“Over the last four years more than $ 300.000 have been distributed to families in need in the form of dry food parcels throughout Greece and more than $ 10.000.000 medical supplies have been allocated to Greek hospitals. All the above are indicative of the charitable activities of the organization”, the regional manager of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) Mr. George Plomakakis pointed out in an interview to “In-On” magazine.
Question: What is the role of AHEPA in this crucial period that Greece goes through?
Answer: AHEPA helps our country over time in various ways. From 2011 till today, more than 10 containers with medical disposables totaling over $ 10.000.000 have been delivered to all hospitable structures of the country. Over the last four years more than $ 300.000 have been given to the Organization “APOSTOLI” that belongs to the Church of Greece. The Organization has distributed dry food parcels to needy families all over Greece. All this is indicative of the charitable activities of the Organization. At the same time, with interventions in the international decision-making centers it attempts to influence them so as to stand in favor of our national issues. Meanwhile, the 31 sections of the Greek Region act as correspondents of the central organization and develop in the local communities, significant charitable, social, educational and voluntary activities.
Question: Tell us the new aims of the AHEPA
Answer: A few days ago, on 8th and 9th May 2015, the annual Congress of the Greek Region of AHEPA was held in Komotini. The Congress was a great success since the participation was outstanding. Also, a delegation from the Supreme Council of America attended. The annual report of the chambers and the Region was realized and directions were given for the new period that starts on July 1st. Apart from our obligations that derive from the principles of AHEPA, our immediate goals is the development of AHEPA HELLAS Housing, namely the creation of a village at first, where our expatriates who miss their homeland, can spend a period of time.
Question: What is the history of the AHEPA?
Answer: AHEPA was founded in Atlanta on July 26th, 1922 by eight Greek expatriates due to the outbreak of prejudices and racism that appeared in the early 20th century within the American society. Moreover, the organization assisted the Greek immigrants to be assimilated in the local community. Today, AHEPA is the largest and oldest organization that promotes and maintains the Greek heritage which is established in America. It represents the ideals of Ancient Greece, in which charity, education, civic education or family and personal distinction within the community are included. In the years that passed AHEPA’s offer to Greece is continuous over time. Since 1922 – 1924 when the first program that funded the orphans of the Asia Minor disaster was created till today dozens of material and moral assistance programs have been implemented such as: During the big earthquake in 1928 in Corinth the Organization provided medicines and clothing. In 1934, the Agricultural School of Corinth was founded. In 1941, the Pan American Network was created in order to help the occupied Homeland and medicines, clothes and food totaling $ 4,000,000 were offered. In 1945, the reconstruction program for the damaged Greece due to the Second World War was elaborated. In 1947, comes the Truman Doctrine (Harry Truman was a philhellene and also member of AHEPA). The total aid for the period 1941 – 1948 reached $ 12,000,000. In 1948, the first health center was established in Chrysoupoli, Kavala followed by 141 more throughout Greece. In 1951, the construction of the AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki as well as the AHEPA wing at Evangelismos Hospital in Athens started. In 1953, with the assistance of the American Cretans, Venizelos Hospital in Heraklion was established. In 1955, clothes, medicines and food were sent for the earthquake victims in Volos while during the same year the monument of Thermopylae was constructed. In 1960, more than 1000 kinds of books of Greek classical authors were donated to American school libraries, colleges and universities And much more. In 1963, there was a Pan American fund raiser so as to reinforce the research of the famous physician – researcher Georgios Papanikolaou and much more. From 1928 till now, scholarships are given to expatriate children every year aiming to maintain the Greek language.
George Plokamakis who was re-elected Regional manager of the AHEPA in Greece, was born in Chania, Crete in 1961, where he currently resides. He is a graduate electrical engineer and worked for PPC since 1986 and from 2011 he worked for DEDDHE (namely the subsidiary PPC where the network functions were transferred) as the Head of Sector Network in the area of Chania. He has worked for 19 years as a teacher paid by the hour at the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete. He is the president of the District Chamber of Chania in the Professional and Scientific Association of Technological Training for Engineers (EETEM) and also vice president of the building society of Chania. He is a certified trainer of adults by EKEPIS (National Accreditation Center for Continuing Vocational Training), Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) and PPC. He has collaborated with various Vocational Training Centers in adult education programs and teaches in PPC schools. He is certified to the study and application of intelligent systems through the European KNX system. He is expert at the District attorney’s office and the District Court of Chania.
He is a member and judge of State and judges the work of the International Union of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has participated with papers in scientific and professional conferences. He has been an AHEPA member since 2004. He was president in the Section of Chania. He has served the Greek Region from various posts from 2009 till today. In 2014, he was elected Regional manager (from July 1, 2014 until June 30, 2015) and a few days ago at the Congress he was re-elected for the period July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2016.