Creating Opportunity in Greece

2018 - Greece - Biz develop - Pandora's Box Souvenirs - Cred
While Give for Greece helps small businesses scale up production (Pandora’s Box Souvenirs pictured), it also serves those in need with food assistance, education, and more. Photo: IOCC/Konstantinos Tsakalidis. 
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Fueling Economic Recovery  
The long economic crisis in Greece still affects daily life there in ways that are lasting and real. In 2013, IOCC joined with foundations and partners in the US to create Give for Greece. Working closely with Apostoli, the humanitarian arm of the Archdiocese of Athens under the Orthodox Church of Greece, the program currently provides support for microenterprises and associations; education for refugees and Greek youth; food assistance for the most vulnerable; and medical supplies for public hospitals.
Supporting self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.  
Running a small business can be difficult at best, let alone during a crippling recession and pandemic. Yet IOCC’s efforts have helped many ventures flourish, such as Pandora’s Box Souvenirs in Assiros, near Thessaloniki. These artists print creative designs on marble to make coasters, wall hangings, and other decorative items. IOCC provided specialized equipment to help ramp up production. And today, Pandora’s sells products at some of Greece’s most famous tourist destinations.
Cracking the code of opportunity.  
Both Greek and refugee students learn highly marketable skills through Code+Create, implemented in partnership with the Greek Open Technology Alliance (GFOSS).* These free courses teach the basics of computer coding, web design, robotics, and more—opening new career paths. Amid COVID-19, courses were moved online—one adjustment among many to keep programs running safely.
Helping talented students succeed.  
Passing Greece’s university entrance exams requires specialized (and expensive) instruction. With support from IOCC, the Social Frontistirio of the Archdiocese of Athens provides tutoring for students whose families couldn’t afford it otherwise. These high-quality courses help talented high-schoolers access the education they need to succeed in life.
Offering vital food assistance.  
This deep, prolonged recession has left many people literally wondering where their next meal will come from. In addition to distributing monthly dry-food parcels to underserved families and supporting a soup kitchen in Athens, IOCC offers prepaid grocery cards so families can buy food at a supermarket chain in Attica. One mother with a large family described how vital the cards are to her: “We have eight boys, so whatever we buy is consumed within minutes. But thank God, we are OK, and they are not hungry.” 
Providing lifesaving supplies.  
Greece’s public hospitals serve thousands across the country—but they’ve been hit hard by the financial crisis. IOCC sends shipping containers filled with such basic supplies as gauze bandages, gloves, syringes, and other necessities to help the medical system continue serving.
Give for Greece continues to reach those in need—adjusting to the new reality shaped by COVID-19—as your generosity helps them improve their lives and strengthen their communities.


*The Code+Create concept was developed by Finn Church Aid in 2017.


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