6 March 2023: National Day Against School Violence and Bullying - Panhellenic School Awareness Campaign "Mila tora" (“Speak Now”)

06 March 2023


Athens, 29 March 2023


6 March 2023: National Day Against School Violence and Bullying

Panhellenic School Awareness Campaign
"Mila tora" (“Speak Now”)


According to our Survey:

  • 1 in 3 children (32.4%) in Greece experience some form of bullying
  • 1 in 6 children across the country say they feel their school does not teach them not to bully their classmates
  • 100% of children who would prefer to turn to a helpline for help, notes the Organization’s National Helpline for Children SOS 1056

According to the 2022 statistics of “The Smile of the Child”:

  • The SOS 1056 Helpline receives 1 call per day for psychological support in cases of domestic violence and bullying
  • 2 prevention interventions per school day on domestic violence and bullying
  • Increase of 174% in prevention interventions on school violence and bullying for 22,340 students; 3,467 teachers and 1,848 in parents.

“The Smile of the Child”, in collaboration with its European Student Volunteer Network ‘YouSmile’ and its specialized scientific staff, organized an event in the context of its Panhellenic School Awareness Campaign “Speak Now” (“Mila Tora”) on the phenomenon of school violence and bullying, which has assumed dramatic proportions in our country over the last years.


Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, President of the BoD of "The Smile of the Child", welcomed the attendees and stated: "I would like to express on behalf of ‘The Smile of the Child’, on behalf of all of us, my sincere condolences to the families, to those who lost their lives and to those who are struggling to get better. It was a difficult decision to hold this event... But we cannot stop trying to protect our children from the horrors that exist right now due to Bullying. Today, we are not holding yet another event. We are here to talk about Bullying, which afflicts children, and to propose solutions while continuing to invest in Prevention"; while addressing the children,  with "This event is yours, it is for you, but not without you, because you are the ones who experience Bullying. You are the ones who can change this situation".


Ioanna Gkika, Psychologist of the Organization, spoke to the children about the young founder of "The Smile",10-year-old Andreas Yannopoulos, and then informed them about Bullying , analyzing its characteristics and the ways to address it.


Eirini Leriou, researcher and Coordinator of the National Observatory for Child Well-being of the Organization, presented the findings of a survey conducted on bullying and underlined that:

  • The survey was conducted with 2.293 children across Greece for 2022-2023
  • 1 in 3 children (32.4%) across the country have experienced some form of bullying
  • 1 in 6 children across Greece say they feel their school does not teach them not to bully their classmates
  • 100% of children who would prefer to turn to a helpline for help, notes the Organization’s National Helpline for Children SOS 1056

No such survey, connecting the phenomenon of bullying with the well-being of children and profiling the children who are bullied, has been conducted to date.


To view this survey in detail:



The student volunteers of ‘YouSmile’, and members of the Child Rights Team of the Organization, shared their proposals for tackling bullying.  Specifically, they address the relevant groups in a targeted way:

To every child who is bullied:

  • It's never your fault
  • We understand that you may be ashamed of what's going on
  • Whatever has happened, no one deserves it
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • You can't be friends with someone who makes you feel bad
  • There is no need to panic
  • There is always a solution
  • If the bullying you are experiencing is online:
    -    Report and Block the bully profile
    -    Make our profile Private
    -    Call SOS 1056 for help

To every child who sees someone bully another child:

  • I understand that you may be afraid to share what you have seen, but think about how the child who is bullied feels and take action to help them.
  • Use a friendly and polite approach to help the child who is bullying another, to understand that they are wrong.
  • Talk to someone who can help, asking for confidentiality and discretion. You're not a snitch if you report something unfair.
  • Talk to the child that is being bullied, that way you show you care

To any child who is bullying:

  • Bullying is not a joke - we need to understand the boundaries between jokes and bullying.
  • Even if you have bullied someone, you can still change the situation by making amends.
  • There's always room to make amends
  • Approach the other child with a positive manner

To teachers:

  • It is important to be informed about the phenomenon: what it is, how to recognize it, and how to deal with it
  • Show interest in, and observe, children's behavior and their relationships with each other outside the classroom
  • Be informed about ways to deal with and manage/frame bullying incidents
  • Remember that there are no "bad children", only "bad deeds"

To parents/guardians of the children:

  • Show support and encouragement to the children - be helpful towards the problem
  • Empathize with children
  • Be good role models for children, because children imitate adult behaviors
  • Provide them with a calm and safe environment
  • Help children to evolve their personalities by setting limits on what is right and wrong
  • Teach them to protect themselves and express their needs
  • Seek help from a psychologist

To the State:

  • The presence of a psychologist specialized in bullying is necessary in each school
  • Regular training of teachers on the subject of bullying
  • Certified programs designed for each age group that brings awareness to the children.

Georgina Tsagka, Coordinator of the European Student Volunteer Network ‘YouSmile’, presented the results of the "Mila Tora" (“Speak Now”) campaign and stressed: "Mila Tora is a campaign for you, above all, it is a way for you, the children, to express yourselves creatively and discuss something that happens every day next to you and that ultimately concerns us all"


Ms. Tsagka also presented art projects submitted by 614 schools across Greece supporting "Mila Tora" (“Speak Up Now”). To view these:  https://www.milatora.gr/schools-and-news


Ioanna Chardaloupa, Psychologist and Coordinator of the Department of Prevention and Awareness Raising among Children, Teachers, Parents and Guardians, underlined the importance of interventions and the critical role of the school community in Prevention. “The Smile” provides free of charge professional interventions to  schools across Greece. She underlined: "It is very important to speak up. Not to underestimate the power of our words. There are always people willing and available to listen to us. It can be with a physical presence; it can be a phone call to the SOS 1056 Helpline; or to one of our own people."


Ms. Chardaloupa presented the 2022 Statistics as stated above, and made reference to the European Anti-Bullying Certification (EANCert), which focuses on the evaluation and certification of educational and non-educational institutions,and is an initiative of the "European Antibullying Network" (EAN) and EUROCERT. EA N was founded in 2014 by the "The Smile of the Child", and today consists of 23 member in cooperation with EUROCERT organizations from 15 European countries, and chaired by "The Smile of the Child". Its aim is to combat the phenomenon of bullying and school violence.


“The Smile of the Child” always stands by child victims of any form of violence, and is at their service using all available means:

  • National Helpline for Children SOS 1056
  • European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111
  • Chat application 1056
  • Mobile units of direct psychological support
  • Informative campaign of "Mila Tora"
  • Prevention and Awareness Raising among Children, Teachers, Parents and Guardians
  • Day Centre for the Provision of Customized Mental Health Services to Children and Adolescents, "House of the Child"

Review the photographic material of the event at the following link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/egCY1dtshSgpBdGG9


Watch the entire event at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/live/GwWVumjcW8I?feature=share&t=200


More information:
"The Smile of the Child"
Tel. 11040