The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) have put their money where their mouth is with a $5,000 donation to the Greek Language Program at Monash University.
GOCMV’s Community Education Officer, Theo Markou, confirmed to Neos Kosmos that the money was transferred last Wednesday.
“The Greek Community honored its commitment to contribute $5,000 toward the salvation of the Greek Language Program. We urge other community organisations and individuals to contribute funds for the survival of the Program” said Mr Markou.
Neos Kosmos reported last week that the survival of the “cash strapped Program” depends on the generosity of the Greek Community. Failure of the community to provide an estimated $60,000 for its survival over the next two years will lead to its closure.
Mr Markou explains that “a lot has happened” – since last week’s depressing public meeting that saw only 18 community members attend – adding the most encouraging sign was the increased interest in the Program by the students of Monash themselves.
“We are encouraged by the positive response of students attending Modern Greek classes at Monash. A large contingent of students attended last Monday’s meeting of the Fund-Raising Committee and promised to leave no stone unturned in their effort to raise funds.
“We are informed a student has promised $3,000 and that there are more donations to come. Moreover, students are becoming actively involved in the planning of fund-raising activities with their peers at other universities,” he said.
When asked how much money the community had contributed to date, Mr Markou replied: “We believe that donations thus far exceed $15.000,” adding, “we have no doubt the community will respond generously, make no mistake about that.”
Neos Kosmos understands the students themselves are drafting a letter of appeal to community organisations and Greek businesses to contribute money. The letter will be followed with personal phone calls pleading for financial help to the Program.
Meanwhile, the Consulate Education Office at the Greek Consulate in Melbourne stands ready to second a professor to the Program, if such request is made by Monash University. Consul for Educational Affairs Mr Vasileios Gkokas told Neos Kosmos: “he looks forward to the planned meeting with the head of the School of Languages, Ms Rota Wilson, to thrash out the issues pertaining to the collaboration of the office with the Program”.