Actions to support families on remote islands to fight low birth rates

The organisation works and focuses on solutions to reverse the climate of low birth rate and family support, both at the level of local communities - in order to provide the necessary security for women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant - and in the wider society through awareness raising, sensitisation and study of the issue and implementation of solutions where possible. HOPEgenesis is currently active in more than 350 remote areas, 317 local communities in the Regional Units of Evritania, Fokida, Fthiotida, Viotia, Euboea, Arta, Karditsa, Ioannina, Kozani and Thesprotia and 40 islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas (details of the areas are shown here: http://hopegenesis. org/gr/regions. php), while it is in the process of integrating 102 new areas from the Regional Units of Ioannina, Preveza, Imathia, Kilkis, Pieria, Serres and Laconia. It cooperates with 27 medical centres in Athens and the provinces (public and private), and its medical team consists of more than 80 doctors, midwives and other health professionals, located in 15 different parts of Greece.
To date, more than 380 families have benefited from the programme in areas where for more than three to five years there have been either little or no births or a large negative birth-death balance. In this way, the economic and social fabric of these areas is directly strengthened.

In this context and fully committed to the objectives, a very important initiative was carried out.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Navy and the Naval Medical Assisted Reproduction Unit (MIYA) of the Navy for the provision of infertility treatment (IVF) services to women of the HOPEgenesis program, who are permanent residents of twenty-four (24) islands

The target audience of these initiatives are women and by extension families, residents of 24 remote and remote islands with the ultimate goal of developing local communities and increasing births.

Since its start in 2015, HOPEgenesis continues to introduce innovative actions that will help to reverse the climate of under-birth rate in Greece.

The signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between HOPEgenesis and the General Staff of the Navy (GEN) and the Medically Assisted Reproduction Unit (MIYA) of the Navy (MIYA) which launched and is a modern and pioneering model of synergy between the public and non-profit body for the practical treatment of under-birth in Greece. The Memorandum of Understanding concerns the provision of Free infertility treatment services (IVF) to women who wish to have a pregnancy but have fertility problems, and are permanent residents of twenty-four (24) islands, which are: Agios Efstratios, Gavdos, Kasos, Lipsi, Skyros, Ovens, Anafi, Donousa, Kastelorizo, Nisyros, Schinoussa , Halki, Arkia, Heraklia, Kimolos, Oinousses, Tilos, Psara, Astypalaia, Victimina, Koufonisia, Sikinos, Folegandros and Pserimos.A cooperation that is pioneering because for the first time in Greece such an important memorandum of cooperation is signed between the Navy and an urban non-profit organization, HOPEgenesis. Thus, the Navy, apart from its role as a guarantor of security in our seas, is taking an active role in the fight against under-age births on the Greek outlying islands. This is a crucial moment, because demography is the number 1 national issue that our country has to deal with in the long term

Nothing would have happened if there was no collaboration with other institutions, apart from the Navy mentioned above, HOPEgenesis collaborates with 27 medical centres in 15 different parts of Greece and with major infertility centres for the provision of infertility treatment services.

It has also been put under the auspices of 43 local government and welfare state bodies, while the Region of Central Greece, in addition to its auspices, co-finances remote areas of its Region.

The organization conducts research in collaboration with Higher Educational Institutions such as the Department of Statistics and Insurance Science of the University of Piraeus and the A Obstetrics & Gynaecology Clinic of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

The HOPEgenesis project is funded by major Greek companies (more than 200 sponsors-supporters), charitable foundations (Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Ioannis S. Latsis Foundation, Bodossaki Foundation, Onassis Foundation), as well as by the Region of Central Greece

The organisation employs two paid staff and 6 volunteers who on a daily basis deal with the coordination of beneficiaries, proposal writing, fundraising and the current issues of the organisation.

Today, the network of the organization's partner hospitals consists of 27 medical centers and 80 doctors in 15 different locations throughout Greece.

In addition, a large network of volunteers/friends help and support the work of HOPEgenesis on multiple levels, such as: social media, sponsorships, travel and event organization

The place of action of this specific programme is 24 islands which are: Agios Efstratios, Gavdos, Kasos, Lipsi, Skyros, Fourni, Anafi, Donousa, Kastelorizo, Nisyros, Schinoussa, Halki, Arki, Iraklia, Kimolos, Oinousses, Tilos, Psara, Astypalaia, Thymena, Koufonisia, Astypalaia, Astypalaea, Thymena, Koufonisia , Sikinos, Folegandros and Pserimos.

The action of HOPEgenesis, and the impact on local communities can be vividly illustrated through


1. Adoptions in remote areas and remote islands: covering all pregnancy, childbirth, transport and accommodation costs for pregnant women in partner hospitals and medical centres. These areas have a negative birth-death balance and women residents have limited access to medical-obstetric facilities.


2. Remote medical monitoring of beneficiaries: achieved through sophisticated and innovative Bluetooth medical devices and a specially designed platform to ensure the safety of pregnant women and their babies at all times.

3. Researches: in order to document and substantiate the issue of low birth rate, HOPEgenesis commissions studies to major academic institutions. In cooperation with the Department of Statistics and Insurance Science of the University of Piraeus, a survey was conducted to document the reasons for under-age birth rate in Greece, by geographical area, the different causes and the different ways of dealing with it. In this way, for the first time in Greece, in a valid scientific way (evidence-based research), all the individual characteristics of the problem of under-generation, which vary. Furthermore, in collaboration with the A' Obstetrics & Gynaecology Clinic of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, HOPEgenesis studied the social extension of the major problem of underage birth in Greece, through the survey "What is the knowledge of young people about the declining reproductive capacity with age? How would this knowledge affect the course of their lives and the number of births as a result? "The research is being conducted across a wide age and educational range and will highlight the relationship between infertility and underfertility in our country.


4.Design of the "Neighbourhood Nanny" programme: a programme for staffing subsidised childcare to support working mothers in urban and semi-urban areas. HOPEgenesis creates quality, affordable and diversified infant and child care services in order to enable Greek women to combine employment with motherhood. The programme is designed in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Family Policy and Gender Equality, the Region of South Aegean in the first phase, but also the other Regions of the country, as well as the Municipalities of Athens and Neo Heraklion, Attica.

5. Organisation of workshops and conferences: in order to inform, raise awareness and educate stakeholders and the general population on the major problem of demography and its consequences. In 2019, HOPEgenesis co-organised with the Economist the first conference in Greece exclusively on the demographic issue.

Participation in the "Renaissance" programme in the outlying areas: a programme for the strengthening of local communities and indigenous populations, which is being implemented under the auspices of the A. E. of the Presidency of the Republic, in Antikythera, Gavdos, Kastelorizo, the Diaponitic Islands (Othonias, Eriakousa, Mathraki).


The issue of low birth rate is emerging as one of the main issues on the political agenda in both Greece and the European Union. The action of the organisation has brought to Greece journalists from international media e. g. Guardian, BBC, has established pioneering partnerships such as the Memorandum of Understanding with the Navy.

HOPEgenesis helps both women living in remote areas by creating a safety umbrella for those who are already pregnant, and by motivating the rest to procreate, as well as local communities and families to continue their lives in their place of origin with dignity.