Actions to improve the quality of life, increase low birth rate, empower women and local communities and support employment
HOPEgenesis is a Greek, non-profit organization founded in 2015 with the vision to overthrow the climate of birth deficit in Greece, with main goal is to help strengthen births by providing support to women who are permanent residents of the Greek remote islands and mainland regions.
HOPEgenesis is a Greek civil non-profit company founded in 2015 and active in the field of health and social welfare, with the mission to fight against the low birth rates y and support the family in Greece.
The organisation works and focuses on solutions to reverse the climate of under-fertility 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, Boeotia, Evia, Arta, Karditsa, Ioannina, Kozani and Thesprotia and 40 islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas (detailed areas are shown here: http://http://hopegenesis. org/gr/regions. php), while 102 new areas from the Regional Units of Ioannina, Preveza, Imathia, Kilkis, Pieria, Serres and Laconia are in the process of being included. 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 creation of the first and only public kindergarten in Patmos after 50 years
The target audience of this initiative is women and by extension families, residents of Patmos in the first stage, with the ultimate goal of developing the programme in more outlying islands and remote villages in order to strengthen local communities and increase births and create better living conditions and new jobs.
Since its start in 2015, HOPEgenesis continues to introduce innovative actions that will help to reverse the climate of under-birth rate in Greece.
Patmos is one of the first islands that have entered the HOPEgenesis programme with the number of births so far reaching 37 and the expected births being 8. Thus, it was a natural consequence and being faithful to its goal, HOPEgenesis proceeded to the next step, i. e. the creation of structures that will strengthen the local community, employment and the quality of life of women and families on the island.
In cooperation with the "Omada Aigaiou", the local government of the Municipality of Patmos and with the support of Eurolife FFH, the first nursery in Patmos after 50 years was inaugurated after a request from the Municipality. The project involves parents and children aged 1-4 years. The inauguration took place in October 2020. The operation of the nursery in a specially designed space provided by the Municipality creates the basis for the conditions that will strengthen the family and the local community. Through this project the conditions are created for the "opening" of new jobs for those who staff the station.
The Patmos nursery is the first and only nursery to be built in the last 50 years on the island and is the first of a series of nurseries to be built to support families in border areas.
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).
Working with Organization
Nothing would have happened if there was no cooperation with other institutions, apart from the municipality of Patmos mentioned above, HOPEgenesis cooperates 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 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.