The fires that tore through Greece, at the end of the summer 2007, cost in human lives and burned thousands of acres of land and hundreds of houses. It destroyed one of the most beautiful sites of Greece, forced thousands of citizens to abandon their villages and homes, and threatened archaeological sites such as Ancient Olympia.
No one could stay emotionally detached from people who lost their relatives; from the elderly and children who stared at the ashes in tears without being able to imagine where they would sleep from then on, how they could be protected from sun,
The fires of summer 2007 that threatened Ancient Olympia sound the alarm underlying the need for a more effective protection of the world heritage monuments from natural disasters. The mobilisation of the State, international organisations as well as citizens, was immediate. The President of the “Foundation for the Child and the Family”, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, was among the first ones to respond.
With the initiative of Mrs. Vardinoyannis and under her sponsorship, an international workshop was held in Ancient Olympia in November 2008 aiming at exchanging views and discussing more precise and effective means for the management of the dangers that threaten the ancient monuments,
The Founding Board of the Global Humanitarian Forum.
Following the invitation of the Founder and Chairman of the Global Humanitarian Forum, H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, 360 leading personalities from all over the world, as well as experts and representatives of governmental and non governmental organisations, were assembled in Geneva in June 2008, in order to join their forces and seek solutions to the problems caused to humanity by the climate change.
The President of the “Foundation for the Child and the Family”, and Foundimg member of the Global Humanitarian Forum, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, was also present.
On the occasion of Mothers Day and the hosting of the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens, the “Foundation for the Child and the Family” organised an event to honour 4 mothers of Special Olympics athletes in May 2008.
There is no greater, nor more essential action than having provided a child, who could have been condemned by many to a life of mediocrity, with wings, faith, optimism and power” said the President of the “Foundation for the Child and the Family”, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, opening the event. “We therefore bow before the mothers of the Special Olympics athletes.
The UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, took the initiative to start a campaign aiming at the sensitisation of the international common opinion in favour of Greece; the re-establishment of the name of our country in countries abroad and the reinforcement of its place internationally.
UNESCO celebrated its 65th Anniversary with a cultural event which: the presentation of the new book of Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, entitled “Labouring with the Challenges of Female Identity: Insights into the Minoan Society”, which is based on Mrs Vardinoyannis postgraduate research in Archaeology in the University of Sheffield.
The refugee crisis must be addressed globally and collectively, since no country can handle it on its own, especially when this effort is based on universal values and respect for fundamental human rights.
Based on this mentality, the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation”, UNESCO and the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) decided to join forces and undertake the initiative to create the “Welcoming Cities for Refugees: Promoting Inclusion and Protecting Rights” program.
This program aims at assisting local authorities with their tough efforts in cities where refugees and migrants first arrive, as well as in transit and host cities.