The “Ark of the World” takes care of children that have been experiencing abandonment, racism and social exclusion on daily basis in one of the most downgraded regions of Athens, the “Platonos” Academy.
It was founded in 1998 by Father Antonios Papanikolaou (26 years old at the time) with a vision to constitute a point of care, support and hope for a prosperous future of these children, the children of “another” Athens.
The Ark is taking care today about 200 children – infants to eighteen years old children- in a multi-religious and multicultural community, which flourishes and achieves great things with the love of God.
The 150 Greek children along with children from Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Afghanistan and Iraq, experience harmoniously the affection and peace of the Ark that relieves them from poverty, hunger, illnesses, misery, exploitation and illiteracy.
There are volunteers that unselfishly take care of the basic needs of children as feeding, clothing, entertainment, nursing and school integration. Other volunteers take care of their education with free tutorial courses and professional training. Volunteers and donators contribute in the social integration of the children with the continuous care of Father Antonios.
The goal of Father Antonios is to keep the children with their mothers and not to be institutionalized.
In order to achieve this goal, homeless and no income mothers, are strengthened with economic aid on a monthly basis (rents for small residences, water and electricity bills etc.). Moreover, these mothers are helped to find a job in order to stand on their own feet and be responsible of their children.
Despite the serious shortage of means that Ark faces, such as lack of money and infrastructure, its efforts are very important and have been recognized with national and international distinctions.
The Ark has been awarded by two Presidents of the Greek Republic Mr. Konstantinos Stefanopoulos in November 2003 and Mr. Karolos Papoulias in December 2005, as one of the best organisations for the wellbeing of children in Greece.
The European Observatory against Racism and Xenophobia has described Ark as “The brightest example against Racism and Xenophobia in Greece” for the year 2003.
In December 2004 the Ark was awarded by UNESCO.
In December 2008, Father Antonios Papanikolaou has been awarded by the Athens Academy for his humanity and his exceptional voluntary work.
We invite you to visit the “Ark of the World” in order to meet our children, our volunteers, familiarize with our environment and our promising vision.
Your donations will be highly appreciated and help us to achieve our aims.
Together we can!