Look at pictures below for photographic presentation of projects we have been involved in.
Help Apokoronas Crete
(Please Note, We are not in any way connected with "Crete Needs our Help")
How it all began.
Together with my husband, I have lived here on Crete for over 6 years now. Over this time, we have learned and experienced a lot. Among this, the changes in the Greek economy.
We have seen how fewer and fewer have enough money to cover their basic needs. Suddenly grandparents' pensions, which in recent years has been reduced by 50%, cover the costs of a whole big family.
It is not always so easy to understand that many people in Greece are living in deep poverty. After the financial crisis hit, a large percentage of Greeks live below the poverty line and do not have money to cover their basic.
In Greece, there are no social safety net beyond what the family members are able to help with.
In 2015, a Danish citizen died here because the ambulance had not defibrillator. That is, they had, but it was faulty and there was no means to get it repaired.
This, together with a good number of articles in the Greek media did that we decided to find out how we could contribute.
We had conversations with social workers in Armenos, oustside Kalives where we live. There we got a lot of information, including that there are about 400 families in Apokoronas that is completely dependent on the help provided by various donations. These families are also given monthly "food bags" containing the most necessary based on the size of the family.
This was a very useful and productive meeting, which gave us more insight to the problems here, not to mention the scale that was larger than we had thought.
After the meeting we were invited by HARALAMPOS Koukinakis, mayor of Apokoronas, to further conversations with him and his associates. Very important because we then got the information we needed in terms of how "Social services" in Apokoronas works.
"Social Services" have been organized, after the last local elections, as a very important part of the help for the poorest in our society.
How we work.
It was, and is, very important to us that the help we are able to provide goes directly and un-cut to the people who really needs this. Our meetings with the people in charge, and our experience on how this works by the Social Councilors fully comprehend this.
The invaluable contact we now have with Niki and Argyro, who are politically and administratively responsible for "Social Services" is what really makes sure that absolutely everything that is donated will benefit the families that at any given time are registered as beneficiaries. They give us continuous information on what is happening and what it required at all times. This very important info allows us to concentrate on what is really needed at any given time.
Here on Crete the local priests is a very important part of the work being done. They know their village, and know who need help. They bring this forward to "Social services", who then take these families into their program for help. Disclosure of food and other items, and communication mainly goes through the local priests. They are very important coordinators, and a big reason to why this now works so very good-.
Since we started out work in 2015, we have collected between 1 and 2 tons of clothing, shoes, diapers, medical equipment and more. (In addition to a new defibrillator for Vamos so that we can avoid a tragedy as the one in 2015) All this is picked up by us at the airport, hotel or at the home of donors here on Crete. Everything is collected, repackaged, and photographed, published and passed on to the "Social Services" by us.
At the bottom of this page, there are pictures and information about what we have managed to contribute with so far.
Ongoing and completed projects are more detailed presented at this page.
We have worked hard also to collect money so that we have been able to help when acute needs have arisen. Before Christmas in 2015, we managed to collect € 1000, which was used to buy winter shoes for 80 children. No one thought we would make it, but we did.
The goal for Christmas 2016 year was bigger, much bigger. 340 pairs of shoes to children in Apokoronas who really needs it was our goal. Thanks to an incredible spirit of giving from over 70 individuals who have donated more than € 4,400. We have acheived our goal.
We are so happy because of this, it means that all the children got warm shoes for Christmas
A financial buffer is also important. Therefore, we have the financial "muscles" to react fast when needs are imminent. Therefore we have been able to buy diapers, food, matresses, what is needed.
Every contribution counts for those who really needs it.
For questions and comments, feel free to use the comments section at the bottom of this page, or send a direct e-mail to the e-mail address below.
If you want to support the work we do in Apokoronas, use Norwegian bank account 3632.55.06711 (Bodil Hamre)
Please contact me if more information is needed for the transfer.
Greetings from Bodil Hamre, firstname.lastname@example.org
Febrary 3rd 2017
Grocery shopping in Vrisses. 960 cans of milk, 400 kg of flour, 400 kg. assorted pasta, 500 kg lentils and beans, 300 kg rice. Over two tons of food, amazing :-)
In addition, 65 packages of diapers for adults in need of care. Total 2042 Euro, all donated from our wonderful supporters
22 December at the Social Supermarket in Nippos.
Local priests from all villages in Apokoronas came and collected everything to be delivered to the families who need it in their villages. This was food, shoes for children and other necessities. Big thanks to the priests who are so important in this work
On October 26, we delivered a full car with clothes, shoes, school supplies, household items, medical equipment, glasses and hand-knitted slippers to the Social Supermarket in Nippos. All this is brought here to Crete by wonderful supporters in Norway and Sweden
Every month the "Social Supermarket" is distributing bags of food to almost 400 families here in Apokoronas.This time we were able to contribute €300 for this with founds donated. All was used at the local supermarket in Vrissesto buy washing powder and other household items. This is also very much needed, wo when we were able to contribute, we are so happy we had the possability to do so thanks to the people supporting us
Lisbeth and Ann Torill from Trondheim, and another couple from Tromso came with all this in August (total of 100 kg). Picked up by us at the airport and at the hotel. Delivered to Niki and Argyro at Social Services in Nippo / Apokoronas.
Lena and Helena brought this with them to Crete in July. Lena had also collected among her friends. Everything delivered to Niki and Argyro at Social Services in Nippos / Apokoronas
Pia and her family came from Denmark bringing 5 suitcases full of clothes and other most needed things for our area. Pia also collected from locals here in Kalives.
We had the pleasure to collect this and bring it to Niki and Argyro in Social Services in Nippos.
We got a request from Social councellor Niki if there was any possability that we could help with diapers for children and adults. This was and is an acute need for this. We managed to collect 650 Euro from Norway, absolutely fantastic. All purchased locally through wholesale at a very nice price.
Niki had the list of the individual's needs, and everything was bought on the basis of this.
Anne Reidun and Einar has done a great job with the donation of a defibrillator to the health center in Vamos. Not only did they donated it, they also got it reprogrammed to Greek, with Greek manual so it can be used here in Crete. Also a big thanks to our always helpful lawyer, who prepared all the documents that were requested in relation to this. Without his help this defribrillator could never have been used.
Before Christmas in 2015, we received a plea for help for winter shoes for children in Apokoronas. The idea was that this was to be delivered from Social Services to children who do not have warm shoes for the winter. We managed to collect 1000 Euros, which all was used to buy 80 pair of winter shoes. Niki and Argyro brought a detailed list with all the kids, so everyone got their unique pair of shoes appropriate for the individual child.
Margrethe and Arve have a holiday home here in Apokoronas. Before school started in 2015 they brought large amounts of school supplies as it is a very great need for this. All delivered directly to social services in Armeni, to Filia who is a social worker here. Very nice, and something that was very much appreciated. Many parents do not have the opportunity to buy this for their children.
January 11. 2017
Acute need for diapers for adults. Purchased was made in a medical shop, and we also had the opportunity to buy a pressure-relieving mattress of an elderly lady with a great need for this.
At the same time we delivered a load of clothes, knitted winter socks, sweaters and other things that have been sent to us from Norway
December 14. 2016
A wonderful experience, we managed to collect more than 4,400 Euros to buy winter shoes for children in Apokoronas who really needed this. 340 pairs of warm shoes that is really needed now. A big thank you now before Christmas to all of you (over 60 donors) that have contributed to this from all involved here in Apokoronas
Acute need for diapers for adults. Thanks to money donated to us from Norway, we had the opportunity to contribute and meet the urgent need that was reported to us by social workers in Apokoronas.
Start of school in September. Many children did not have any of the most essential school material.
After have been told this, and asked by the social workers we managed to get collected 500 Euro for this.
Everything was bought based on a spesific list of each childs needs.
Donations of more than € 300 in July 2016 enabled us to buy fresh sausages as an additional contribution to food bags being delivered by Social Supermarket every month.
Anne Reidun and Einar drove from Norway to Crete in their special car, loaded with most needed donations to our area. They came straight to Nippos where they also met social councellor Niki and Argyro
Kristin from Bergen donated lactose milk mixture, and two Greek children donated toys.
Anne Reidun managed to create a couple of felted slippers while she was here on Crete. Everything collected by us and delivered to Niki and Argyro. (Our little dog makes sure that we do not give away her food also)
Bente brought diaper pants in whool, and cloth diapers, and also a very good idea for further production of this. We have knitting pattern for wool with Lanolin, and some have started working on this on this. We need more, so please contact us about this..
Felted slippers in Norwegian wool, in all sizes and colors are produced continuously in Norway. This is wonderful for the winter. Everything is delivered to Niki and Argyro at social services, and distributed to those who need it when winter comes. Anne Reidun is the artist making these
3 children, the youngest only two years old, slept on homemade mattresses. They had never had beds. We wanted to do something, so before Christmas in 2015, we managed to buy beds and got these delivered these using donations from Norway.
The children are calmer reports says, and finally sleeps well.
Many of the inmates at the prison in Chania lacked warm clothes towards winter 2015. From Social Services in Aporonas we received a request if we could contribute to this.Luckily we could. We got collected warm clothes and some shoes, which through Social Services were provided to inmates who needed it.