17 October 2021: World Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Turning Theory into Praxis
Supply Chain of Life from “The Smile of the Child” for
every child and family to gain access to all goods & services they are entitled to
- In its 25 years of operation “The Smile of the Child” provided holistic and personalized support with care and dignity to 143.667 children and their families living in or being threatened by poverty in Greece.
● Internationally, “The Smile of the Child” is a member of the Child Guarantee Taskforce of the European Network “Eurochild” to promote the implementation of the European Child Guarantee for children threatened by poverty or social exclusion
Aligned with the recommendation of the European Commission for the implementation of the European Child Guarantee, “The Smile of the Child has designed and operated since the beginning of its establishment the “Supply Chain of Life” for every child threatened by poverty or social exclusion to gain access to equal opportunities.
With the aim of holistic coverage of the needs of children and families, the Organization developed a comprehensive Supply Chain of goods and services, with the main recipients being children and their families living in or threatened by poverty.
The goods are donated by sponsors, individuals and businesses, and are transported by the specialized vehicles of the Organization (refrigerated trucks, customized refrigerators for the transport of medicines, etc.) to the Organization’s Support Centers and warehouses. The management and storage of the items is performed individually, by category, with respect and absolute compliance with health and safety rules. Goods are distributed to children and families in need through the Support Centers.
At the same time, a team of social workers and psychologists remain at the disposal for the families, holding personalized regular meetings with families, recording their needs, not only medical, but also material, educational, etc. In this way, a direct interconnection of each family in need with the corresponding service of the Organization is achieved, managing individual and holistic support at every level.
The scientific staff of the Organization keeps in touch with each family, making home visits. It is worth mentioning that the Organization keeps an open line of communication with the families in need; if anything urgent comes up, a social worker is always available to respond and advise through the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056. The Helpline is staffed exclusively by specialized social workers and psychologists and is reachable nationwide on a 24/7 basis.
“The Smile of the Child” internationally: member of the Eurochild Taskforce for the European Child Guarantee in Greece
The United Nations designated October 17 as World Poverty Eradication Day in December 1992. In the context of child poverty, this year sets in priority the recommendation of the European Commission to implement the European Child Guarantee and promote equal opportunities for children threatened by poverty or social exclusion.
The European Child Guarantee aims to break the cycle of disadvantage caused by poverty and to promote equal opportunities by ensuring access to a range of basic services for children in need. It recommends that member states take all necessary measures to ensure that children in need have free and effective access to:
early childhood education and care
● education and activities at school
● at least one daily healthy meal at school
● health care, such as access to medical examinations and health monitoring programs
● adequate housing
“The Smile of the Child” is honored to have been accepted as one of the nine members of the Child Guarantee Taskforce of the European Network “Eurochild” to promote the implementation of the European Child Guarantee for children threatened by poverty or social exclusion in Greece. In its 25 years of operation the Organization supported holistically, individually and with dignity 143.667 children and their families living in or being threatened by poverty. In this period, the Organization developed actions and initiatives to ensure that every child at risk of poverty gains access to the most basic rights: Health, Nutrition and Education.
“The Smile of the Child” nationally: Observatory for Child Welfare in Greece
Since 2017 “The Smile of the Child” is the exclusive – without financial rewards – participating body in the research project “Understanding, measuring and monitoring Children’s Welfare: an Action Plan with The Smile of the Child” with host body the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.
In this research project, an initial indicator of child welfare (well-being) or its opposite child poverty is being used, which has already been stated by the scientific coordinator of the project. This indicator will be developed, finalized and compared with other relevant indicators that record child welfare (well-being) and will be implemented in schools of the Attica region. The mission of the project is the interpretation, recording and monitoring of child welfare in Attica and by extension in Greece. On completion of the project, “The Smile of the Child” as the exclusive collaborating user body, will be given all the necessary know-how to best exploit it as the Observatory for Child Welfare in Greece. The project will be completed in February 2022; from that point on the Organization will undertake the monitoring and development of child welfare in Greece.
More information about the project can be found here.
Apart from Support Centers for Children and Families, the Organization operates the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056, Daycare Homes and provides full Medical and Social Support. In detail;
National Helpline for Children SOS 1056: “The Smile of the Child” operates the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 standing next to every child in need. Staffed by social workers and psychologists the Helpline is available nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing support for every issue of concern and connecting with other services.
● Daycare Homes: the Action supports children whose families face serious problems and can’t afford to raise their children. Children return to their family environment every evening, having received the care of the Organization throughout the day.
● Support Centers: the 15 Child & Family Support Centers that operate nationwide, provide everything the family in crisis may need to stand back on its feet with dignity. In addition to securing goods, professional counseling is also provided to help in overcoming socio-psychological difficulties that the family may confront.
● Medical & Social Support: the Organization supports the families holistically with its specialized scientific staff, social workers & psychologists.