"The Smile of the Child" celebrated its 23 years of action in the presence of HE the President of the Hellenic Republic

13 November 2018


Athens, 13 November 2018


"The Smile of the Child" celebrated its 23 years of action in the presence of HE the President of the Hellenic Republic


On the occasion of the 9th of November, the day its young founder, Andreas Yannopoulos, wrote in his diary his vision to found an Organization for children, "The Smile of the Child" celebrated its 23 years of action during an event held on Monday, the 12th of November 2018 at the Athens Concert Hall of Athens in the presence of his HE the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos.

Members of the Greek Government and the Greek Parliament, church representatives, servants of the judiciary, representatives of law enforcement and armed forces, representatives of institutional actors, Ambassadors and representatives of foreign diplomatic authorities in Greece, supporters, friends, employees and volunteers of the Organization were present in the event.

The President of "The Smile of the Child", Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, welcomed and thanked all participants, while he particularly thanked HE the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, for honoring the Organization with his presence and for his longstanding support to the work of the Organization.

"The Smile of the Child" began 23 years ago from my son Andreas, who shortly before leaving from life expressed in his diary his wish to found an Organization that will ensure for all children what he had so generously enjoyed: love, care, true interest and respect. ‘The Smile’ is the result of the joint and coordinated effort of many different people and organizations. The Organization does not belong to a few people, but to the entire society. I am proud that thanks to your support and the dedication of our professionals and volunteers we have managed to support 1.480.003 children and their families in the course of these 23 years, through the provision of individualized support to children in need. ‘The Smile’ represents the stories of all these children who needed assistance and whom we stood by. ‘The Smile’ is all these children who are being raised in our Homes, children in need of medical care, children who went missing and were reunited with their families, children whose families had problems in ensuring their basic needs. They are all children and they deserve a smile, Andreas had said, and this is our vision. We ask all of you to become part of this effort! We need you next to us in order to continue our difficult work’, said Mr. Costas Yannopoulos.

The Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Greece, Mrs. Xenia Dimitriou, was the guest of honor of the event and was awarded the ‘Andreas Yannopoulos’ Award for her longstanding and precious work in the field of child protection in Greece. ‘When ‘The Smile’ had just initiated its operation back in 1996, Mrs. Xenia Dimitriou was a Prosecutor for Minors. Upon her order many children, who are adults today, came to our Homes. She has a unique sensitivity and always, as she says, will remain a Prosecutor for Minors’, highlighted Mr. Yannopoulos.

From her part, Mrs. Dimitriou said: ‘In this desert of indifference, this colorless life, there are oases and parts of colorful life where some people care for children, for these invisible children. And if all these people are one small human being, one child who thought of it all, then we are speaking of the miracle of the human soul. It is for this oasis that we are all here tonight, and we are many, one open hug for all these creatures, a small, sweet homeland for the children who experienced pain, who were victimized like lambs for slaughter. "The Smile of the Child", one small colorful homeland, for all the children in our heart. We thank you’.

On the occasion of the 23 years of its positive contribution to society, "The Smile of the Child", an extrovert Organization based on a spirit of transparency and accountability, undertook the initiative of conducting a Sustainability Report for the year of 2017 thanks to the crucial support of EY Greece and taking into consideration the UN Sustainable Goals.

The main points of the Sustainability Report were presented by Ms. Kiara Kontis, Senior Manager, Department of Services for Climate Change and Sustainable Development of EY Greece, who highlighted the fact that this Report is one of the first conducted for civil society Organizations in Greece based on the international standards of sustainable reports, whereas on a global level only few similar reports have been conducted.

Among the main goals of this report was to make public the contribution of the Organization to important goals of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development;
Ethics and dignity, fundraising, financial stability, responsible management and distribution of resources are the three most significant issues highlighted by the report with which the Organization is fully aligned;
Important issues that were highlighted by the report was the substance of the work of the Organization and the services provided free of charge to every child and family in Greece in the critical fields of Violence, Health, Disappearance and Poverty.

A nationwide public opinion survey was conducted by Focus Bari with the goal to provide information on the awareness, attitudes & perceptions of the Greek public in relation to the activities & work of the Organization. Among the main results, presented by Xenia Kourtoglou, Founder & Managing Partner of Focus Bari, are the following:

"The Smile of the Child" is universally known in Greece (97%) and is recognized as the most reliable non-governmental institution in the country (75%);
95% of Greeks find that the Organization offers a work of substantial importance to the Greek society and 79% believe that the Organization is active in covering needs not covered by other entities or agencies;
9 out of 10 Greeks (87%) believe that the Organization has the power to mobilize the authorities and society, and (85%) that it is properly organized;
53% believes that the Organization offers the most important work among all humanitarian NGOs in Greece without hiding any other interests (67%);
Through continuous public awareness efforts "The Smile of the Child" has managed so far to mobilize 73% of Greeks;
According to the survey, about 415,000 people have witnessed the beneficial actions of the Organization with 13% of respondents saying that they have benefitted themselves, 37% of respondents saying that a relative or a friend has received services and 50% of the respondents answering that a person known to them has also benefitted from the actions of the Organization.

"The Smile of the Child" would like to warmly thank EY Greece for its support in conducting the UN Sustainable Report and Focus Bari for conducting the Qualitative and Quantitative Survey.

"The Smile of the Child" would like to warmly thank Mrs. Ritsa Bizogli for the moderation of the event, as well as her support to the work and actions of the Organization.

"The Smile of the Child" would like to welcome the following companies, sponsors of the event:

Evropaiki Pisti
All about Wine
Coca Cola 3E
DHL Hellas
Laser Works
Photoshop Company
Stampa Hellas
The Bronze
Lichnia (Λυχνία)
The interpreters Ms. Eleni Koumpanioudaki and Eleni Manou
The Athens Concert Hall

Read the Sustainability Report and the Qualitative and Quantitative Survey here

More photo material from the event can be found here

For more information, please contact our Press Team at press@hamogelo.gr or at +210 3306 140.