Numerous studies so far have highlighted the serious demographic problem threatening the future of Greeks. The number of births is decreasing while life expectancy is increasing. At the same time, driven by unemployment and the economic crisis, many young people decide to leave the country and seek employment opportunities abroad. As a result, the Greek population is ageing.
HOPEgenesis has been active in the health sector since 2015, with the vision to reverse the current decline in birth rates in Greece. Its main objective is to support women who are permanent residents of rural and remote areas, including islands and areas in mainland Greece, so that they can travel to Athens or to a location near their place of residence in order to be monitored by a team of gynaecologists/obstetricians. Women are supported throughout their pregnancy and can give birth without paying any medical fees.
The organisation’s own research has shown that the underlying reasons for low or even zero birth rates in the areas where it operates are not exclusively economic. Insecurity and the lack of medical infrastructure also contribute to very low or zero births in rural and remote areas in the Greek islands and in mainland Greece. HOPEgenesis comes to provide the necessary security to women who are already pregnant, as well as the incentive for others to become pregnant.
As at autumn 2019, the number of births supported by HOPEgenesis exceeds 150, while 33 more babies are expected in the next few months, in areas with low or nearly zero births before the deployment of the organisation’s activity.
In supporting the work of HOPEgenesis, by covering a part of the organisation’s operating expenses, Bodossaki Foundation is helping address the country’s major demographic problem. The work carried out by HOPEgenesis has already benefited more than 250 families in areas with very low to zero births, contributing substantially to the overall social and economic fabric of these areas.