The educational center is used by the Hellenic Police Force for training purposes. The renovation was implemented with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The grant is part of the SNF’s larger effort to support social welfare, one of the main programmatic areas of the Foundation. The remarks made during the event by Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, SNF Co-President, follow below:
"It is our pleasure and honor to be here with you today for the inauguration of the renovated outdoor grounds of the educational center in Markopoulo, which is being used for training purposes by the Police Force. Each time a grant is completed, my mind turns to our Founder—and my great uncle—Stavros Niarchos. Thanks to his generosity, over the past 23 years, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), an international philanthropic organization, has provided more than 4,500 grants in 124 nations totaling almost $2.9 billion, of which approximately two-thirds, almost $2 billion, have been allocated to Greece. Our mission is to support the public good, with particular attention given to our country of origin, Greece, which in recent years has required additional support due to the consequences of the economic crisis.
Social welfare is one of the main areas the Foundation focuses on. Through our grants, we try, to the best of our abilities, to contribute to effectively addressing critical issues facing our country. We act in a complementary manner, and do not replace the state, which first and foremost must act as a guardian of the common good. In this context, SNF grants cover a wide range, from programs to support social housing and combat homelessness, access to health services for Greek residents in remote areas and islands across the country, programs for support and social integration for refugees, as well as programs to enhance citizen security.
With the sole aim of further ensuring the safety and protection of our fellow citizens, we have supported institutions that fall under the auspices of the Ministry of Citizen Protection from the Foundation’s earliest days, in order to help them fulfil their mission towards the country’s citizens. Our belief—especially during the difficult times our country is facing—is that those in power, whether it is political, institutional or financial, must place themselves in the service of the common good, prioritizing the support and the well-being of our fellow human beings and, by extension, society as a whole.
Based on this philosophy, SNF has supported the women and men serving in the Police Force, the Fire Department, and the Coast Guard with grants totaling more than €50 million. As you may know, a €25 million grant towards the Fire Department is currently underway. In the past, SNF has supported, among other things, the procurement of a Super Puma helicopter, the purchase of 15 firefighting vehicles, the construction of the training center for the Special Disaster Response Unit, a two-year training program for Greek police officers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, participation in educational seminars and postgraduate programs for officers of the Cyber Crime Division, as well as the an educational program by the LAPD and the Virginia District Attorney for police officers and prosecutors in Greece, with the aim of combating domestic violence and animal abuse.
Our goal is that SNF grants will contribute, to the best of our abilities, towards a society that is safe and accessible to as many people as possible. Because a healthy and just society is capable, through its own means, to eliminate and set aside all difficulties.