At the beginning of the new year I would like to outline the orientation and the current objectives of our Foundation for 2017.

We have worked hard to prepare and implement an ambitious business plan that will be our guide for the next three years, while taking into account the significant impact of the economic and financial crisis to our operations. We have also taken under serious consideration the current expectations of the Greek society vis-a-vis our Foundation.

Our activities will therefore focus on the following three overarching themes:

1. Strengthening education and scientific research

Our aim is to help young scientists to continue their studies, to link scientific research to production, through specialized post-doctoral research projects which will be implemented in cooperation with the business sector. We will also strengthen leading research centers in Greece in order for brilliant Greek scientists to remain in Greece and offer their services to  our country. Finally, we will continue to work closely with experts teams, universities, innovation clusters, as well as with local Chambers, banks and foreign embassies.

2. Empowering civil society

Between 2013 – 2017, the Bodossaki Foundation successfully managed a budget of 7.3 million euros, originating from the EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) in support of the civil society in Greece. Under the programme “We are all Citizens” 76 projects have been implemented all over Greece, by 65 project promoters (NGOs) and more than 40 partners. More than 245,000 people have directly benefit from this programme.

In the context of this programme, the team of the Bodossaki Foundation designed and implemented an ambitious and effective capacity building programme for NGOs and active citizens’ groups, aiming to enhance their skills and expertise so they can respond to the growing requirements of the economic and social environment and to become viable in the long term.

As a next step for the empowerment of civil society in Greece, the Municipality of Athens and the Bodossaki Foundation are jointly implementing the initiative “Social Dynamo” that seeks to develop the skills of NGOs and active citizens groups, transferring knowledge and expertise and giving them opportunities for collaboration and networking.

3. Enhancing our financial capacity

At critical times like these, we need to find new resources and funds for the implementation of our actions. EU funding programmes and the EEA funds as well as funding from international foundations are in our direct scope.

To achieve results in this challenging field, we have developed a new structure within the Foundation, which we call “Giving for Greece”. Our aim is to inspire organisations, individuals and business entities to contribute to Greece’s well-being by channeling their contributions through the Bodossaki Foundation and towards urgent social needs or projects with lasting social impact.

Already this effort has resulted in the creation of a thematic fund for the protection of unaccompanied refugee children in Greece. For the sake of these children, we have managed to secure enough funding to support the operation of six existing shelters and the creation of two new ones.

Under “Giving for Greece” we have also launched a thematic fund to support farmers around Greece active in the production of five categories of Greek products with comparative advantages and enhanced potential to contribute to the agro-food sector in general.

It is hopefully clear from all the above that the Foundation’s orientation is changing. We are becoming more dynamic, more innovative and hopefully more effective.

Dimitrios Vlastos

January 16, 2017