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In the summer of 2021, North Evia experienced one of the worst natural disasters in Greece’s recent history. Devastating wildfires scorched 508,000 acres, destroying homes, schools, roads, factories, and much of the region’s rich forests and wildlife.

The effects of the fires have been felt widely and deeply by local communities whose livelihoods are inextricably linked to the land. In response, in August 2021, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announced a €15 million grant aiming to help alleviate the severe aftereffects of the disaster and to support those most affected by the fires. Following the announcement, a team from SNF held meetings with residents and local authorities to listen to the needs of communities in the region, to document the damage inflicted on the region’s ecosystem-based economy, and to study how we could contribute to a new beginning for the region and its inhabitants.

As part of this ongoing effort, we have made grants to the following nonprofit organizations:

New Agriculture New Generation, to support four groups of residents in the region:

  1. Beekeepers
    Training for the recovery of lost bee colonies
    Creation of a pilot beekeeping park in the private Noel-Baker Forest
    Purchase of professional equipment
  2. Resin Producers and Forestry Worker
    Replacement of technical and safety equipment 
  3. Stock Farmers
    Training on animal welfare, breeding, and feeding
  4. Local Communities
    Support for household food production

Additional support through New Agriculture New Generation to local animal breeders for feed and the transportation of storage containers.

Αction Aid Hellas, for the creation of an Open Community Center in the Mantoudi-Limni-Agia Anna Municipality, to help strengthen the local community with the following resources:

  • Psychosocial care for local residents at the Center and through a mobile unit, in collaboration with ARGO Federation of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health Organizations
  • Educational programs and workshops in collaboration with New Agriculture New Generation, to encourage agricultural entrepreneurship and economic diversification
  • Skill development programs for people who are unemployed
  • Educational programs and activities for elementary and high school students, including STEM programs in collaboration with Science Communication (SciCo)

The Association of Volunteer Forest Firefighters and Rescuers of Elymnia for:

  • Swift water and flood rescue training for volunteers
  • Protective equipment for swift water and flood rescue volunteers

Desmos for the Desmos for Youth program in Northern Evia, to provide young people with employment at nonprofits active in the area

Istorima for an oral history project to document and share the region’s history prior to and during the fires, through training and employment for eight young people from the area

Nautical Club of Limni for procurement of equipment and implementation of educational programming for local children about water sports

Association of Volunteer Forest Fire Fighters of North-Central Evia for protective and firefighting equipment

We’ll continue to stand with the residents of northern Evia as they rebuild, supporting them as best we can through this difficult time and collaborating with local communities to help them turn the page to a brighter new chapter.