MELBOURNE-ATHENS | The Hellenic Initiative Australia will be assisting humanitarian relief efforts in Greece through a grant of AU$60,000 to Greek charity organisations Boroume and Desmos.
“THI Australia is honoured to be supporting the innovative and far-reaching work being done by Boroume and Desmos at this moment of profound need in Greece,” said THI Australia President Nicholas Pappas.
Mr Pappas announced the funding during visits to Boroume and Desmos Athens offices on 15 November. He also visited a Bouroume-supported soup kitchen run by Caritas in downtown Athens, which provides food to more than 350 people daily, mainly immigrants and refugees.
Boroume organises the distribution of surplus food by connecting food donors with welfare institutions such as soup kitchens and municipal social services assisting those in need. Boroume distributes an average 9000 food portions per day and secures food for 980 NGOs throughout Greece.
Since its inception in 2012, Desmos has distributed more than €1.8 million in surplus goods and services donated by companies and individuals, covering the needs of more than 460 social welfare organisations.
Australia will contribute AU$40,000 to Boroume to fund its Food Saving Program and AU$20,000 to support the Desmos Direct online service.
“Greek-Australians are feeling the deep anguish in Greece at this time. THI Australia’s first grants reflect that sentiment and support organisations responding to those in need.
While in Athens, Mr Pappas also met with some of the first group of Greek graduates who will going to Australia in 2016 to participate in the THI Australian Internship Program.
Launched in June, the AU$1.8 million program is providing six-month paid work and training opportunities for Greek graduates, who are facing unprecedented unemployment.
The first eight interns are expected to arrive in January to work in the marketing, banking, architecture and engineering fields. Participating companies include major banks ANZ and NAB, construction firm Hickory and education provider Lonsdale Institute, with positions based in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
More than 20 Australian companies have offered positions for Greek graduates, while The Hellenic Initiative has raised funds to cover airfares, visas and internship costs.
“We are delighted to be able to offer this once in a lifetime opportunity for these graduates to come to Australia to develop new skills, mindsets and capabilities and return to Greece armed with this unique experience.
“We look forward to welcoming them to Australia next year,” Mr Pappas said.
The Australian program is being run in Partnership with ReGeneration in Greece.
THI Australia began operations earlier this year, supporting THI’s global efforts to assist the people of Greece through initiatives that promote renewal and recovery.