Initiative Against the Greek Crisis (1st Program: 2012-2015, 2nd Program: 2015-2016)

Out Here: a documentary film presenting the impact of the first ‘Initiative Against the Greek Crisis’ (2012-2015)

Responding to the severe consequences of a prolonged socioeconomic crisis, in 2012 SNF initiated an emergency grant initiative to nonprofit organizations in Greece, above and beyond the Foundation’s usual grantmaking. The aim was assist in mitigating the worst effects of the crisis by helping the organizations that help those most in need.

During the first phase of the initiative, beginning in 2012, 220 grants totaling $130 million helped ensure the sustainability of hundreds of Greek nonprofit organizations and the vital social programs they offer. See the stories of people living through the crisis through Out Here, a short documentary commissioned by SNF; watch a press conference on the first year of phase one; read a brochure on the first phase of the initiative; and read a summary or the full text of the impact assessment conducted by Deloitte.

Building on the impacts of the first phase of the initiative, a second phase intensified efforts, allocating an additional $112 million in grants beginning in June 2015.

Grants in both phases of the initiative went to support a wide variety of organizations, but particular areas of focus included healthcare, food, and housing. In the area of healthcare, SNF grants went to strengthening radiotherapy capabilities in public hospitals, emergency response infrastructure, and access to care in remote parts of Greece. In food, SNF helped provide healthy meals to kids in public schools and nutrition education to families. And in housing, SNF supported day centers for the homeless in Athens and Thessaloniki and helped housing-insecure families avoid homelessness.

On October 3, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced a call to action to help create new opportunities for Greece’s younger generations, which are severely impacted by the country’s current alarming unemployment rate. Fully aware that according to the latest official measurement of August 2013 the unemployment rate for young people in Greece exceeds 60%, the Foundation has committed a long-term grant of $136 million towards this effort.

The Foundation recognized that changing the current landscape cannot be attained through the commitment of funds only, however significant they may be. The creation of new opportunities requires innovation and the collaboration and convergence of different sectors including public, private, and philanthropy.

To that end, the Foundation convened a conference in New York on April 3rd and April 4th 2014, bringing together economists, policy makers, foundations, NGOs, government officials and businessmen, for the sole purpose of exploring enterprising initiatives that could potentially lead to job creation and growth and provide job opportunities.

Youth unemployment is critically high in Greece, but it is a serious problem that confronts most developed economies. In announcing this new initiative, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation aimed not only to help the unemployed youth in Greece, but also to develop a paradigm, a forum and a debate on effective ways to address the issue on a much broader level.