TORONTO, Canada – Greece has been moving towards a demographic deadlock and research indicates that the birth-to-death ratio in Greece is negative. It is estimated that by 2050 Greece's population will have fallen to 6.5-8 million citizens from 10.8 million today. According to official data of the Hellenic Statistical Authority, in 2019 Greece reported 83,763 births compared to 124,965 deaths, resulting in a dramatic population decline.
The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Canada is collaborating with HOPEgenesis to cover medical monitoring and birth related costs for women living in remote areas of Greece. The initial focus of the collaboration is the support of the islands of Kasos, Iraklia and Agios Efstratios, as well as the purchase of 15 telemedicine devices, to provide the program beneficiaries with access to remote medical monitoring and consultation services through a specially designed platform. The program hopes to bring 8-10 new births per year of implementation on the islands, setting the foundations for future generations to populate the islands and incentives for younger people to stay at their birthplace.
The program was implemented in the beginning of 2021 and in April the first baby was born on Agios Efstratios, after four months, spreading hope in the local communities of the remote islands. As HOPEgenesis' motto states: "Together we give hope to mothers, who give hope to our future. One child at a time."
Agios Efstratios is a small island in the northern Aegean Sea with a population of 270 people and a birth balance of -3, making the first birth into the program a significant one for the local community.
In addition to the news of the first baby born into the program, HOPEgenesis announced that three additional beneficiaries from the island of Kasos who entered the program are expected to give birth in September, October, and December 2021.
If you would like to be involved:
To further support this new program for The Hellenic Initiative, the THI Canada New Leaders launched the Flowers for HOPE fundraising campaign. The fundraiser aims to provide funds for the purchase of 15 telemedicine device packages for pregnant women on remote islands of Greece. Each package will contain Bluetooth devices that monitor blood glucose and blood pressure, and a cardiograph device. The goal is to help pregnant women stay healthy and safe throughout their pregnancy without worrying about the expenses. We invite you to participate by sending a bouquet of flowers to someone special. More information is available online: ca.thehellenicinitiative.org.