Hope After Greece's Wildfires

Greece CropMetropolitan Germanos of Ileia blessed students and school before local families in this fire-affected community received school-supply vouchers and school kits.
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Families, Small Businesses Receive Aid for Recovering, Rebuilding
 
Since 2012, IOCC has worked with Apostoli, the humanitarian arm of the Archdiocese of Athens, on the Give for Greece program to provide business and livelihoods support, reliable food access for families in need, medical supplies, and education programs for Greeks and refugees. 
 
In addition, IOCC has also offered relief following emergencies. This summer, wildfires raged across Evia, Attica, and the Peloponnese, destroying homes, businesses, and livelihoods as about 300,000 acres burned. Evia, Greece’s second-largest island, was especially hard hit, with one-third of its forests burned, including valuable pine trees—the basis of traditional beekeeping, honey, and resin-collecting industries.
 
When a seaside community of east Attica was destroyed by fire in 2018, IOCC response focused on meeting the immediate basic needs of those who had lost their only homes. After the devastating 2007 fires, IOCC helped farmers in the Peloponnese start over by providing livestock feed and other supplies.
 
In response to the latest fires, IOCC began with an on-the-ground needs assessment, which the team is using to custom design response in affected areas. Programming began in the municipality of Ileia, in the western Peloponnese, an area that also saw widespread fires in 2007. IOCC collaborated with local Church authorities, the Primary School Teachers Association of Pyrgos-Ancient Olympia Municipalities, and partner Apostoli to distribute school-supply vouchers and school kits to full-time local residents affected by this year’s disaster. The items ensured that families in some of the hardest hit areas could buy what their children needed to start the school year.
 
Leveraging its experience of both emergency response and long-term development aid in Greece, especially helping small-holder farmers and microbusinesses, IOCC is committed to long-term assistance for survivors of this summer’s fires. As families and communities rebuild their homes and livelihoods, watch for more news of how your generous support is reaching those in need.

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IOCC is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, FEIN: 25-1679348