Mission to South Africa
(May 10th-18th 2001)
Johannesburg – Pretoria
The “Golden Crown” of Ecumenical Hellenism was given to President Nelson Mandela and a visit to SOWETO was held.
80 members participated
The Leaders of the Mission were the following:
- P. Skandalakis, MP at New Democracy, Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of the Hellenic Parliament
- Giannakopoulos, MP at PASOK, Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Educational Affairs
- A. Kintis, Dean of the Athens University of Economics and Business
- P. Dimopoulos, General Prosecutor of the High Courts
During the events, the two-volume projects MACEDONIA and HOLY PILGRIMAGES – TOWERS OF ORTHODOXY were offered free of charge from the Program in Greek and English, to Greek and foreign libraries of South Africa in the framework of international information on Greek culture issues.
An event at the Association of South African Macedonians with the participation of the Greek Spiritual Movement of South Africa (EPNEK), during which artistic creations of the South African Greeks were presented on the Macedonian issue, with the participation of the choirs, made up of Greeks, but also indigenous Africans, who hellenistically sang Greek songs embracing Greek ideals and culture.
SAINT ANDREAS AT KRUGERSDORF
An event in the parish of Saint Andrew, where Greeks and Cypriots presented the actions and the problems facing the Greek community.
VISIT TO SOWETO SCHOOLS
Trip to Soweto, the Johannesburg Ghetto, where a visit was made to a school where children presented their educational activity, which also includes the teaching of Greek culture and tradition. The effort of the Greeks of the Orthodox community and the Eminent Metropolitan of Ioannina, Mr. Seraphim, to help Africans overcome the problems of poverty, violence and misery, focuses not on philanthropy but on helping to educate children as a long-term solution to the problems they face. Meetings were held with representatives of local authorities and the ruling ANC to present the problems faced by Africans after the transition to a democratic regime.
In the parish of Saint Pantanassa, an event was held in honor of the Greek mothers and the role they play in preserving our national and cultural heritage. A workshop followed: The Greek Education in South Africa. OLYMPIC AIRLINES, as the leading donor of the Mission was honored for its contribution towards our effort.
THE SCHOOL OF THE SAHETI GENDRE
Visit to the SAHETI School, Genoa School, where students presented extracts from the March 25thevents. SAHETI is a school that’s open to every nationality, and was open even in the years of Apartheid. A presentation of educational activity and the transmission of Greek education to an amalgam of nationalities was presented.
The President of the Hellenic Ecumenical Program Stavros Panousopoulos presented to President Nelson Mandela a “Golden Crown” made by A. Friderikos and the two-volume project MAKEDONIA as recognition of his contribution to peace and his philhellenic feelings through the President of the School Mr. Giorgos Bizou, Attorney of President Mandela during his imprisonment and strong activist in favor of human rights.
Representatives attended from: Parliament, Academic area, media, the municipalities of Evrimenon, Parapotamos, Sithonia, Maroussi, Astrous, the companies: NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, I. KOTSONIS SA, VIOTER SA, PR. PETTAS SA, S. VARNAKIOTIS SA, ELLENKO SA, ATHENS CLINIC SA, KUMAKIS SA, KLEMAN SA, VICTORY STOCKBROKERS, MEDICAL MAXXICO, SMAILIS CREATION, MAKE UP HELLAS SA.
The leading sponsor, who contributed to the Mission of the Hellenic Republic of South Africa, was OLYMPIC AIRLINES SA. At the initiative of President Kalopoulos, our national carrier supported the Hellenic Route to Hellenism, demonstrating once again the special awareness and support of the administration regarding activities concerning the homogeneity and the dissemination of Greek culture.