MARIANNA V. VARDINOYANNIS FOUNDATION
In 1997, Mrs. Vardinoyannis founded the “Foundation for the Child and the Family” for the protection of children’s rights and the building of a better future for the children of the world. The Foundation is a Non Governmental Organisation (N.G.O.) with a Special Consultative Status at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations Organisation.
In 2012, the Foundation was renamed as “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation” in order to expand its activities in accordance with timely humanitarian and social issues that affect not only childhood but society in general.
The Foundation organizes meetings, conferences and lectures, on topics related to education, human rights and protection of children, culture of peace, dialogue among civilizations, cultural heritage and social solidarity, as well as on issues relevant to children’s safety such as discrimination, sexual abuse and exploitation, pedophilia on the Internet, violence, climate change, etc.
The Foundation has launched the “Support Schools” project through which it provides books, clothes, equipment, computers, etc, to schools every year in order to help children, parents and teachers, during the difficult circumstances of the financial crisis, as well as the “Support vulnerable social groups” program focusing on poor areas of Athens and other cities by providing people-in-need with food and personal hygiene products. It co-operates with churches and local authorities for direct distribution. It also reinforces families living in villages in the borders of Greece and supports children forced to live with their mothers in prison providing them with clothes, books and toys.
In 2013, the Foundation signed an agreement of co-operation with “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights” in order to launch the “Speak Truth to Power” educational program in Greece and bring the relevant curriculum into the Greek schools. In this context, the Foundation organized the lecture of Mrs. Kerry Kennedy entitled “Safeguarding Human Rights” held at the Acropolis Museum (Athens, 2015).
The Greek village “Makistos”, close to Ancient Olympia, that was destroyed by fire in 2007, was revived thanks to Mrs. Vardinoyannis who “adopted” the village and provided the necessary funds for the rebuilding of all the 70 houses.
In June 2014, the foundation launched the international campaign “REturn-REstore-REstart” for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and the reunification of the Parthenon.
In 2015, the Foundation launched the “Refugee Child Medical Assistance Program-WE CARE” in order to provide first aid, health care and vaccines to the children of refugees that are passing through Greece. The program is being held with the co-operation of the “Central Association of Municipalities of Greece”, the Athens Medical Association, the “Agia Sophia Children’s Hospital” and the humanitarian organization “Mission”.
In 2016 the Foundation join forces with UNESCO and ECCAR (European Coallition of Cities against Racism) on the initiative “Welcoming cities for refugees” in order to create a code of principles based on respect for human rights, which will be promoted in municipalities and cities across Europe to contribute to more organized, efficient and human treatment of the refugee problem.
Further more through her Foundation, Mrs. Vardinoyannis has organized many conferences such as:
The European Meeting “Priority to the Dignity and Safety of the children of Europe” (Athens, 1997), the European Forum “Family – Europe – 21st Century: Vision and Institutions”(Athens, 1998), the International Conference “The Child and the Family in the 21st century”, in co-operation with the University of Europe, held under the auspices of the former President of the French Republic, Mr. Jacques Chirac, at the Sorbonne University (Paris, 1999), the European Conference “Sexual Abuse of Children and Pedophilia on the Internet” under the auspices of UNESCO (Athens, 1999), the “Meeting of Athens and Delphi on Children and Peace” held under the auspices of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Year for a Culture of Peace. The “Declaration of Delphi on Children and Peace” was launched on this occasion (Athens and Delphi, 2000), the celebration of the Anniversary the International Day of the Child entitled “Child-Symbol of Hope, Will and Courage” aiming at rewarding and supporting children who fought for their visions, who overcame physical or financial difficulties, and whose efforts demonstrate their love for culture and education, their courage and heroism (November 2000), the International Conference “The Child: Victim of War and Messenger of Peace” under the auspices of UNESCO in the framework of the International Decade (2001-2010) for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. The meeting was organised in co-operation with the International Peace Bureau (Nobel Peace Prize 1910) (Athens, 2001), the International Conference on “Modern Societies- Multicultural Coexistence. The position of the child”, held under the auspices of UNESCO, at the Aristotle University (Thessaloniki, 2002), the Second European Meeting of Legal Practitioners specialised on child pornography on the Internet and sexual exploitation of minors for commercial purpose (Athens, 2003), the Exhibition entitled “Traditional and Contemporary Handicrafts from Jordan” in collaboration with Jordan River Foundation under the auspices of H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, as well as of UNESCO. The aim of the exhibition was the promotion of the intercultural dialogue, understanding, respect, and tolerance among people, via art and social solidarity (Athens, 2004), the launching of the Declaration for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals drafted by 22 Greek Non Governmental Organizations and submitted to the ECOSOC for the High Level Segment and the United Nations Summit Meeting (September, 2005), the Athens Round Table “Business Community against the Trafficking of Human Beings” (Athens, 2006) launched “The Athens Principles” against human trafficking which were presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos (2006), the International Conference “Climate Change and Challenges for the Future Generations” under the auspices of UNESCO and in co-operation with TERI (The Energy Resources Institute) presided by the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Dr Rajendra Pachauri, launching the “Athens Declaration on Vulnerable Children and Climate Change” (Athens, 2009), the “1 Goal –Education for All” Global Campaign supportive event (Athens, 2010), the conference “Cultural Heritage – Climate Change – The teacher’s role – Presentation of the book “The country of two suns” (Athens, 2011), the Lecture of Professor Jan Driessen on World Heritage Day (Athens, 2013), the launch of the campaign “REturn-REstore-REstart” for the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures (Athens, 2014), the Nizami Ganjavi International Center Meeting in Athens-Building the future of shared and inclusive societies (Athens, 2014), the Kerry Kennedy’s lecture on human rights (Athens, 2015), the “Athens Meeting “Welcoming Cities For Refugees” an international confernence on the refugees and mingrants issues (Athens 2016), and other.