Smiling with the children

Demetra Roka

On 18 July 2017, the South African Embassy, joined by Aspen Greece, devoted  Mandela Day to “The Smile of the Child”, a non-profit Greek organisation that supports children and their families in need regardless of ethnicity and/or religion.

“The Smile of the Child” provides care and love in a safe living environment to children that have been abused or neglected and have been removed from their families through an order of the prosecutor and judicial authorities.

Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, President of The Smile of the Child and the children welcomed everyone with a warm hugs and big smiles. The volunteers enthusiastically started painting the walls to offer a colorful garden for the children, who participated joyfully by colouring a kid’s wall painting. The final touches included adding garden furniture and toys.

His Excellency Ambassador Marthinus van Schalkwyk from the South African Embassy in Greece commented on the importance of Mandela Day, and Demetra Roka, Country Manager of Aspen Greece, said that through this unity we send a powerful message that with simple activities we can make a difference.

Mr. Yannopoulos thanked the delegation and said, “Nelson Mandela was a man of values, morals, but also amodest man. We all need to take his example to make our world a better place.”