100 Young Ethnic Greeks from Southern Hemisphere Countries on their Visit to Athens 2004
The General Secretariat for Hellenes Abroad has announced it's next hospitality programme.
From January 17 to February 6, 2010, 100 young Greeks Abroad , ie young people with some Greek parentage or ancestry, are being invited to take part in a Greek Language and Culture programme organised by the General Secretariat. Those eligible will be aged 18-25, and from countries of the Southern Hemisphere, i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay, Panama, Peru, Chile, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The program has been running for several years and is particularly successful as it brings together young ethnic Greeks from many countries and allows them to taste and experience elements of our Hellenic culture, traditions and daily life in the 3 week period that they are here.
Based in Athens, the programme is multi-purpose and aims at
1. Improving the level of Greek language skills for young ethnic Greeks, whatever their field of studies or area of employment.
2. Reinforcing the Greek cultural identity of the participants.
3. Familiarising them with modern Greece
4. Bringing together young Diaspora Greeks from different countries but who have common cultural roots thus promoting and strengthening friendship bonds between them.
Those selected are very fortunate as they get to see so much. As guests of the Government, in fact, they have a kind of privileged exposure to so many facets of Greek daily life, of Greek Culture and History and even get to meeting many of the Nation's political and cultural leaders! They have so many events, excursions and happenings concentrated into that three week period that the experience is a life-changing one for many of the participants! The benefits from it stay with them forever!
Experience from previous programmes has taught us that the bonds of friendship that are forged during these hospitality programmes remain strong throughout the lives of the people who participate.
The hospitality programmes offered the year before the Athens' Olympics brought all the participants to the Athens 2004 HQ where they heard all about the Olympic Games and what they could expect. A lot of these young people went on to volunteer and come back to Athens to be part of the Homecoming of the Games and the celebration that followed, putting their considerable language skills and valuable services at the disposal of the organisers, as part of a large group of about 5000 volunteers referred to as Greeks Abroad, and putting their own mark on the success of Athens' Magical Olympic Games!
During the Games, the General Secretariat, referred to as GGAE, also offered hospitality for a small group of Greeks Abroad volunteers at a summer camp, or kataskinosi, in Vari in Southern Attica. This post is dedicated to them - the wonderful group of young Greeks from Australia, France, Jordan, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Cyprus, The UK, Egypt, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the USA, Canada and Japan, who came to be known as the Vari Group!
Members of the group keep in touch via Facebook and still meet whenever they get the chance! In fact, an official reunion is being planned for the Summer of 2010 - 6 years after the Games and they are hoping that the people who hosted them as well as their contacts at Athens 2004 will be there too!
These hospitality programmes offered by the GGAE are unique and wonderful programmes and we urge all those who can to take the offer up and send in an application.
Applications are available at Greek Embassies and Consulates in the countries that are eligible for participation! Apply now!
To read more details and how to apply, Click here
For a list of Greek Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Posts around the world: Click here