On 9 November 1995, young Andreas Yannopolous wrote in his diary of his vision to found an organisation that would ensure that all children received what he had so generously enjoyed: love, care, true interest and respect. Andreas passed on shortly after writing his message. His dream, however, became reality, when the Greek organisation “The Smile of the Child” was created. Twenty-three years later, this organisation has now supported 1,480,000 children and their families. Its achievements have been celebrated at a special event held on 12 November 2018 at the Athens Concert Hall, in the presence of the President of Greece, Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulos.
Members of the Greek Government and 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 organisation were present in the event. The President of “The Smile of the Child”, Costas Yannopoulos – Andreas Yannopoulos’ father – welcomed and thanked all of the participants, and in particular the President for his longstanding support to the organisation’s work.
“The Smile of the Child” is the result of the joint and coordinated effort of many different people and organisations. It represents the stories of all those children who needed assistance and whom we stood by,” Costas tells us. “‘The Smile’ is all those children 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 all deserve a smile, Andreas said, and this is our vision.”
According to a recent public opinion survey undertaken in Greece, 95% of respondents found that the organisation offers work of substantial importance to Greek society. About 415,000 people had witnessed the beneficial actions of the organisation. Child Helpline International would like to congratulate “The Smile of the Child” on its achievements and successes and extend its warmest wishes for a long and happy future continuing its important work, and helping the dream of Andreas Yannopoulos remain a reality.