Despite the fact that the financial crisis has forced many Greeks to leave their country of birth, the migrants who have recently arrived in Australia, hold their homeland and its people very close to their hearts.
That dedication remains strong, and many embrace the opportunity to unite and show their solidarity towards their compatriots, especially when they see that those left behind face tragic hardships, such as the recent catastrophic floods that hit Western Attica on Wednesday, claiming the lives of 21 people.
“We decided to come together and contribute in any way we can to assist those who are currently suffering due to the natural disaster in that area,” ENA2010+ (Έλληνες Νεομετανάστες Αυστραλίας) group member Myrto Levidi told Neos Kosmos.
“We couldn’t just sit there and watch them go through this alone. We decided to join forces and raise funds to ensure that their immediate needs for food and essentials are met.”
ENA2010+ members posted a message about raising funds on the group’s Facebook page, and invited every member to assist in any way they can.
“We contacted the mayor of Mandra, Ioanna Kriekouki, who reassured us that the funds that we will collect will be allocated towards buying food and basic equipment, from tents to blankets, which will be given to our fellow Greeks and their families.”
Co-founder of ENA2010+, Petros Gyftopoulos, was also moved by his conversation with mayor Ioanna Kriekouki.
“The news about the floodshocked us all because these people are part of who we are, our parents, our brothers and our families. During our telephone conversation with mayor Kriekouki it sounded like she was in a war zone and we could even hear people coming up to her to tell her stories about how they tried to save and help one another. I was incredibly moved and I will never forget this phone call and the mayor’s reaction when I told her we wanted to contribute and offer a helping hand. She couldn’t thank us enough and just thinking about it now sends shivers down my spine,” says Petros.
“The memories of the motherland, our past experiences and our people are etched in our minds, therefore, we decided to act immediately and offer a helping hand.
“The response so far has been overwhelming, considering that most of our members are labourers, construction or hospitality workers who are also battling hard to build a better future for themselves and their families in Australia,” says Petros who has also confirmed that since posting the announcement, a group of Greek Australian business owners have offered financial assistance to the municipality of Mandra, but wish to stay anonymous.
“What more can I say? Above all, we are Greeks,” concludes Gyftopoulos.
You can visit the group’s Facebook page Ε.Ν.Α. – Έλληνες Νεομετανάστες Αυστραλίας 2010+