00hrs – 12.00 hrs.  Coffee, Cake, Home-made Jams and Preserves, Hand-made Greetings Cards, Books, Good-as-new Clothing.  Collection of Bottle Tops and used stamps for Charity.

To find out more about how you can help and contribute to our work in Greece amongst those in need, as well as our active Refugee Programme working in conjunction with the Us Mission Agency UK http://www.weareus.org.uk) and Churches Together in Greece (which includes the Salvation Army).

Take a look at our exciting new Website and Facebook page, “Anglican Church in Greece.”

FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Pauls-Anglican-Church-Athens/536608309684283

WEB: http://anglicanchurchathens.gr/


SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF (Alison Goldstein)

The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Boarding School in Drosia, a northern suburb of Athens, houses approximately 17 boys and girls, aged between 15 and 25.  The students who live there hail from surrounding villages and islands in Greece.  The boarding school serves as their home, while they attend special schools for the deaf in the center throughout the school year.

I became involved with the boarding school after moving to Greece in 2013.  I began by volunteering to teach American Sign Language (ASL) to the students, which evolved to include fundraising efforts and organizing enrichment programs.  The school has limited resources and services, and Newcomers' assistance over the years has become integral in bridging this gap. 

While Newcomers has provided support to the school long before my arrival, for the last two years they have provided equipment and materials to support a photography workshop, two cooking workshops of six weeks each and two ASL classes of roughly eight weeks each.  These enrichment programs pair the students with professionals to further inspire them, give them a better understanding of what these jobs entail and help these teenagers raise their expectations of themselves, thus preparing them for life beyond high school.  Moreover, every month members of Newcomers donate much needed school supplies, to include paper, pens, notebooks, backpacks and the like to the school.

I continue to be touched by Newcomers’ interest in the children and their unwavering commitment to changing the trajectory of these childrens’ lives.  Thank you Newcomers!

 

“KINDNESS IN WORDS CREATES CONFIDENCE.  KINDNESS IN THINKING CREATES PROFOUNDNESS.  KINDNESS IN GIVING CREATES LOVE.”  -Lao Tzu.

School Website:   www.ipekve.com

School Address:  Mavili 8, Drosia, Northern Suburbs



The SALVATION ARMY Volunteer Programme

includes opportunities to work in the charity shop downtown in Athens and at the Day Centre. Donations of food and clothing always needed as well as supplies of baby foods, milk and fruit-creams etc





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