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, the 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 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
In June 2014, the foundation launched the international campaign “Return-REstore-REstart” for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to
In 2007, Mrs. Vardinoyannis and her family “adopted” the Greek village “Makistos”, which is located close to Ancient Olympia and it was destroyed by fire. Makistos was revived thanks to Vardinoyannis family that provided the necessary funds for the rebuilding of the 70 destroyed houses.
Through her Foundation, Mrs. Vardinoyannis has organized many conferences in order to sensitize and inform public opinion on the protection of human and children’s rights, the dialogue among peoples for the promotion of peace and the strengthening of international understanding and co-operation: 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 launching of the “Speak Truth to Power” educational program of the “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights” in Greece (Athens, 2013) and a lot more.
She undertook many initiatives for the advancement of Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s work, such as the establishment of the “
She provided the funds for the establishment of the Chair of the Greek immigrants and the “Ioannis P. Vardinoyannis” Library at the New York University, the established the Constantine Karamanlis Chair for the Hellenic and Southeastern European Studies at the Tufts University, the construction of the Municipal indoors Athletics Centre “George and Evangelia Bournaki”, in Ermioni, Greece, the construction of a Kindergarten of Agios Nikolaos in the Municipality of Ano Liossia, Athens, Greece.
She organised a concert in memory of Princess Diana at the Royal Festival Hall, London, the lecture of Rector Helene Ahrweiler entitled “The Birth of European Consciousness” that took place in the Westminster Palace, London-UK, several lectures of Dr. Ismail Serageldin- Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Greece and the lecture of Professor Jan Driessen entitled “In the shadow of the Minotaur: New archaeological discoveries at Sissi, Crete” held at the Acropolis Museum in April 2013.