THI Australia Extends Support To Public Healthcare And Work Reintegration Projects With New Grants

November 7, 2023

The Hellenic Initiative Australia announced two new grants totalling approximately AU$95,000 which have been awarded to Greek charities Doctors of the World Greece Foundation (MdM Greece) and Ithaca Laundry (Ithaca). The grants were made possible thanks to the generosity of a Greek-Australian donor who has been a dedicated supporter of THI Australia since its inception. 

These grants to MdM Greece (AU$50,000) and Ithaca (AU$45,000) will enable these charities to continue and build upon the life-changing projects previously backed by THI Australia. 

MdM Greece will continue delivering services provided by the THI Australia – MdM Greece Public Health Project in Athens with their latest THI Australia grant. It will help support the project’s operations, including the expenses associated with medical and healthcare professionals, as well as emergency pharmaceuticals. This funding will enhance the general health conditions and disease prevention efforts for vulnerable social groups in Greece, by offering accessible and qualitative health services to disadvantaged persons over a 12-month period. 

During the previous grant period from July 2022 to June 2023, the THI Australia – MdM Greece Public Health Project successfully conducted 13,113 consultations, performed 3,143 medical assessments, and administered 1,193 emergency pharmaceutical treatments at its Open Polyclinic in Athens. These services were provided to individuals who lacked access to the national health system and were unable to afford the high expenses associated with medical care. 

One of these individuals was a 76-year-old homeless man named ‘Yiannis’ (name changed for privacy) who had no family or support network. When he initially visited the Open Polyclinic, his medical condition was critical, marked by an untreated diabetic ulcer and a cardiac issue. He was subsequently referred to a specialised hospital for the management of his chronic heart disease. Yiannis later expressed his gratitude, ‘This is the first time after a long period of time that anyone has cared in this way for my health conditions and for me as a living human being.’ 

‘We are most grateful to our long-standing benefactor, Con Berbatis, for his significant support and commitment to the Public Health Project for its first three years and we look forward to our continued collaboration with MdM Greece,’ said THI Australia’s President, Nick Pappas AM.  

Ithaca’s latest THI Australia grant will enable the charity to employ a disadvantaged individual as part of its established Work Integration Program previously supported by THI Australia. This funding will provide the employee of the Work Integration Program the opportunity to acquire valuable skills and experience by working as a field worker for the mobile laundry service, ultimately aiming for their successful and permanent reintegration into the workforce. 

Furthermore, this grant will contribute to the salary of a social worker who will collaborate with the field worker, offering crucial social support to the beneficiaries of the mobile laundry service while their clothing is being laundered. 

This grant will extend its benefits beyond these employees to members of vulnerable communities served by Ithaca, including the homeless, rough sleepers, refugees, and the elderly, all of whom will have access to this invaluable free laundry service. 

During the 2022-2023 THI Australia grant period, the Work Integration Program made a significant impact and contributed to Ithaca serving 1,100 beneficiaries, providing 22,530 kilos of clean clothes, and offering three individuals from socially vulnerable backgrounds with ongoing employment, continuous empowerment, and skill development. 

THI Australia is proud to continue its support for these important programs in collaboration with MdM Greece and Ithaca. 

If you would like to make a donation to one of our partner charities, please feel free to do so through THI Australia’s secure online platform. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia.  

Media Enquiries:  

Stergitsa Zamagias-Hill, Chief Executive Officer +61 402 878 805 [email protected]