"The Smile of the Child" responded to the unprecedented conditions and supported more than 44,281 children and their families during the first half of 2020

22 July 2020


Athens, 22 July 2020


"The Smile of the Child" responded to the unprecedented conditions and supported more than 44,281 children and their families during the first half of 2020


The Organization was able to respond to the increased calls to the three Helplines it manages, to the growing requests of children and families facing serious living problems, while keeping in the operation of the Pediatric Home Care in full force for even more families in the midst of the Pandemic, thoroughly keeping the required measures set by the competent authorities.


The health crisis has created an unprecedented landscape globally. With a sense of increased responsibility, "The Smile of the Child" put in operation its crisis management plan from the first moment, and offered immediate solutions to the growing needs of the Greek society, both in terms of supporting children and families who were already receiving assistance, as well as meeting new demands due to the prevailing conditions.


"The Smile of the Child" presented the statistics for the first half of 2020 on a live internet broadcast on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The data was presented by the journalist Mrs. Stavroula Christofilea.


This year, the announcement of the Statistics that the Organization has established to publish every six months, was marked by the unprecedented conditions created by the coronavirus health crisis. From the beginning of the pandemic crisis and the implementation of health measures in our country, "The Smile of the Child" has strengthened the services and actions it provides continuously - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - free and nationwide, with the aim of providing protection and care for every child in Greece. At the same time, in close cooperation with the competent bodies and with the trust and support of citizens and companies that stand by its side over time, the Organization undertook new initiatives strengthening the protective net for children and families in need.


The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Organization "The Smile of the Child" Mr. Costas Giannopoulos stressed in his statement:


"2020 has been quite a year, with unprecedented conditions and severe difficulties beyond any imagination. The outbreak of the coronavirus had significant consequences on the daily operation of “The Smile of the Child”. However, from the first moment, the Organization mobilized and faced this extremely critical situation with great responsibility, operational readiness and structured functionality of all its services and structures. Our main concern was the protection of children growing up in our Homes throughout Greece, our volunteers and our employees.


At the same time, we had to do exceed our capabilities to ensure the continuity of our services for every child and family in need in Greece, and of course to strengthen our forces in areas deemed necessary. The enormous difficulties for children with health problems, the increase in the number of families with serious living problems, the escalation of incidents of domestic violence, the insufficient blood supply in Hospitals were only part of the challenges we faced. With our people at the forefront, we decided to continue even more vigorously and provide immediate solutions to these great needs. From the data of the first half, it is clear that there has been a significant increase in the requests we received. "Thanks to all of you who trust and support "The Smile of the Child" and thanks to the tremendous efforts of our experienced staff, we were able to keep up with the expectations of the Greek society."


During the live broadcast, the official data of the first half of 2020 were announced, also compared to the data of the first half of 2019.


The main points are the following:

57.0% increase in calls to the National Hotline for Children SOS 1056
33.5% increase in calls to the European Hotline for Missing Children 116000
61.0% increase in calls to the European Child and Adolescent Helpline 116111
65.9% increase in the number of children and their families being helped by the Support Centers
37.8% increase in the number of children helped by the Pediatric Home Care program


Emphasis was also given to the new conditions that led the Organization to the immediate planning and implementation of new actions and the provision of new services.


In Specific

Voluntary blood donation utilizing the Mobile Unit of the Organization, "ULYSSES", in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the General Secretariat of Sports. We visited 19 cities and collected a total of 1,014 blood bags.
Hospitality and continuous holistic support of women victims of domestic violence and their children in apartments of the Organization dedicated to this purpose.
Launch of the Smile Academy, whose platform was implemented with the generous support of CISCO. We carried out online prevention interventions, remedial teaching, training seminars, remotely and safely.
Activation of the Missing Alert Hellas for the immediate treatment of disappearances of adults from 18 to 60 years old, who belong to vulnerable and high risk groups.
Completion of the design and launch of the new innovative Missing Alert App developed by the Cosmote Group for "The Smile of a Child", with the aim of finding missing children faster and protecting adults running a high risk of going missing, through the active participation of the public in immediate localization through the simple download of the application on their mobile.


At the same time, "The Smile of the Child" set at the disposal of the competent authorities, both its human resources and its logistical infrastructure.



The National Hotline for Children SOS 1056 was connected to the Psychosocial Support Hotline 10306.
A Cooperation Agreement was signed with the General Secretariat for Family Policy and Gender Equality,
A Cooperation Agreement was signed with the General Secretariat of Sports.


Detailed Statistics by field of action of the Organization "The Smile of the Child"


Regarding VIOLENCE:

The European Child and Adolescent Helpline 116111 received 5,129 calls
Counseling was provided to 2,605 people
13,567 students participated in interactive interventions
4,940 parents, guardians and teachers participated in interactive interventions
The National Hotline SOS 1056 received 121,215 calls
We received 310 complaints about 596 children
We proceeded with 47 on-site interventions for 79 children
We received 55 hospitality requests for 84 children
Today 281 children grow up in our homes and we further support our 65 adult children
At the Day Center there were held 2,914 therapeutic sessions for 275 children
4 children with their mothers, who have suffered domestic violence, were accommodated in apartments

Regarding the management of incidents of DISSAPEARENCES  

We helped 491 children and 25 adults in total
437 students participated in interactive interventions
1,034 parents, guardians & teachers participated in interactive interventions
The European HotLine 116000 received 6,004 calls
We handled 54 search requests for 54 children, of which 50 were found
AMBER ALERT Hellas was activated for 14 children
The volunteer “Search and Rescue Team Thanasis Makris” was activated for 5 children
For 2 children we proceeded to transnational cooperation
We handled 25 search requests for 25 adults aged 18 to 60, of which 21 adults were found
MISSING ALERT Hellas got activated for 14 adults
For 2 adults the volunteer “Search and Rescue Team Thanasis Makris" was activated


Regarding support for children with HEALTH problems

We helped 10,138 children in total
7,019 health examinations were performed on 5,620 children
1,412 newborns and children were taken care of nationwide
980 children with health problems got holistically support, covering a total of 5,622 requests
405 children participated in the Pediatric Home Care Program
1,577 children participated in the creative employment program in hospitals
4 families were hosted in the Organization's apartments in Athens and Thessaloniki while the children were hospitalized or receiving treatment
140 children were examined in the new Polyclinic of the Organization by Pediatricians, Ophthalmologists and Otolaryngologists


Regarding support for children who face serious living problems or POVERTY conditions

We helped 15,715 children in total
15,673 children got holistic support through the Support Centers nationwide, with the provision of a stable monthly nutrition package and social-psychological support.
42 children grow up in the 3 Day Care Homes of the Organization, while returning to their family environment at night.


This huge work was far beyond our capacity, we had to exceed ourselves in striving towards helping the Greek society and it was made possible thanks to the active participation of individuals and supporters who stood by our side and responded to our appeal for material and financial support during the crisis. Thanks to their help, we have been able to continue to care for and protect vulnerable groups of children and their families and to keep meeting the increasing demand that still keeps rising.