Monopati - A Greek word for "path" and the small steps taken one at a time by those who may happen to walk alone and yet travel together. It is the path that we, the people, throughout the free world, must all take in order to meet one another and to move together along a treacherous road through the fear and ignorance that have helped to fuel the current political, religious, and social divide. At the inspiration of the current ambassador of Afghanistan to Greece, the honorable Omar Said Sultan, The Arete Fund in collaboration with the Mycenaean Foundation joins with citizens worldwide who seek the path of culture as a way to better the lives of those who have been orphaned by war in their home countries.
Our aim in the short term is to engage in cross cultural activities, i.e. sport, art, and music that engender human fellowship and good will. It is with small steps that Monopati will take its first action among the displaced Afghanis in Greece – once the home of Western democracy and today a place much beleaguered by the burdens of its own economic challenges and taxed by the famous generosity it has shown in recent years to those who have already come to its shores.
As those who have inherited the blessings of democracy, we are free to say no to the rising tide of intolerance by saying yes to small acts of kindness, respect, and good will. In so doing, we will proceed along the path to a place of greater dignity, peace, and freedom - the democracy enshrined in our very beings when all else fails. While we, the (ordinary) people may not be able ensure the lives or liberties of those currently displaced, distressed, or denied their basic human rights, we can at least pursue a little happiness together.”
FOOD FOR REFUGEES ON SAMOS ISLAND
The Ambassador Omar Said Sultan with Dianne
and Steve de Laet. Athens, Greece June, 2018
HERO CAMP DAY AT ELAGAIA
It has come to our attention that among those unaccompanied minors from war-torn Afghanistan that children as young as nine years of age are committing suicide.
Given the loss of homeland, personal identity as well as security, it is likely that such children do not recognize themselves for the heroes they are for having already prevailed against obstacles that few of us can imagine. MONOPATI is committed to reminding these children of the heroes they are and the heroes they must continually choose to be by providing a day-long celebration in their honor at ElaGaia, a traditional farmhouse located in close proximity to home of the hero, Herakles, and the places where he presumably accomplished the some of his earlier labors, namely the slaying of the Nemean Lion, the Hydra of Lerna, and his capture of the sacred stag of Artemis. This celebration will naturally involve good food and traditional music, as well as discussion around the theme of the HERO. This will be accomplished by means of an exploration of artistic media that includes storytelling, mask-making, poetry, ceramics, etc. We will enlist artist volunteers and experts for their help in implementing the program.
It is our goal to engage the Afghani youth, some of whom are unaccompanied minors, in an art project called HOME. With the art supplies delivered by Mina’s horses, we will invite interested children to draw two simple pictures: one of the home that was left behind in Afghanistan and a second image that pictures the imagined home of the future. With even twenty submissions, The Arete M-A Fund will publish a book called that features full page drawings on opposite pages that may or may not include a small thumbnail photo of the artist. ! would become available on Amazon or Monopati’s webpage on The Arete M-A Fund website. Those who wish to make substantive donations to Monopati would receive a copy of HOME! as our gift.
According to the International Rescue Committee, Greece hosts approximately 50,000 refugees, most of whom remain in the country. Refugees are people full of potential who want to lead self-sufficien lives and contribute to their new communities. The IRC provides assistance to the camps near Athens and on the island of Lesbos, but there is little assistance on the island of Samos, where the number of refugees has grown to 5,000, most of whom are women and children.
We visited Samos last year after being introduced to Janita Marolias, the founder and chair of Food for Refugees, a non-profit and non-government organization that was founded in 2015 to secure medical supplies and nourishment for pregnant women and newborn children. Ongoing funding is needed for medication, fresh produce, vitamins, and healthcare. Janita along with her husband Andreas, have delivered food and medical care to thousands on Samos.
The refugee camp on Samos was built for 650 people, and the ever-growing population has created a humanitarian disaster similar to that on Lesbos. Many of the refugees live in small pop up tents, and while some of the more fortunate live in small container houses, many have only a blanket to sleep beneath.
Over 30 percent of these 5,000 are children, from newborns to age 18. More than 300 women who arrived last year were pregnant, and gave birth during the winter.
Food for Refugees collects food and medicine from spring through fall, and then provides supplies and care throughout the colder months. Many in the camp would starve without the support that FFR provides, because the supply of food frequently runs out before all are fed.
Food for Refugees is a first step for many who have lost their home. Basic health and wellness are essential for a more safe, secure future.
Food for Refugees believes that the only reason to look down on someone is when you bend down to help them up. One day, you or a loved one may need help yourself!
Food For Refugees Address:
c/o Marolias, A.
Lykourgo str 8
80103 Pythagorion Samos