“No one is entitled to commendation or praise when fulfilling one’s fundamental duty towards one’s homeland and fellow man.”
~124,000 individuals benefited directly from initiatives funded by the Foundation in the areas of:
7 collaborative initiatives were implemented with 19 Greek and foreign charitable foundations with the aim:
99 non-profit organisations and institutions received grants for their activities
4,849 individuals visited the Neraida Floating Museum among which 356 students, who participated in the Museum’s educational programme
97,013 individuals benefited from donations to healthcare services providers
3,403 individuals were supported by social protection and inclusion programmes
17,358 students and 1,588 educators participated in diverse educational activities
177 scholarships were awarded to young students at all levels of education
499 individuals benefited from initiatives supported by the Foundation in the area of Arts and Culture
5 job positions in civil society organisations were funded by the Foundation
The Foundation seeks to improve the quality of educational process, at all levels of education, through targeted activities, as well as to enhance access to education via the provision of scholarships. In the field
of Science, the main goal is, among other things, to support the research activity of young scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
During the 2019-2020 school year, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supported the “I Care & Act” Programme. Within the framework of the programme, many students had the opportunity to cultivate the values of volunteerism, solidarity and selfless giving through innovative experiential activities. The programme has been implemented by DESMOS and the Lambrakis Foundation, which undertook the design, development, coordination and management of the project.
The fifth and final cycle of the programme was implemented at all levels of education and in all types of schools across Greece, and it consisted in the planning and implementation of experiential learning activities by teachers and students. The programme provided teachers, students and their families with supportive educational material free of charge through the programme’s website, as well as with continuous face-to-face and remote support through training seminars.
The uniqueness and innovation of the programme lies in its empirical approach and the implementation of experiential learning as an educational method. The combination of theoretical teaching and experiential learning contributes decisively to the adoption of social contribution and volunteering as a way of life, since students get the satisfaction and feeling of capability to influence their environment positively through the activities that they themselves plan and implement. At the same time, the programme’s collaborative nature promotes the development of productive synergies through the partnership of several institutions of civil society and teaches students the value of cooperation in practice. Overall, the programme provides the young participants with appropriate stimuli and tools to become active and responsible citizens, while having the opportunity to gain new experiences and develop new skills.
During the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year, the student and teacher community developed volunteering and social contribution activities, including preparing/cooking meals and offering them to people in need, taking care of stray animals, visiting Care Centres for the Elderly and inspiriting the residents, cleaning beaches and groves, collaborating with refugee children and experiencing crosscultural interaction, etc. From March 2020 onwards, the participating school units quickly adapted to the new circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and, after the necessary adjustments were made, they continued to implement the programme remotely. During the lockdown, students sought alternative ways of social contribution and developed solidarity activities, such as supporting seniors through leisure and empowerment games via computers or smartphones, caring for stray animals nearby their place of residence, establishing a radio station, and producing information and awareness videos on the importance of contribution to society during the pandemic.
The 2019-2020 school year has been a milestone year for “I Care & Act” programme, as the merit of the latter was underlined through the “Quality Islet of Collective Action” Award, giving the programme official recognition at institutional level. In the summer of 2020, the Institute of Educational Policy of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs adopted the methodology, tools and educational material of the programme, with a view to run it as a pilot in the compulsory national curriculum beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. Now, the programme is being implemented in the context of skills development workshops, with the aim of introducing the values of volunteerism, contribution and solidarity in terms of experiential and participatory learning at school.
“The success of ‘I Care & Act’ has been a result of teamwork and collaboration. We truly thank all contributors, especially the teachers, the volunteers and the supporters of the Programme. The Latsis Foundation stands out among the latter, given that with its continuous and substantial support it has decisively contributed to the cultivation of and the familiarisation of the new generation with the values of volunteerism and active citizenship, enabling them to get acquainted with and even adopt a social contribution mindset as a way of life.”
Vice President of the Board of Directors, DESMOS
Aiming to contribute to an upgrade of the quality of the educational process, in 2020 the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supported the educational activity “Skonaki”, implemented by DIA-LOGOU non-profit organisation. The NPO DIA-LOGOU aims at the development of the modern Greek language in all its timeless and contemporary aspects, as well as its preservation and dissemination throughout the country by means of the internet and social media.
Since 2017 and as part of its activities, the NPO DIA-LOGOU implements, among other things, the “Skonaki” educational activity, whereby, through the use of digital technology as an educational tool, ancient and modern Greek teaching materials are created aimed at primary and secondary school students. “Skonaki” is the first –nationwide and worldwide– freely accessible collection of digital material, offering an original and innovative online way of teaching the Greek language and improving the educational process in general. On the basis of short videos which contain simple, comprehensible grammar and syntax rules, learning ancient and modern Greek becomes more attractive, modern-day and more interactive.
The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supported the implementation of the activity in 2020, covering the costs of designing and producing the digital material posted on social media to complement the existing collection. The activity has been embraced both by the educational community (teachers, students, parents) and by the general public who use the Greek language in their daily communication and want to improve their level of knowledge and use of that language.
“Promotion of the ‘Skonaki’ activity started for free through Facebook, providing an excellent opportunity for the general public to explore the evolution of the Greek language over time, for the first time online. The fruitful collaboration with and funding by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation in 2020 has been a major, decisive factor for the continuation of the activity. It has allowed for the design and implementation of 17 new visual educational modules, in the form of educational videos; these modules were published on Facebook from April through November 2020, getting more than 180,000 views with an equivalent viewing time of 12,000 hours.”
PhD in Pedagogy & Postdoctoral Researcher, National and Kapodistrian
University of Athens
Educator, Director, DIA-LOGOU
With a view to enhancing access to education for young people, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation consistently supports the dreams and efforts of students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies in universities in Greece and abroad, regardless of their chosen scientific field, through the implementation of its annual Postgraduate Scholarships Programme.
The evaluation process takes into account several criteria, placing particular emphasis on academic achievement, the quality of the postgraduate curriculum, as well as the educational development and future aspirations of candidates, giving consideration to their social and economic situation.
“A year and a half ago I was preparing my applications for postgraduate studies, knowing that the decision to move abroad in order to further expand my knowledge would be a difficult one, both psychologically and financially. After being admitted into an innovative postgraduate programme in Architecture in Madrid, I was delighted to find out that I am a scholar of the Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, which is certainly an honor and recognition of my personal commitment and my family’s efforts. What is more, the scholarship proved to be a critical factor particularly during 2020. Given the unfortunate effects of the
pandemic, I can confidently say that without the Foundation’s support I would not have been able to cope with the demands of life in Spain. I now return to Greece having managed to graduate successfully and hoping to contribute to our country’s future with my newly acquired knowledge.”
Máster en Comunicación Arquitectónica, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
“The Latsis Foundation scholarship has undoubtedly been my entry key to the United Kingdom in order to further pursue my postgraduate studies in the field of Political Theory. As a scholar of the Foundation, I have had the opportunity to fully focus on and navigate the rocky path of research and academic study, and to enjoy the social and academic life offered by a university of this class, without having to worry about unnecessary distractions. In addition, the recognized prestige of this scholarship provides me both with the moral determination to keep pursuing my goals, and with a qualification that contributes to my professional development and advancement in general.”
MSc Political Theory, The London School of Economics and Political Science
London, United Kingdom
“Through the Postgraduate Scholarships Programme of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, I have managed to accomplish my goals and dreams, and study in France focusing on a subject I treasure most, namely Theoretical Physics, within the framework of a postgraduate programme. In addition, this scholarship has been a catalyst for completing my master’s degree without having to seek additional financial support; as a result, I have been able to devote more time to my studies and complete the programme with excellent results. I have been thereby equipped with the necessary knowledge and competitive resources to launch my doctoral degree, thus continuing my academic career, as I desired.”
Master in Theoretical Physics and Applications, Université de Cergy-Pontoise
In 2020 the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, primarily aiming at enhancing access to education for young people, has launched a new collaboration with Deree – The American College of Greece. Beginning on the academic year 2020-2021 and for the next 3 years, undergraduate Parallel Studies students (Deree students, who study in parallel at Greek Public Universities) and full-time undergraduate Deree students will have the opportunity to pursue scholarships that will enable them to study at recognised universities in Europe and around the world during the summer or Fall/Spring semester.
The Deree Outbound Study Abroad Program (OSAP) aims at enriching the academic experience of students, by enabling them to develop their intercultural competence and global citizenship through education abroad opportunities. In the framework of this initiative, the “Latsis Foundation Study Abroad Scholarships” Programme will be available from the current academic year, with a view to providing deserving young people who find themselves unable to self-fund their studies abroad, the opportunity to grow both academically and personally, to acquire useful skills and to broaden their horizons through the
multicultural nature of leading universities around the world.
The “Latsis Foundation Study Abroad Scholarships” Programme offers students access to an ever-growing global network of universities and other educational institutions where they can study for a semester or participate in summer courses and transfer credits earned abroad toward their degree.
“In these unprecedented times, it is extremely encouraging to see organisations like the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation endorsing our mission of adding distinctive and sustainable value to our students, Greece and the global community. We are grateful for the Foundation that supports deserving young people to become global citizens and make a positive difference in society.”
Dr. David G. Horner
President, The American College of Greece
The collaboration between the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the British Government has continued for the 2nd consecutive year through the implementation of the Chevening Scholarship Programme in Greece, whereby a Chevening scholarship has been granted for postgraduate studies in a UK university for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The Chevening Scholarships are the British Government’s international Scholarship Programme, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and collaborating institutions, and they are granted to candidates with leadership skills and a compelling academic background, responsibility and the capacity to bring about changes through shaping public opinion. The public call for the 2020-2021 academic year involved the full funding of postgraduate studies in a wide range of fields, namely: Social Policy, Public Administration, International Development, Engineering & Technology, Computer Engineering, Biology, Law and Medical Sciences.
The candidate who stood out, on account of both his high academic performance as well as his well-rounded personality, was Stavros Tagios, in the field of Engineering & Technology. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Stavros is attending the postgraduate course “MSc Environmental and Architectural Acoustics” at London South Bank University, his aim being to impart the knowledge and experience he gained in the UK in his sector of specialization in Greece. In addition, through the scholarship programme, Chevening scholars are given the opportunity to experience a wide range of unique academic, professional and cultural activities, by participating in activities and events of the Chevening community.
“I find the science of sound fascinating! The opportunity to study in this field at postgraduate level is something I consider myself lucky for. Not only am I able to study Environmental and Architectural Acoustics, but I can do so in London, in the framework of an outstanding course at London South Bank University. In addition, as a Chevening scholar for Greece for the 2020-2021 academic year, I am the recipient of a full scholarship, which covers both my academic expenses and living costs. Combined with the good organisation of the course, this allows me to focus on what I like, namely the study of sound and acoustics. This creates a situation where I feel I am in control of my choices, which helps me set long-term goals, thinking clearly and free of any stress.”
MSc Environmental and Architectural Acoustics, London South Bank University
London, United Kingdom
The Latsis Foundation has always been a supporter of the operation and multifaceted work of the Research Centre for the Humanities (RCH) since the establishment of the latter in 2015. The main purpose of the RCH is the support and funding of research in the humanities through a process of annual public calls for the submission of research proposals by young researchers. In addition, it organizes workshops, conferences and meetings with the aim of further disseminating research results to both the scientific community and the general public.
In 2020, with funding from the Latsis Foundation, activities were implemented in three areas:
The RCH Digital Library was launched, a new publishing endeavour in collaboration with the National Documentation Centre, which aims, on the one hand, to disseminate scientific knowledge in the field of humanities by creating a wider reading and research community and, on the other, to expand the field of digital publishing and its growing research potential. In 2020 the design and development of an entirely new digital reading environment was completed, which includes a variety of publishing series, such as the annual volumes with the results of the research projects conducted with funding from RCH, the minutes
from conferences workshops, as well as material from the 1821 Digital Archive.
Each year, the RCH publishes public calls for the submission of proposals, inviting postdoctoral researchers and research groups to submit proposals for a period of one year. The applications are evaluated by distinguished, in their relevant disciplines, scientists from Greece and abroad, using criteria such as the originality of the research idea, the novelty of the proposed methodology, as well as the final deliverables.
In 2020, with a grant from the Foundation, the following research projects were developed:
Researcher: Dimitra Vassiliadou, Dr. of History, University of Crete
Researcher: Chara Kolokytha, Dr. of Art History, Northumbria University, UK
Research Group: Christos Kouroutzas, Dr. of Sociology, University of the Aegean
Sevasti Trubeta, Professor of Sociology, University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal, Germany
Dimitris Paraskevopoulos, Dr. of Sociology, University of the Aegean
Research Group: Michalis Spourdalakis, Professor of Political Sociology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Costas Gousis, PhD candidate in Political Science, Roehampton University, UK
Alkistis Prepi, PhD candidate in Urban and Regional Planning, National Technical University of Athens
Researcher: Gianna Stergiou, Dr. of Classical Philology, University of Edinburgh, UK
On the occasion of two hundred years since 1821, RCH has been implementing since 2016 a large-scale bilingual (Greek/English) Research Project entitled “The Greek Revolution of 1821: Digital Archive”, which is funded, among others, by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. Under this Project, a digital platform about the Greek Revolution of 1821 was created, in which the public can search for evidence items, archival and audiovisual material, as well as digital exhibits related to the Greek Revolution, such as scientific studies, works of art, everyday objects, folk songs, heirlooms, etc. This digital endeavor is implemented in the framework of the actions of the “Initiative 1821-2021” and marks one of the most important collaborative initiatives in the field of Digital Humanities, with the participation of reputable institutions, such as the National Library of Greece, the General State Archives, the Library of the Hellenic
In 2020, the following actions were completed:
The Digital Archive in numbers:
“The extremely particular circumstances under which all cultural and research institutions were forced to operate during the last year affected the activity plan of RCH to some extent, without, however, altering our core aspirations. The research teams funded by the Latsis Foundation continued their work with their presentations taking place online. In fact, viewing rates skyrocketed on account of the format of the digital conferences, thus setting an interesting precedent for our future plans. Moreover, as we come closer to the official presentation of the 1821 Digital Archive, the great collaborative project implemented by RCH, with the support of the Foundation, the ongoing circumstances confirm the importance of having opted for organising and presenting such plentiful material on a single platform to be used by both the general public and researchers, regardless of this year’s restrictions affecting a series of anniversary events such as exhibitions, conferences, etc.”
Dr. Ada Dialla
President of the Executive Administrative Board, Research Centre for the Humanities
Associate Professor of Modern European History, Department of Theory and History of Art, Athens School of Fine Arts
The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, in cooperation with the A. G. Leventis Foundation and Onassis Foundation, have taken part as funders in a programme designed and run by the Bodossaki Foundation, with regard to financing the costs of patent registrations for researchers and research teams
in Greek research centres and universities.
The aim of the Programme is to support and promote the high-quality innovative research conducted by universities and public research centres in Greece, as well as to strengthen the Greek economy through the creation and support of innovative businesses that will produce exportable products and services based on the results of the research in question. The Programme’s public call was addressed to Greek researchers and research teams working or operating within Higher Education Institutions (Universities and Technical Educational Institutes - T.E.I.) and public Research Centres in Greece.
The Programme provides funding for the preparation and submission of a Patent application, as well as the registration of copyright and industrial property rights in Greece and/or abroad. At the same time, through the collaboration of organisations providing support services to new businesses, the selected researchers and research teams receive further assistance and guidance in their first business steps, free of charge.
Researchers and research teams from the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), the National Centre of Scientific Research “Demokritos”, the Foundation for Research & Technology, the University of West Attica, the National Technical University of Athens, the Athens University of Economics and Business and the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) participate in the Programme.
“The Programme made a great contribution and supported our know-how in laser bioprinting with the aim of enabling precise biomaterial printing, tissue engineering and the use of regenerative medicine applications. Through the programme’s support, we managed to found ‘PhosPrint’, an ICCS/NTUA spin-off company –this patent is the main intellectual property of the company–, as well as to achieve our team’s research goals, by securing our copyright and being able to make the best use of our technology.”
Professor, School of Applied Mathematics and Physical Sciences, National Technical University of Athens
Researcher, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems
Showcasing the Greek culture and supporting young artists and culture professionals are part of the Foundation’s strategic targeting and are achieved through its collaboration with institutions operating in the field of Arts & Culture in Greece and abroad.
The “START – Create Cultural Change” is a capacity building and fellowship programme for aspiring cultural managers in Greece. The programme supports young creative minds to kick-start their cultural initiatives with the purpose of generating positive social impact in their local communities.
The START programme consists of three consecutive phases in Germany and Greece, enabling START fellows to develop innovative ideas into independent cultural initiatives and acquire professional skills.
The programme includes the following phases:
In 2020, the programme’s fifth and last cycle was implemented; it concluded with the online granting of the “Scaling Awards” by the Latsis Foundation for the fourth consecutive year. The fellows distinguished in 2020 were:
Alex Dimitriou, for the “Sazman” initiative: focusing on cycling culture, and inspired by the feminist makerspace movement, this initiative seeks to create feminist communities sharing a common passion for cycling and the environment, starting in Rhodes and Athens. Through this activity, people with a common background and interests have the opportunity to meet, network, express themselves and undertake creative endeavours as members of a team within a safe and inclusive environment. This initiative includes the organisation of cycling tours and movie screenings, along with the conduct of experiential workshops based on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) philosophy and within the feminist context, where participants are given the opportunity to develop skills in bicycle repair, carpentry, silkscreen printing, blacksmithing, etc.
Emmanouil Levedianos, for the “CLOUDS” initiative: the objective of this project is to reconsider the concept of public space and pursue a co-design and provision of appropriate infrastructure to mobilise new ideas and actions. Various civil society groups, led by the LUDD workshop, collaborated to develop
a diverse, modular-changing open architecture system for the construction of pop-up structures to support and facilitate social and cultural activities, such asexhibitions, workshops, screenings, meetings, festivals, etc. The aim of “CLOUDS” is to constitute both an intervention within the urban landscape and a meeting place connecting all stakeholders in a collaborative social network, enhancing their capacity to self-organise and their sense of belonging to the city, all while encouraging active citizenship.
Maria Stroumpa, for the “kookoonari” initiative: this project seeks to convert the 10th Nursery School of Komotini into the first school with zero waste production in Greece (Zero/Low Waste School). During the project, through artistic and experiential workshops and participatory educational activities, both the school and the local community were informed about their ecological footprint, while getting acquainted with and trained in the principles of Zero Waste philosophy. The “kookoonari” project aspires to help the “winds of change” blow in other schools and social groups around Greece, helping more and more people transition into active citizens interested in environmental protection and sustainable development. In the framework of this initiative, the first handbook with practical instructions for setting up a zero-waste routine has been created; it is available online for free. The programme was implemented by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and the German Federal Association of Socio-Cultural Centres (Bundesvereinigung Soziokultureller Zentren e.V.) and it was supported by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the Bodossaki Foundation.
“Ideas are always there, they are abundant, and what they need is a push. And it is truly beautiful to be able to implement even one single idea with some support, not only in financial, but also in accounting, organisational, or even psychological terms. This is exactly what ‘START’ did. I saw my idea come to life, and people getting involved. I felt fulfilled and deeply moved, with no insecurity about how to proceed. The Scaling Award has come as a second push to broaden my vision and help it expand in scope. Our little Sazman is growing and looking forward to new adventures with cycling tours, DIY constructions and its own feministic makerspace.”
“As a ‘START – Create Cultural Change’ fellow, I realised the existing need for such programmes which provide active citizens with the opportunity and support to contribute with their projects to a better society in the context of cultural management. Having a vision for ‘Zero Waste Schools’, we managed, through the ‘kookoonari’ project and the network of collaborators created, to educate the children, parents and teachers at the 10th Nursery School of Komotini about Zero Waste principles and ways in which they can reduce their school waste. This would have been difficult to achieve without the continuous guidance offered by the team of ‘START’.”
“The ‘START’ programme enabled us to contribute, in our own way, to the restoration of quality in the urban space. The infrastructure and tools we have developed can empower local communities by giving voice to unrepresented and marginalised social groups. But the most important thing is the new collaborations and the determined social network created. The CLOUDS network can ultimately enhance social innovation and active citizenship, but also upgrade urban institutional policies around public space. Through the Scaling Award and the success of this second phase, our work and vision continue. We propose new ways for bottom-up production of a city, where open dialogue, solidarity and creativity are collectively integrated into the public sphere, leading to new models of city management inspired by practices of the commons.”
“The Museums Cycle” series, a publishing initiative focusing on Greek areas of archeological interest, expanded in 2020 with the publication of its 19th volume, which is devoted to the ancient city of Eleutherna, in Crete and was produced with the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and Lamda Development. The series, published for the first time in 1997, is one of the Foundation’s longest-running publishing programmes, aiming at promoting Greece’s cultural heritage in a scientifically thorough and aesthetically appealing manner; its ultimate goal is to provide in-depth knowledge and to compose a unique cultural mosaic of ancient Greece.
The author of this volume, Mr. Nikolaos Chr. Stampolidis, Professor of Classical Archeology and the mind behind the idea of the Archeological Park and the Museum of Ancient Eleutherna, has managed to provide an insightful presentation of the natural beauty of Eleutherna and the findings at the Orthi Petra necropolis, shedding light on centuries of human activity in the area, thus offering a precious legacy of history and scientific knowledge.
This tribute volume offers a significant opportunity to introduce and present Eleutherna, a Cretan city of great importance in ancient times, and the archeological findings that came to light during 36 years of systematic and thorough excavations conducted by the University of Crete. The great archeological remains linked to various different eras – including stone tools, inscriptions, sculptures, mosaics, coins, Oriental objects, objects made of metal and other valuable materials, glass pots, etc. – are strong indications of the wealth, the continuous habitation of the area and the societal structure of Eleutherna, from the late Neolithic/early Chalcolithic Age to the post-Romanand proto-Byzantine era, providing significant information on the inhabitants’ everyday life.
The impressive findings of the Orthi Petra necropolis are of particular importance, due to their relevance to the Homeric epics and in particular to the funeral traditions and rituals. The most important find of the necropolis – which is now exhibited in the Museum of Eleutherna – is the funeral pyre ΛΛ90/91 (late 8th century BC) of the Eleuthernian warrior, and that of the slaughter of the captive which illustrates the Homeric description referring to Patroclus’s funeral pyre [Iliad, Rhapsody XXIII]. This unique discovery is the first instance where archeological evidence corroborates the Homeric description of the funeral pyre and, as such, it contributes to a better understanding of how the epic was composed.
“As easy as it may be to say ‘I love’, it is twice as hard to act on it. Because that requires persistence, patience, endurance, and a state of mind, heart, and body; and every single time each one to prevail over the others. So that, at the end of the day, you have proof of your love. This is my proof of love for ancient
Eleutherna, the creation of an archaeological site and its museum, that is, a public good. An epitome of this is included in the nineteenth edition of ‘The Museums Cycle’ series, which started back in 1997 by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and continues today with Lamda Development on board; a book that will be forever.”
Nikolaos Chr. Stampolidis
Professor of Classical Archeology, University of Crete
Author of the “Eleutherna” volume
Following the founding funding for the establishment of the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) in 2017, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supported the Orchestra’s operation and the organisation of its concerts during the 2019-2020 artistic season.
The GYSO, which was founded by conductor Dionysis Grammenos and is a member of the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (ENFYO), consists of young musicians from all over Greece, as well as Greek musicians living abroad. Its primary goal is to identify, guide, train and promote talented young musicians in the symphonic and operatic repertoire under the guidance of internationally renowned soloists and principals of Greek and major European orchestras. GYSO aspires to become a nursery for the emergence of young musicians and to offer them a valuable experience of coexistence
and collaboration within a large musical ensemble, such as an orchestra. Participation in the orchestra is free of charge, following an audition, while all travel and accommodation expenses of the musicians are covered.
The main characteristic of GYSO’s operation is the implementation of educational activities, aiming at bringing young people close to symphonic music and the values it embodies. The educational programmes are aimed at students of all ages, as well as young independent musicians, and offer, among other things, the opportunity to attend the Orchestra’s open dress rehearsal and get to meet the Orchestra at its rehearsal hall. At the same time, GYSO musicians represent the Orchestra abroad, collaborating with the respective National Youth Orchestra of each country within the MusXchange programme, which is co-financed by the European Commission’s Creative Europe Programme and the European Parliament.
GYSO’s third artistic season started in January 2020 with a concert held at the Municipal Theater of Piraeus, where works by Johann Sebastian and Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, as well as by Leo Janácek, were presented under the direction of conductor Dionysis Grammenos and two distinguished guest soloists, Alexandra Soumm on the violin, and Othonas Gogas on the flute. In May 2020, after a long period of social distancing, a GYSO string quartet with the participation of its artistic director on the clarinet performed at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” and welcomed travelers, visitors and employees with classical works, filling the airport premises with music, thus marking the reopening of cultural activities offered to its visitors. The artistic season concluded with the collaboration of GYSO with the internationally renowned conductor Johannes Debus for the recording and videotaping of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, which took place at the Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, in July 2020.
“A few years ago, Dionysis asked me to join GYSO’s Honorary Board and I felt very proud and glad to see that, with his experience, talent and enthusiasm, he created a new project for Greece, giving the opportunity to talented young musicians to shine, evolve and become ambassadors of their country. I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to be here and work with these young musicians who meet for these wonderful projects.”
Conductor, Music Director of the Canadian Opera Company
“Hearing from friends and fellow musicians about the quality of GYSO’s work, it caught my attention very early on, since it wasn’t like anything I have heard and seen in Greece as far as youth orchestras are concerned. I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to participate in an orchestra of this level and I can see myself as more creative and musically mature in the near future, thanks to my participation in GYSO. I look forward to gaining more experience, expanding my orchestral repertoire and broadening my artistic horizons in collaboration with its musicians, guest soloists and the conductor.”
Evdoxia Metso, Cello (22 years old)
Malmö Academy of Music, Sweden
“As a member of GYSO I feel that I can dream and envision. I dream of performing music that stops the clock and leaves the audience breathless. As representatives of a country that worthily strives to highlight its modern cultural identity, I envision GYSO revealing the wonder of our culture to more and more people
in historic halls in Europe and around the world. I imagine myself as a wiser and more creative musician in the near future, all thanks to my participation in the Orchestra.”
Sofia Chelidoni, Violin (22 years old)
Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Germany
“This is my first time in Greece, and it is indeed very special to discover a country through its youngest generation and especially through baroque music. We worked closely with the young musicians, and I think they have learned a lot, as have I. This is always a two-way process. They are very nice young people with great potential, special kindness and a thirst for knowledge. I would encourage the young musicians of this amazing Youth Orchestra to always be curious, to read, to go to the theatre, to explore. Music can be learned from anyone and everything, and it is very important not to focus only on the notes on the score, but to have a broad perspective on the entire musical spectrum from the Middle Ages to date. This is my advice.”
“ASCLEPIADES” Non-profit Organisation was founded in 2015 in order to support archaeological and historical research, the restoration of monuments in archaeological sites in the wider area of Ancient Epidaurus, as well as their study, preservation and promotion. In this context, the organisation is implementing its four-year programme (2019-2022) “Restoration and Promotion of Monuments in Ancient Epidaurus”, in collaboration with the scientific team of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida, with the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit
This cultural initiative includes a series of actions aiming at preserving and highlighting the cultural heritage in the area of Ancient Epidaurus:
With the support of the Foundation, excavations carried out in July and August 2020 revealed almost the entire northern part of the Roman stoa (arcade) which, in the 2nd century AD, connected the impressive fountain construction (built in the 4th century BC) with the large Roman building which was probably a nymphaeum. At the same time, the water supply pipes that ran through the excavated parts of the fountain and the stoa have been removed, the rural path leading from the port to the theatre, through the fountain has been replaced by a new path that has been carved outside the archeological site. Lastly, the antiquities that were discovered through the excavation attract particular interest, as they illustrate the history of the area.
The results of the excavations that have taken place to date in the Agora and theatre area of Ancient Epidaurus are particularly significant as they have revealed the theatre and fountain, both constructions of particular importance for the progress of research of ancient buildings of their kind; it is speculated that, between the two constructions lies the temple of Asclepius mentioned in ancient sources. The supply of a high-performance computer equipped with special software for point cloud processing and photogrammetric analysis has substantially contributed to the documentation work, enabling detailed 3D representation of the monuments in all the successive stages of the programme as well as after its completion.
“Despite the public health crisis, the promotion of monuments of the Agora in Ancient Epidaurus conducted by the research team of the University of Athens, has dynamically proceeded in 2020, thanks to the funding of the programme by the Latsis Foundation. With the possibilities offered by the relevant grant, we have managed to reveal a very large part of the monuments that the programme aims to highlight and, at the same time, we have completed important infrastructure works, necessary for the promotion of the monuments, such as the diversion of the road and the water supply system traversing the area in question, as well as the enclosure and protection of the latter by means of modern fencing. Following these works, the area of the Agora monuments stands out as a properly preserved archeological site.”
Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The Latsis Foundation supported, for yet another year, the excavation and restoration works at the sanctuary of Apollo at Mantra Despotikou, conducted in June and July 2020 under the supervision of Yannos Kourayos, in collaboration with the archaeologists Ilia Daifa and Alexandra Alexandridou, with the participation of students from the University of Ioannina. The Despotiko restoration programme is currently the largest in the Cyclades and one of the most important restoration projects in Greece, while the excavations so far have brought to light one of the largest archaic sanctuaries of the Cyclades, second
only to that of Delos, which is dedicated to Apollo (6th century BC).
The greatest part of the 2020 excavation period was spent on the research at the islet of Tsimintiri, which was in ancient times connected to Despotiko through an isthmus and formed a part of the wider worship sitesatellite of the sanctuary of Apollo. The results of the excavations are of particular importance, as the research revealed four buildings on the south and east part of the island and discovered many fragments of archaic pithos with engraved and pressed decorations, dating between the 7th century and the early 5th century BC. All the buildings discovered are of very large size and strong construction, and they seem to be structurally related to each other thus creating a dense building network on the south part of the islet. The research reveals that those were likely public buildings connected with the operation of the port.
The restoration and preservation works at the archaic temple and the refectory of Apollo’s sanctuary, conducted in 2020 under the supervision of the researcher and architect Goulielmos Orestidis, have made remarkable progress and are nearing completion. Following the installation and adaptation of five ancient triglyphs, as well as two ancient and two contemporary metopes on the entablature of the temple, the monument has now regained a significant part of its original height and size, and impressive as it is, it is even visible from the opposite coast of Antiparos.
“As an institution, sponsorship has been known, widely accepted and particularly welcome since the ancient times. It is a great fortune and honour for the excavation works at Despotiko to have noble and important supporters, such as the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, whose support has remained
undiminished for many years now. This funding has allowed the excavation to continue with the unveiling of another four buildings at Tsimintiri and a large archaic tank at Despotiko. In addition, great progress was made in the 2020 restoration works, as the facade of the temple and the ritual refectory were completed. Visitors are now given the opportunity to tour an exemplary restored monument, located on an uninhabited island of unique natural beauty where nature and history have remained intact through the centuries.”
Archaeologist, Excavation Mission Director at Despotiko
The non-profit organisation “We Need Books” was established with an aim to contribute to dealing with the refugee crisis and combatting marginalisation, using books as a means of immigrant and refugee integration into Greek society. The organisation’s vision is to build a more wholesome multicultural society free from discrimination, through the strengthening of vulnerable social groups and the promotion of interculturalism.
Since September 2019, “We Need Books” operates, in downtown Athens, the Multicultural Centre where the capital’s first Multilingual Library is hosted, and language courses are offered along with other educational and cultural activities. The Multilingual Library aims at bringing people of different origin and backgrounds together, offering them access to books in their native languages, as well as opportunities for education, entertainment, creative activities and socialisation in a welcoming environment. The Library, which follows the standards of major pioneering libraries in Europe, hosts 3 collections: The Main and the Children’s Collections, with books available for lending, and the Special Collection, with rare items of particular interest.
In 2020 the grant from the Latsis Public Benefit Foundation covered both the remuneration of a professional librarian, employed to undertake the cataloging and organisation of the lending library, and the cost for procurement of the necessary equipment, as well as part of the overall expenses required for
the smooth operation of the Library.
“Since 2017, our team have been working tirelessly for the creation and management of the first multilingual library in Athens, while in 2019 we launched our own space in Kypseli, the most multicultural neighbourhood in Athens. Despite the fact that we had the books, we lacked not only the know-how to proceed with their much necessary cataloging, but also the funds to hire a professional to undertake this work. With the valuable support from the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, a professional librarian joined our team; thus, we were able to begin the titanic process of cataloging, as well as the creation of an online catalogue and lending department in our space, all indispensable to ensure sustainability of both the library and our organisation altogether in the future. It is beyond doubt that this project will help provide the best possible service to the community, promote the library’s valuable items, increase the number of its members, and substantially upgrade their everyday life. For a small organisation like ‘We Need Books’, the kind donation by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation gives us impetus and strength to keep going.”
General Director, We Need Books
“Social Hacker” NGO is a non-profit organisation, which has created and operates in Athens the first model academy of technological education, “Social Hackers Academy”, for vulnerable social groups (unemployed, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers), in order to help participants develop their digital skills, and ensure their social inclusion and their integration into the labour market. The goal of the academy is to highlight the importance of lifelong learning, through seminars and training programmes which help develop personal skills and foster teamwork, social entrepreneurship and innovation.
In 2020 the Social Hackers Academy, specialising in technological education, and the Centre for Research on Women’s Issues (CRWI) “Diotima”, with long experience in women’s empowerment, joined forces and implemented, with funding by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the programme “Women Going Digital: Empowerment of the technological/digital skills of unemployed women and their connection to the labour market”. The Programme aimed at empowering unemployed women by strengthening their digital skills, upgrading their professional profile, facilitating their access to the labour market, raising awareness on low representation of women in ICT, and taking action to bridge the gender digital divide.
Within this framework, the participants were trained in the building and management of WordPress websites and basic computer skills, attended seminars for the development of soft skills, and networked with the labour market. Upon completion of the Programme, a research study entitled “Gender and Digital
Exclusion in Greece” was conducted to shed light on the various aspects of low representation of women in the technology sector, seeking to encourage mitigation policies and practices. The study is available on the website of “Diotima” Centre.
“With the support of the Latsis Foundation, we were able to focus on empowering women towards their integration in the field of Technology (first in educational and then in professional terms). For this purpose, we collaborated with ‘Diotima’ Centre to design a comprehensive training programme and to conduct a research study on the position of women in the field of IT. Through the ‘Women Going Digital’ programme, which was implemented mostly online due to the current circumstances, we brought together women from all over Greece with an interest and/or prior experience in the field of technology, to help them develop their skills, interact with professionals, and build their network towards, with a view to enhancing their employability.”
Programme's Manager/Fundraising & Operations Coordinator, Social Hackers Academy
“Thank you for the great opportunity, the management and support you have offered to all of us. I am currently discussing my recruitment with an online private tutoring entity, and the publishing department of a well-known educational Group. After a long period of unemployment, I think I can smile with satisfaction again.” Student of the 1st cycle of studies
“Network for Children’s Rights” is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of children’s rights, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, with particular emphasis on the needs of children at risk of social exclusion and marginalisation. As part of its activities, it operates six facilities in the centre of Athens, hosting specialised educational programmes, creative group activities, as well as non-formal education activities for children regardless of ethnic origin, race, gender, religion or language. At the same time, it implements psychosocial and legal assistance actions, runs various awareness initiatives, and cooperates with institutional bodies engaged in child protection.
One of the activities implemented by the Network for Children’s Rights is the “Young Journalists” Programme, which seeks to bring together teenagers and young adults of different nationalities, with the aim of publishing the multilingual newspaper “Migratory Birds”. The activity aims at fostering the social integration of refugees and migrants, combating xenophobia, as well as promoting the values of journalism and the strengthening of intercultural dialogue. “Migratory Birds” is the first newspaper written exclusively by teenage refugees, immigrants and Greeks with texts in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Greek, English, French and Spanish.
In order to adapt the newspaper to the digital era, the “Migratory Birds” developed and launched in 2020 a website which hosts digital versions of all the issues that have been published. The Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supported this activity, partially covering the cost of employment of the Content Manager of the new website, who undertook to digitise the content of the printed issues to make them freely accessible online through the newspaper’s website.
At the same time, with the support of the Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the first phase of the programme “We are here too!” has been implemented; the ultimate aim of this programme is to promote and disseminate children’s rights to children, parents, teachers and the general public, focusing on health and development issues. The programme is implemented through the creation of a short film with the technique of stop motion animation, LEGO bricks being the basic material used.
In the framework of implementation of the programme, 4 online workshops were held for teachers from all over Greece and abroad (train the trainers); through these seminars, the participants acquired both theoretical-introductory information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and practical skills in creative writing and audiovisual media. Similarly, children aged 9-12 took part in a series of creative writing seminars held by a screenwriter specialist with the participation of a filmmaker.
These creative meetings resulted in the production of the short stop motion animation film entitled “The Giants Are Coming”, which focused on the Right of the Child to Health and the right of access (children with disabilities). The film, whose script was written by the young participants in the workshops, premiered on 22 November 2020 on the Network’s YouTube channel on the occasion of the World Children’s Day; it was screened at Chania Film Festival in December 2020 and it is freely accessible on the Network’s website.
“The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supported the ‘Young Journalists’ programme run by the Network for Children’s Rights, and in particular the development of an online version of the multilingual newspaper ‘Migratory Birds’. This initiative offers teenagers and young adults the opportunity to freely express themselves, by giving, among other things, a voice to the country's refugee population. At the same time, the programme operates as a non-formal education activity, aiming at familiarising the team
with digital tools, gaining press-related experience, as well as strengthening their social integration.”
Web Content Manager, “Migratory Birds” newspaperισμού ιστοσελίδας, Εφημερίδα «Αποδημητικά Πουλιά»
“Positive Voice” is the Association of People Living with HIV in Greece, a non-profit association aiming at ensuring best prevention and information practices, healthcare services and social care for HIV-positive individuals and HIV-vulnerable social groups through the operation of the “Checkpoint”, i.e. model non-clinical Centres for the prevention, information and promotion of medical screening for HIV, HBV (Hepatitis B) and HCV (Hepatitis C). Moreover, it is also working towards social acceptance, solidarity for and support of these groups, in order to safeguard their dignity and human rights.
In 2020 Positive Voice, participating in the global campaign “U=U”, implemented, with the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, a nationwide awareness campaign. The international movement “U=U” (Undetectable = Untransmittable), seeking to put an end to misinformation about how the virus is
transmitted, disseminates the scientific evidence regarding the fact that HIV-positive people who receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) and achieve undetectable viral load cannot practically transmit HIV; this movement is the most up-to-date tool for prevention, combating stigma and informing the public about the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment.
The TV spot of Positive Voice, entitled “U=U”, was aired both on television and on the Association’s website and social media on 20 November 2020, on the occasion of World AIDS Day (1 December), with the purpose of spreading the message that successful antiretroviral therapy prevents transmission of the virus and improves the social and sexual life of HIV-positive people.
“U=U is the scientific evidence that changes everything we knew about HIV and the ways it is transmitted, as it proclaims and proves that a person living with HIV who receives antiretroviral therapy and has achieved an undetectable viral load in their blood for at least 6 months, cannot practically transmit the virus to a sexual partner even in case of unprotected sex. We warmly thank the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation for the continuous support of our activities in general and this campaign in particular.”
Communication Manager, Positive Voice
Vouliwatch is an independent, non-profit open government initiative, aiming at strengthening fundamental democratic principles such as transparency and accountability, and promoting democratic participation and active citizenship with the help of digital technology. Vouliwatch offers citizens the opportunity to monitor and evaluate legislative and parliamentary activity in an understandable and straightforward way, to publicly ask questions addressed to MPs/MEPs, and to remain informed on issues of European and global interest, such as open government, the right of access to information and possible ways to fight corruption.
Vouliwatch is an official member of the Open Government Partnership (actively involved, as an advisor, in drafting the 2016-2018 National Open Government Action Plan), the United Nations Coalition Against Corruption (UNCAC), as well as an informal network of European NGOs campaigning for the right of access to public information. In addition, it is a founding member of the first International Parliamentwatch Network with similar initiatives from around the world.
In 2020 the Foundation supported Vouliwatch’s work, covering part of its operating costs, in order to ensure that it can carry on with its activity, interventions and creative work, and continue performing its supervisory role and offering citizens direct and objective information and analysis of the dense law-making process. Throughout 2020, Vouliwatch implemented various advocacy and information actions focusing on the effects of the pandemic, including signing the letter of the civil society members of Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) Steering Committee for the protection of open, inclusive and accountable governance, with democratic standards and personal rights amidst the pandemic, and sending a letter to ensure both the quantity and quality of legislative work.
“Given that all our services and the information we collect on the work of Parliament are offered for free, in March 2020 Vouliwatch found itself in a precarious financial situation with its liquidity significantly restricted. The Latsis Foundation has provided valuable support for our work, ensuring the organisation’s survival. Vouliwatch has carried on with and expanded its advocacy for transparency and accountability, through information campaigns and campaigns on using the law as a tool for change as regards the use of public funds amidst a pandemic, by keeping track of legislation enacted to manage this emergency situation, and by expanding its digital applications for transparency regarding the assets of politicians (a tool for comparing ‘pothen esches’ statements, i.e. politicians’ assets and funds-source declarations).”
With the common vision of supporting excellence, Olympic spirit and the hopes of young athletes, the Latsis Foundation has joined forces for the fourth consecutive year with the A. G. Leventis Foundation and the Hellenic Initiative, supporting Greek and Cypriot athletes who continue their preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The three institutions awarded a total of 41 scholarships to athletes who stood out for their performance in 2019.
The Olympic Preparation Scholarship Programme of the A. G. Leventis Foundation has become a well-established institution as it has been supporting, for the last 21 years, those who train hard, often in unfavourable conditions, in order to be able to deservedly compete with the best of the world in this great celebration of athleticism, the Olympic Games. Notwithstanding any difficulty, Greece has a long tradition of successful participation in the Olympic Games, having, for instance, ranked 39th in the list of medals among the 207 participating countries in the previous Olympics (Rio, Brazil – 2016).
“The public benefit activities and the financial support in the field of sports under the Olympic Preparation Scholarship Programme significantly helps elite athletes continue their efforts uneventfully amidst the difficult current conditions. For me, this financial support is paramount, since it allows me to meet my basic needs without depending on my family, and to continue pursuing my big goal, namely my participation in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and ultimately my distinction therein.”
An additional part of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation’s activities is the operation of the Neraida Floating Museum, the objective of which is, among other things, to promote the country’s shipping, maritime and business history, as well as to contribute to the protection of the marine environment, through activities of an educational, informative and scientific nature.
The Neraida Floating Museum is berthed at Flisvos Marina and admission is free for the general public. Its visitors have the opportunity to tour the vessel and get to know the Museum’s collection, which tells both the story of the vessel itself, namely the passenger ship “Neraida”, one of the symbols of Greek coastal navigation which sailed in the Saronic Gulf from 1950 to 1974, as well as the chronicle of its reconstruction into a modern and seaworthy floating museum. A second central narrative of the exhibition is dedicated to the business career of its owner, John Latsis, which runs through the entire 20th century.
During 2020, following the global trends, the Neraida Floating Museum adapted to the special health circumstances that dictated suspending its operation to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus and strengthened its online presence, highlighting its digital activities, opening up new channels of communication and expanding its audience.
Within that framework, in 2020 the Neraida Floating Museum participated in the anniversary events for the digital celebration of the International Museum Day with the theme “Museums for Equality: Diversity
and Inclusion”. By choosing this particular theme, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) aimed to highlight the social value and significant role that museums play, as contributors to social change and development, in terms of acting as a point of connection between different communities, contributing to social cohesion and promoting social diversity. As part of this initiative, the Neraida Floating Museum designed and implemented two new digital activities for both children and adults: a virtual tour of the Museum, which, using narration and photographs, gave viewers the opportunity to board the ship virtually, to digitally tour the exhibition hosted aboard and to get to know the ship’s main stories; and a creative activity for primary school-aged children entitled “The ship in quarantine!” whereby, through painting, children were given the opportunity to visualise and depict the Museum when reopened.
The educational interactive programme “Travelling with the Neraida: A Game on Board” continued during the first six months of the 2019-2020 school year, offering the opportunity to primary school pupils to become familiar with issues relating to the maritime history and tradition of Greece. The programme is specially designed for the third to sixth grades of primary school and is held free of charge at the Museum’s premises. Qualified museumpedagogues carry out a series of group games and experiential activities, encouraging the children, through play and discovery, to explore the historic ship, to learn about aspects of Greek shipping and ferrying of the 20th century, and explore individual themes, such as voyaging and sea, ships and shipping, communication and transportation, people and memories.
Since March 2020, and following the suspension of operation of the museums across Greece as a prevention measure to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the Neraida Floating Museum has adapted its actions and continued its work online, mostly through digital activities, web conferences, etc. 356 children participated in the educational programme in 2020. Class visits were organized for 9 schools. 17 educational programmes were implemented for primary school students.
In October 2020, the 2nd Conference of Seaguards, organised by Safe Water Sports non-profit organisation, was held online at the Neraida Floating Museum, with the online attendance of the Deputy Minister of Education, Ms Sofia Zacharaki, and the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
During the Conference, schools from all regions of Greece and schools from Cyprus, that excelled in the e-learing educational programme of Safe Water Sports during the 2019-2020 school year received an award and were honored with the donation of education material in order to implement activities for safety at sea and water. In addition, the teachers who implemented the programme presented the activities of their respective school and analysed the best practices of the programme.
The awarded schools will act as ambassadors of the programme, so that this information/education may “travel” to as many students as possible, in order to help them become familiar with water safety rules. Through the educational programme, Safe Water Sports has managed to inform and educate more than
250,000 children to date.
The schools that excelled and received award are:
In the summer of 2020, Safe Water Sports non-profit organisation, with the support of the Neraida Floating Museum and the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, launched an information campaign for the elderly regarding their safety at sea and water. This initiative has been implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, the Coast Guard and the Ministry of Health, following the alarming statistics provided by the Observatory of Accidents, a tool which, since 2017, monitors and records accidents in the Greek seas.
The aim of the campaign is to inform the elderly and to raise awareness through short videos containing tips, safety rules and instructions from doctors, lifeguards and swimming instructors.