“The Smile of the Child” National Day Against School Violence and Bullying – 6 March

11th Panhellenic School Awareness Campaign “Mila tora” (“Speak Now”)

According to a Panhellenic Survey on Bullying in 2023-2024:

  • 1 in 3 children in Greece say they have experienced some form of bullying.
  • 1 in 3 children who say they spend many hours daily on screens experience bullying.
  • 1 in 4 children feel that school does not teach them not to bully their peers.
  • 100% of children who would prefer to turn to a helpline for help, would choose the Organization’s National Helpline for Children SOS 1056

In 2023 the Center for Violence & Bullying noted:

  • 1 consultation every 2 days for bullying in children – 252 Total.
  • Increase of 47% of students’ participation in interventions on violence prevention
  • Every school day, prevention interventions were delivered to 230 pupils

On the occasion of the National Day Against School Violence and Bullying, March 6th, the Center for Violence & Bullying of “The Smile of the Child”, with the support of the European Antibullying Network, and in collaboration with the European Student Voluntary Network “YouSmile”, hosted an event at the Educational Center of “The Smile of the Child” in Koropi, Attica.

The event was held in the framework of a four-day action of the Organization to inform and raise awareness among 1.000 primary and secondary school students from schools in the Attica region on Bullying, under the coordination of its specialized psychologists.

Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, President of the BoD of the Organization, after welcoming the attendees, said: “1 in 3 children in Greece declare that they are bullied and this should concern us because a child who is bullied experiences a daily mental and physical horror, a Golgotha, and as a society we must do what is necessary to protect and shield our children. “The Smile of the Child” emphasizes Prevention, implementing a series of daily actions throughout Greece, with specialized psychologists. The need to implement prevention programs is also reflected in the statistics of our Organization, which show an 85% increase in the number of our interventions in schools on issues of violence and bullying.” He then announced the new and crucial collaboration of the Organization with NOYNOY: ““The Smile of the Child” and NOYNOY Gouda join forces and implement the program “You have the power within you” against domestic violence and bullying for 40.000 students in 450 schools across Greece for the period March 2024 – March 2025″, while he added “We are particularly proud about this new partnership with NOYNOY.  NOYNOY Gouda will support for one year the implementation of interactive prevention and awareness-raising interventions by a specialized team of psychologists of the Organization nationwide, to primary and secondary school students, teachers, parents and guardians. This year, with the valuable support of NOYNOY and through our –now– joint campaign against bullying, we will unite to fight this terrible phenomenon in a coordinated, practical and even more effective way, because every child has the power within it to overcome difficulties and with the right support and guidance, they will succeed!”

The Managing Director of NOYNOY, Mr. Konstantinos Maggioros, made the following remarks about the new collaboration with “The Smile of the Child”: “We are very glad for the special collaboration of Gouda NOYNOY with “The Smile of the Child” in the program against domestic violence and bullying “You have the power within you”. With respect and empathy for the great work that the Organization performs throughout Greece, we join forces to effectively combat this serious and -unfortunately- topical issue for young children. For us, practical contribution is an integral part of the values of NOYNOY, which for 95 years now has been “embracing” the family and is next to the Greek society, with deep sensitivity for the young generation, which is our hope and our future, because… every child has the power within it!”

“Children call the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 every day. In 2023, 1 child was calling every 2 days to receive psychological support for issues related to incidents of abuse, violence or anything else that affects children’s basic rights. It is also worth noting that, in 2023 approximately 30.000 children from schools we work with nationwide were informed”, underlined Ms. Ioanna Chardaloupa, psychologist and Coordinator of the Organization’s Center on Violence and Bullying. She then presented the findings of the Survey on Bullying for the 2023-2024 school year, which showed that Bullying has increased compared to the previous school year and is linked to Poverty and Inequalities. The survey was conducted in schools nationwide showing that:

  • 1 in 3 children (35.5%) in Greece say they have experienced some form of bullying
  • 1 in 3 children who say they spend many hours on screens each day experience bullying
  • 1 in 4 children (26.6%), nationally, across all grade levels, say they feel like school does not teach them not to bully their peers
  • 100% of children who would prefer to turn to a helpline for help, would choose the Organization’s National Helpline for Children SOS 1056
  • 1 in 2 children in the regions of Thessaly*, South Aegean*, Ionian Islands, Epirus and Attica say they have been bullied | * floods, fires
  • A slightly higher rate of bullying is recorded for girls compared to boys

The Survey HERE:

The Organization’s proposals as an Action Plan are the following:

  • Establish clear and concrete legislation against bullying
  • Child protection stakeholders to take initiative to conduct awareness-raising activities and training sessions, with the aim of building prevention and early detection capacities
  • School networks and educational establishments to develop and formulate clear anti-bullying policy (Protocol)
  • Funding for projects that focus on, or include, the phenomenon of bullying
  • Develop a long-term European campaign to raise awareness on bullying and structural ways to combat it

This was followed by the presentation of the art works created exclusively by students from schools in Greece for the Panhellenic School Awareness Campaign “Mila tora” (“Speak Now”), which was held with great success, with the participation of 71.342 students so far, for the 11th consecutive year, by the European Student Voluntary Network “YouSmile” of the Organization in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports. The Coordinator of the European Student Voluntary Network “YouSmile”, Georgina Tsagka, said that “The aim of “Mila tora” (“Speak Now”) campaign, which this year secured the participation of 541 schools and 15.156 students, is for all children to unite their voices against bullying, to speak up against this problem that affects their daily lives”.

You can see the projects HERE:

The student volunteers of ‘YouSmile’, and members of the Child Rights Team of the Organization, addressed students, as well as teachers and parents, having already prepared proposals for prevention actions and dealing with the phenomenon because, as they said, all the problems that a child may have, whether small or big… are important!

If you are being bullied

  • Learn what bullying is
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Clarify your feelings to the person who is bullying you –if you feel that you can
  • Get help from a therapist and the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 -there is always something you can do.

If you are bullying someone

  • Think what drives you to do this
  • Try to put yourself in the other child’s shoes
  • If something is bothering you, share it, don’t take your feelings out on others

If you are a witness to a bullying incident

  • You are not a snitch if you speak up
  • Think about how you would feel if you were the child that is being bullied
  • If you are intimate, talk to the child that is being bullied
  • After you share the information with someone you trust, remember they will handle it

If you are a parent

  • Don’t feel ashamed if your child is being bullied or being the bully
  • It is important, if your child is being bullied, to help them get out of the situation
  • Calm down, do not react with anger
  • Listen to what your child has to say, explain that it is not its fault
  • Ask for help from experts
  • If you find out that your child is being a bully, talk to him/her, explain how his/her actions are hurting another child

If you are a teacher

  • Find out how you can support a child
  • Don’t be indifferent, you can and must do something, you have the responsibility
  • Make sure you inform children about bullying
  • Do not target children, there is no such thing as a “victim” and a “perpetrator”
  • Inform parents about bullying, approach parents of children involved in the incident
  • Be close to the children and create a climate of trust so that there is a willingness to open up to children and have a positive influence on them
  • Consult the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056

In the media

  • Remember that your aim is to inform the public properly
  • Do not embarrass children
  • Protect children’s personal data and their right to it
  • Stop showing videos of bullying incidents

Spot “Of course… I have been bullied” by YouSmile:

The phenomenon of bullying and school violence requires immediate and effective solutions, such as the European Standard for Certification against Bullying presented by “The Smile of the Child”.  The Certification, a result of a collective effort of social scientists from many European countries, members of the European Antibullying Network (EAN) and EUROCERT, is an international innovation to address this complex phenomenon. EAN was founded in 2014, on the initiative of “The Smile of the Child”, and today 22 member organizations from 14 European countries participate, with “The Smile of the Child” holding the Presidency, coordinate the Network and hosting its Secreatariat. As emphasized by Ms Piji Protopsaltis, Coordinator of International Cooperation at the “Smile” and also EAN Coordinator, “The international partnerships, the international synergies that the Organization builds with actors similar to itself in child protection, with networks and international organizations abroad, are particularly important”.

The Organization’s Center on Violence and Bullying always stands by children who have suffered violence:

  • CyberTipline Hellas
  • National Helpline for Children SOS 1056
  • European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111
  • Chat 1056 application
  • Mobile units of direct psychological support
  • Awareness Campaign “Mila Tora” (“Speak Now”)
  • Prevention & Awareness raising for children, teachers, parents & guardians
  • Day Center for Personalized Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents, “The House of the Child”
  • Academy for Education & Training “Smile Academy”

Watch the Event in the following link:


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