Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Finding hope in the midst of Greece’s financial crisis

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 4 luglio 2015

As the atmosphere of political and economic uncertainty intensifies in Greece, the consequences of the financial crisis are evident in the public. Haggard figures find a home in the pavements begging for change, literally and metaphorically. Citizens, fired with indignation, are taking the streets to protest the unfair policies. More recently, people afraid of what the future will bring for Greece’s economy, had been queuing in front of ATMs trying to take hold of their life savings until the Prime Minister of Greece, Tsipras, announced today that all banks have been closed and the maximum amount of money that can be withdrawn in a day from an ATM is 6o euros.Like the majority of the Greek population, I was feeling weary and hopeless while thinking about what the future holds for this country. Yet something happened which gave me the strength to look at the future from the lens of optimism once again.Yesterday I visited the YouSmile studio in Marousi, which is the youth branch of the well known Greek NGO “Smile of the Child” (Το Χαμόγελο του Παιδιού). This organisation was established after a 10 year old boy called Andreas, who was suffering from cancer, wrote in his diary that we must unite and help all children who are suffering in Greece despite their ethnic background or social class. This could happen, he wrote, by the creation of an organisation called “The Smile of the Child” because “every child deserves a smile”. Unfortunately he passed away soon after writing this in his diary but his father made “The Smile of the Child” the purpose of his life. 20 years later and this organisation has helped nearly a million children and their families all over Greece.I had the privilege to be part of a large gathering of young people ranging from the age of 13 to 20, where we got the chance to share our aspirations as volunteers and our concerns about our society. We played an ice-breaker game, where we had to pass a ball around and talk about the reasons we decided to volunteer in this organisation. I cannot describe to you how heart-warming this meeting was from me. I was struck by the selflessness and purity of everybody’s words and the genuine interest we all had for helping our society. As I heard my fellow volunteers voice their thoughts, the words of the ancient Greek philosopher Menander came to my mind.Our beloved country is facing great hardships at the moment yet it is in such times when humanity really shines. It is in such times that we must remain hopeful and strong. We must carry each other now. We must help each other in anyway possible. We must not give up! Mr. Giannopoulos, who founded “Smile of the Child” said to us yesterday “Children are not the future like we usually say. They are the present so we can have a future.” It is up to us, especially the youth, to bring a change in our society.After meeting up with all these lovely people yesterday, I was reminded of the power of the human soul, where no matter the difficult circumstances people are in, they are still able to dream and fight for a better future. After witnessing the dedication and the willingness to help by my fellow volunteers, I feel empowered and ready to face anything because I know we will make it! I know we will survive! I feel blessed to be a citizen of this beautiful country because beyond the dirty games of corrupted politicians who have paralyzed Greece’s economy, I see a future of young Greeks who are determined to resuscitate Greece and I am proud to be one of them. This is how I know that, like Sam Cooke famously proclaimed in his song, “A change is gonna come. Oh, yes it will!”

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