It’s been 3 years since Emfasis was established in Athens, Greece. On June of 2013 the founders, motivated by the impact of the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Greece, took the initiative to assemble a team of volunteers willing to assist those living on the streets, using any means they could afford. Step by step, this team gradually grew, and was staffed with professional and experienced volunteers and through many adventures, today it boasts a team of a 140 volunteers and supporters. In the last 3 years, Emfasis has accomplished 9 special projects, which have had a direct positive impact on human needs. The volunteers have completed 76,100 hours in total of daily support and relief towards the less privileged in the streets, and around 3,500 fellow humans have benefited from Emphasis’s efforts – with these numbers increasing day by day.

On 23 June, Emfasis dedicated, like every year, its third anniversary to those who need urgent support and organized a bigger than usual action to approach even more people in need. The number of homeless, refugees and families who live below the poverty line in the center of Athens has increased sharply and their care has become priority. More than 20 dedicated citizens joined the two Emfasis Mobile Support Units and Street Workers, in order to distribute food and drink portions to the homeless and refugees who live in the streets of the capital. Thanks to the valuable and kind aid from citizens, such as cooks, drivers, and companies that have adopted corporate social responsibility policies, about 450 meals –consisting of spaghetti, meat, rice salad, desserts, water and juices – were prepared and shared out to benefit our fellow humans.

This action was a great success; not only in terms of numbers, but also in spreading the message of solidarity, thus uniting participants from different backgrounds, origins and cultures, towards a shared goal: the common good.

Unfortunately, this anniversary action is one of these occasions we all wish not to relive, because that would mean Emfasis would have no reason to exist, or else there would be an active and efficient governmental welfare mechanism. Or even better, words such as “homeless”, “refugees” or “needy families” would be unknown. At last, birthdays sometimes prove to be unwanted…

 

George Karalis

Volunteer Communicator

Emfasis Foundation