The Foundation’s vision to enable human and social potential for a better life continues to be our primary focus. The traditional pillars of our activities, such as education, health, the protection of the environment and the empowerment of civil society in Greece have been pursued during 2018 as planned.
In this year’s message, I would like to focus on the most important achievements of the past year and especially on those that will influence the course of the Foundation over the coming years.
Active citizens fund
In 2018 the Foundation submitted a winning bid, together with the organisation SolidarityNow, for the implementation of the EEA Grants “Active citizens fund” programme in Greece (funding period 2014 – 2021). This follows the successful implementation of a similar programme contracted to Bodossaki by the EEA Grants between 2014 and 2017.
The thematic areas of the Active citizens fund programme in Greece are the following:
• increased citizen participation in civic activities,
• increased civil society watchdog and advocacy role
• increased support for human rights,
• empowerment of vulnerable groups;
• strengthening the capacity and sustainability of civil society.
Winning this bid, which is crucial to the future empowerment of civil society in Greece, is the result of the Foundation’s experience in the management of such programmes, the impeccable implementation of the previous programme and the professional training and enthusiasm of our team.
Thematic programmes with companies, institutions and individuals
The financial crisis in Greece has seriously affected the Foundation’s income and financial capacity, due to the unjust and heavy taxation on income and property. Nonetheless, we have proven to be a dynamic and flexible institution that can adapt to current circumstances by making the necessary internal changes to make our operations sustainable and effective.
The Foundation has thus created new thematic programmes and actions to support current social needs and has broadened its scope by working with corporations, other foundations and private donors. Our experienced staff work with all these stakeholders to create integrated programmes that can be implemented in an efficient manner and have a significant social impact anywhere in the country.
Among the most successful examples of such operations are the projects managed by the Bodossaki Foundation in Northern Greece, in cooperation with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, in the context of the social and environmental investments of the organisation. Our team has been working on the following:
• A programme of agri-food education in the areas of Northern Greece which TAP crosses, with a budget of about 1m. euro, under the name “Thriving Land”. In its first year of implementation, the programme surpassed the initial target of 300 beneficiaries, reaching out to more than 550 beneficiaries.
• Two postgraduate scholarship programmes (90 in total) in gas technology & management of energy resources, in collaboration with the University and TEI Forum. Macedonia, with a total budget of 1m. euro.
• A vocational training programme in gas technology, implemented by the Technological Institution of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (TEI of Kavala), the total budget of which amounts to €330,000. The implementation of the project started in September 2018 and the number of participants so far is 40 people.
After the devastating fires in Attica last summer, with 100 people confirmed dead, the Foundation proceeded to a systematic needs assessment analysis and, as a result, designed a thematic programme targeting the victims of wildfires, particularly the most vulnerable among the local populations affected. The programme is financed by the Coca-Cola Foundation and provides financial assistance as well as psycho-social support to the victims. Our aim is to continue these activities in 2019 by seeking new funding.
The Foundation has also designed a programme to boost innovative research and entrepreneurship, co-funded by the Latsis, Leventis and Onassis Foundations. Through this programme, successful candidates will be subsidised for the expenses that will cover the international safeguarding and patenting of their research projects or items. The importance of patents for researchers is great, as it enhances their competitiveness and increases their chances of attracting investment to proceed with product development.
Under the pillar of supporting education, our staff designed a programme to fund high school physics laboratories. The first laboratory in Astypalaia has already been equipped, and 17 other laboratories will soon be equipped in the prefectures of Rodopi, Thesprotia, Preveza and Kefallonia with the support of private donors.
Through our cooperation with Allianz and the Hellenic Insurance Companies Association, we managed to equip three Children’s Trauma Centers in Rhodes, Samos and Samothraki and to secure an ambulance for the Municipality of Mandra.
Social Dyamo is an initiative of the Bodossaki Foundation for the empowerment of civil society in Greece and has been implemented since February 2017 in cooperation with the City of Athens. Social Dynamo supports the organisational capacity of NGOs with continuous training, learning, mentoring and networking opportunities.
Since February 2018, Social Dynamo is hosted in Serafeio Sorts and Innovation Centre of the City of Athens, the city’s new hub for innovation and culture. Other municipal groups and institutions are also hosted in Serafeio, creating a great momentum for civil society, youth entrepreneurship and innovation.
By the end of 2018, Social Dynamo has offered training to 363 different organisations and teams through 1809 participations. The hub’s educational activities are considered to be of high quality, while its mentoring service is unique in Greece and is the motivation for many groups to participate in the programme.
It is worth noting that since 2017 Social Dynamo:
• was awarded with the honorable distinction “Innovative Programme” in the annual volunteering festival Voluntary Action in 2017, and was awarded in the category “Education” at the same festival in 2018.
• has acquired expertise on capacity building in other Fund Operators of the EEA Grants (Latvia, Malta);
• was presented as a case study of best practice in an international survey by NPC (New Philanthropy Capital) and Lloyds Foundation on Capacity Building,
• has created opportunities to provide training for Greek NGO staff by technical experts from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States.
Given that Social Dynamo is now in the process of maturing, it is expected to extend its services to other cities outside Athens.
Organisational changes – new premises
In 2018, the Foundation made significant organisational changes at two levels.
At the first level, the Foundation modified its organisational provisions referring to the total term of office of the members of the Board of Directors, in order to ensure the renewal and greater effectiveness of the supreme body of the Foundation.
At the second level, we have implemented a new and modern operating model in which workflows are supported electronically and which we hope will make our work more consistent and efficient.
In 2018 the Foundation’s new privately-owned building was completed and delivered. We have now moved to the new premises at 14, Mourouzi street, which will become our permanent base for achieving new goals and expanding our partnerships.
Finally, in the context of the organisational changes completed in 2018, the Foundation proceeded to the election of a new member of the Board of Directors. Mrs Athina Dessypri, assumed the post of Secretary General of the Board in December 2018, and from this position she will undertake the management of the Foundation’s operations in the future.
Ahead of the challenges envisaged for 2019, Bodossaki has welcomed new, talented executives and has now a strong, dedicated team powered with enthusiasm, vision and coherence. With their strength and professionalism, we shall proceed more efficiently and more vigorously in the realisation of our vision.