From the Greek Crowdfund campaign, to the “Desmos for Youth” program
How a campaign from the people, for the people
has positively impacted the lives of thousands across Greece.
On Monday the 4th of July – one year since the Greek Crowdfund Campaign was initiated, and also the completion of the first semester of the employment of the youths selected to participate at the “Desmos for Youth” program – a press conference was organised for the presentation of the first results of the program, in the always hospitable space of New Hotel.
Our honorary guest was Thom Feeney, the British philhellene who organized the phenomenal Greek Crowdfund Campaign campaign last summer activating almost 14,000 donors from all over the world, to finally raise € 289,152 in just two weeks, for the funding of the program “Desmos for Youth.”
During the press conference, Thom had the opportunity to meet the 15 participants of the program and to learn more about the work of the organisations that are currently employing the youths.
It was a particularly emotional day for the entire team of Desmos, since we had the chance to share the program’s encouraging results with the public, after only 6 months of implementation, but to also host Thom in his first trip to Greece, which he so substantially helped, without having any previous affiliation with the country or Desmos.
You may find the video with english subtitles here.
Thanks to the Greek Crowdfund campaign and the “Desmos for Youth” program, since January of 2016 Desmos has been able to sponsor 15 new employment positions in charitable organisations located in Athens, Thessaloniki and Drama, exclusively for previously unemployed youths aged 18-29 y.o.. The organisations and the youths were selected following an open invitation for applications and the evaluation of more than 100 proposals. So far, the program reports 20,000 beneficiaries across Greece, with an expanding geographical reach covering areas such as Chalkida, Tripoli, Lamia, Nafplio, Argos, Leros, Kilkis but also cities outside of Greece such as Lemesos, Nicosia etc.
The qualitative impact of the program is equally significant as beneficiaries, direct and indirect, describe that they have experienced their lives transform substantially over the past months. Thanks to the positions filled by “Desmos for Youth” employees, the participating organizations have managed to better organize their operations, develop methodically their actions and programs, address their beneficiaries’ needs more effectively, utilize volunteers more efficiently, expand their network and successfully pursue further funding. Describing the employee hired through “Desmos for Youth”, one organization’s representative stated: “Without the support of Desmos [our educational programs] would have collapsed. With her enthusiasm, she brought fresh ideas that transformed our organizational culture and helped us continue our social work”.
Out of the 15 youths hired through the program, 7 were either the first employee of the organization, or the only person responsible for a specific project, while for 10 youths hired through the program, this was their first opportunity to work full-time in their area of expertise. The “Desmos for Youth” program covers not only an extensive geographical area, but also a very wide range of specialties, jobs and organizational size.
With youth unemployment rates in Greece at 52,4% on March 2016 and one out of three Greeks living at risk of poverty or social exclusion, the first results of the “Desmos for Youth” program during the first semester alone are extremely promising, while the need to continue the program beyond 2016 is imperative.
The Greek Crowdfund campaign, the “Desmos for Youth” program and its participants, are a source of inspiration and proof to all of us, on how every single donation, no matter how small, has the power to bring about lasting change to the lives of those in need, even in times of crisis.
The organisations selected to participate in the “Desmos for Youth” program are the following:
1. “Nestor” Psychogeriatric Association: Memory Clinic Psychologist Program “I don’t forget my Memory”
2. Aggigma Zois.: Office Support – Project Management
3. Emfasis Foundation: Co-operations and Volunteers Manager
4. Drama Ladies Union (Drama): Mobile School Project Manager
5. Bridge – Solidarity reloaded: Mapping Project Coordinator
6. Special Education Center (Thessaloniki): Physical Education Teacher
7. Wildlife Protection Association ANIMA: Volunteers Manager
8. “Gerontas Paisios” Society of Love and Giving (Thessaloniki): Office Support – Volunteers Manager
9. ”Margarita” Vocational Training Center: Catering Workshop Trainer
10. Positive Voice: Athens Checkpoint Coordinator
11. Organization Earth : Educational Programs Coordinator
12. Melissa- Network of Migrant Women in Greece: Office Support– Project Manager
13. SciFy (Science For You): Junior Software Engineer
14. NGO CivisPlus:“AFTER SCHOOL” Program Coordinator
15. Desmos non profit foundation : “Desmos for Youth” Project Manager
You may find the video with english subtitles here.
The program “Desmos for Youth” could not have had this impact, without the support of the following important partners, who contributed to saving more than €30,000 for its implementation: Ouzo Plomariou of Isidoros Arvanitis S.A., BARETC S.A., INFORM Lykos S.A., DHL S.A., Aegean Airlines S.A., V+O Communications S.A., SOUND AND VISUAL – PAPATHANASIOU A. KONSTANTINOS A.E., and NEW Hotel, member of YES Hotels! and long-term supporter of Desmos.