With this message, I would like to share our main achievements and outline our Foundation’s commitments and goals for 2018.
Supporting education and scientific research
Education lies at the heart of the legacy bestowed upon us by our founder Prodromos Bodossakis Athanassiades and will be at the forefront of our activity for 2018. We will continue to provide:
• Essential equipment and classroom materials to enrich learning in public schools.
• Grants to outstanding students who lack the financial means to pursue their Master’s, Doctoral or Post-doc education.
• Laboratory equipment and financial assistance to research centres at universities and research institutes to enable them to carry on conducting cutting edge scientific research in Greece.
• Opportunities for teams at innovation incubators to gain expertise in respective incubators in other countries.
• Job placements to graduates who are starting off their career and are in need of work experience and soft skills.
Empowering civil society
Last February, in partnership with the Municipality of Athens, we launched “Social Dynamo”, an innovative civil society incubator that provides training, mentoring and tools for capacity building to civil society organisations. Our first months of operation saw the growth of a substantial network of pro bono mentors from both the business and academic worlds and the forging of links with Greek and European institutions to provide thematic capacity building. To date, 130 citizen groups and NGO teams have been hosted at “Social Dynamo” and benefited from our workshops. In 2018 we are looking forward to “Social Dynamo” relocating to Serafeio, the new municipal Innovation, Cultural and Athletic Centre where it will be best placed to play a significant part in Athens’ innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. And we will also be looking beyond the capital to other cities where “Social Dynamo” can make an important imprint on civil society.
Other major initiatives that we will be pursuing in 2018:
• The establishment of a legal framework to guarantee the legitimacy, accreditation, evaluation and transparent operation of civil society organisations. We began this effort in 2014 because we fervently believe that its existence is vital for the effective operation of the Greek civil sector. A draft bill was issued and brought to parliament for consultation but was never taken through to become law. This year, we will work with Transparency International and NGOs to try and get the draft law approved and passed by Parliament with an all-party consensus.
• The creation of employment opportunities for under 30 year olds. The programme will be launched in the first quarter of 2018 and will be implemented by Prince’s Trust International in collaboration with us, Knowl for Education and Lifelong Learning and companies in Greece.
Multiplying the power of charitable giving
We impart our knowledge of Greek civil society, our extensive experience in monitoring social needs and our project management expertise to all those who wish to embark on their own charitable project. By joining forces with our Foundation, individuals, organisations and enterprises learn about innovative social projects and are assured that their funds will be managed efficiently and will achieve greater social impact.
2017 saw the successful drawing to a close of the “We are all Citizens” Programme, under which our Foundation managed 7.34 million euros from the EEA countries in support of civil society in Greece. It also saw the launch of a partnership with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP AG). This collaboration involves identifying, preparing, implementing and monitoring social and environmental initiatives (SEI) in Greece and, more specifically, in all three Northern Greek Prefectures along the pipeline route. Under this partnership, we have begun two initiatives which will run until 2020, one to support Master’s programmes in Energy at the Technological Educational Institution of Western Macedonia and the other related to agriculture and the provision of agri-food education in collaboration with the American Farm School and the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas.
During 2017 we have proudly worked with enterprises in Greece, such as Allianz, and organizations in Greece and the Greek diaspora, most notably The Hellenic Initiative, to strengthen the agricultural sector in Greece. In 2018 we plan to continue to present donors with a portfolio of agricultural programmes that warrant their support in collaboration with educational partners.
The beginning of 2018 will also see the launch of a new programme co-designed by our team and a group of acclaimed scientists in support of innovation and entrepreneurship in Greek research centres and universities. We are very proud to be funding this programme together with other charitable foundations in Greece.
With the aforementioned initiatives and programmes, and our activity as a whole, our ambition is to enable human and social potential for a better life.
January 18, 2018