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On Wednesday, 23 June 2010, at 19:00, the 4th annual award of the "Prizes of the Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Albanians of Greek Descent (IAOA)" was held at the Peristera-Dourouti Monastery, University Campus of Ioannina. This initiative is aimed at rewarding the performance of undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Ioannina, who are Albanians of Greek descent, and offering them financial support.
In the presence of local government and academic community representatives, as well as of members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, a total of 11 prizes were awarded during the 2009-2010 academic year, of which 5 were awarded to undergraduate students and 6 to postgraduate students, who are Albanians of Greek descent and study at the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Philosophy, the School of Education, the School of Sciences and Technology, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Fine Arts and Art Sciences of the University of Ioannina. The programme has been running for 4 years, during which 39 prizes have been awarded in total.
In his opening speech, Mr Ioannis Gerothanasis, Dean of the University of Ioannina, stressed that:
"This initiative is part of the University's general policy ‘We Praise Effort, We Reward Performance’,” and added that “top students are models for the future of the country. And this is not only because of their performance. This is because they set targets and achieved them.” Then, Mr Dimitrios Afendoulis gave a speech. After thanking the Rector and Vice Rectors of the University on behalf of the BoD of the IAOA, he addressed the awardees, saying that “obviously, the prize awarded today and the cheque that accompanies it are only symbolic and cannot quantify the anxiety felt, the deprivations experienced and the strenuous efforts made by each and every one of you all these years. We wish and hope that your dreams will soon come true, which will make all of us prouder and stronger, so as to continue to support your efforts.”
The event ended with the award of the 11 prizes to the students.
The Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Albanians of Greek Descent (IAOA) was founded in 1991 by John Latsis and is part of the Latsis Foundation Network. It is funded exclusively by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
The IAOA mainly directs its funds towards educational initiatives that benefit the Greek National Minority living in Albania. Through the training centre-boarding school that has been operating since 1993 in Pogoniani, Epirus, it offers technical vocational training to young Albanians of Greek descent. The training centre has been operating for 17 years and has offered its services to more than 1,100 Albanians of Greek descent; on Thursday, 24 June 2010, a special ceremony will be held, during which 42 young students, who trained to become Plumbers, Auto Body Technicians and Hairdressers, will graduate. More information about the Foundation’s action is available at www.latsis-iaoa.gr.