SOS Children’s Villages and HALC Partner to Care for Orphans after Wildfires

September 20, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – SOS Children’s Villages, the largest organization dedicated to the care of orphaned and abandoned children, announced a $150,000 lead gift from the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) to support 17 orphaned children who are joining SOS Children’s Villages Greece following the July wildfires in Athens. The children lost their home when the Lyreio Foundation was destroyed by the fires.

On July 23, devastating wildfires swept through the suburbs of Athens, resulting in 99 deaths and an unknown number of injuries. Thousands of people fled the fires, with at least 700 rescued from the sea after jumping in to escape the flames.

In an effort to respond to the children’s unsuitable living situation and the significant trauma they endured from losing their home, the Minister of Welfare and Solidarity and the Public Prosecutor of Juveniles requested SOS Children’s Villages Greece to provide a safe home, education and psychological support for the children for at least one year.

Seeing the desolation and pain that the people of Greece faced following the wildfires, HALC took the initiative to raise funds to support vulnerable children and families affected by the fires. HALC raised the funds in a matter of days, enabling SOS Greece to take these children into its care without any hesitation.

“We are proud to partner with SOS Children’s Villages once again to support orphaned children in Greece,” said Endy D. Zemenides, Executive Director of HALC. “In the face of crisis, children are always the most vulnerable. We are confident that SOS will provide quality care for the children and help them to overcome the trauma they have endured.”

Since 1975, SOS Children’s Villages has worked in Greece to ensure that every child grows up in a loving family environment. SOS will now provide a safe and loving home with family-like care for these 17 children and support them in reaching their full potential.

“It is unfortunate to see the direct impact the wildfires have had on vulnerable and orphaned children, but also comforting to know that our partners at HALC are always ready to lend a helping hand. We are grateful to them for bringing the Hellenic Community together once again in support Greece’s most vulnerable children. HALC’s commitment early on to our relief efforts allowed us to respond quickly and with assurance that we would have resources to care for these children,” said George Protopapas, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Greece.

About SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the care of orphaned and vulnerable children and is active in 135 countries, including the United States. SOS’s comprehensive approach – strengthening families and communities, providing long-term care for children, educating and empowering youth, and advocating for children’s rights – transforms the lives of millions of children and their families each year. To learn more about SOS Children’s Villages, visit www.sos-usa.org.


HIMARE - The continued detention in Albania of Fredi Beleri, an ethnic Greek elected Mayor of Himare, now has seen Greece blocking a European Union Defense anse Security Agreement with that country.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Truck Driver Pulled to Safety After Crash Leaves Vehicle Dangling over Bridge Across Ohio River

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The driver of a semi-truck was pulled to safety Friday by firefighters following a crash that left the vehicle dangling over a bridge across the Ohio River.

BALTIMORE – Determined to mount a serious election campaign, with a focus on social issues emphasizing public education, first generation Greek-American educator Sia Kyriakakos spoke to The National Herald about her great endeavor.

NICOSIA - With Turkey already hunting for energy in parts of Cyprus’ offshore Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) it doesn’t recognize, the Greek-Cypriot government said Turkey didn’t have the right to allow a university research boat to conduct research in those waters.

ATHENS - A move by the ruling New Democracy government to allow private colleges in Greece has drawn interest from 10 top international schools, Education Minister Kyriakos Pierrarakakis said ahead of a vote in Parliament.

ATHENS - While there’s been an easing of tensions between the countries, Turkey said that Greece’s positioning of troops on some Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast violates peace treaties and said their sovereignty could be challenged.