Traveling to Thessaloniki with SYNYPARXIS

In Thessaloniki, the journey ‘From Yesterday to Today’ continues, featuring the Painting and Photography Exhibition by the organization ‘SYNYPARXIS’ of the Church of Greece, with the support of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

During a special event held over the weekend at the Art Hall of the Philoptochos Brotherhood of Men in Thessaloniki, the non-profit organization ‘SYNYPARXIS – Ecumenical Refugee Program’ of the Church of Greece presented the commemorative volume for its 45 years of contribution, with the support of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. Additionally, the Painting and Photography Exhibition titled ‘Traveling from Yesterday to Today’ was inaugurated.

Opening the event, the Most Reverend Metropolitans of Thessaloniki, Mr. Philotheos and Mr. Varnavas, along with the President of the Philoptochos Brotherhood of Men, Mr. Konstantinidis, greeted the attendees, emphasizing the significant work that SYNYPARXIS performs in the care of those in need.

The President of SYNYPARXIS, His Eminence Metropolitan of Iliou, Acharnon, and Petroupolis, Mr. Athanagoras, delivered the opening speech, providing a retrospective on the organization’s history and its accomplishments over the 45 years of operation.

“The work of SYNYPARXIS, according to Patristic teachings, is the care for the ‘stranger’ as the care for Christ Himself. Through study, exploration, scientific approaches, and absolute transparency in its programs, SYNYPARXIS seeks to make refugees and migrants protagonists in their own stories,” stated Mr. Athinagoras. “Our goal is to support refugees to become active citizens, not passive recipients of services and allowances. We aim to help their presence be perceived as an opportunity for the entire society, rather than a threat. Our goal is to facilitate conditions for coexistence in a mutually beneficial way for both refugees and European states.”

Subsequently, the Secretary-General for Vulnerable Citizens and Institutional Protection, Mr. Iraklis Moskof, delivered a speech on the contribution of SYNYPARXIS in child protection. He highlighted the organization’s role in safeguarding the most vulnerable refugees, particularly children, and elaborated on the funded programs in collaboration with and support from the General Secretariat.

Closing the event, the General Director of SYNYPARXIS, Archimandrite Panteleimon Papasynnefakis, discussed the content of the book he authored, presenting the work of the Church of Greece in repatriation and refugee assistance. He emphasized the theological background of the undertaken work and its alignment with Evangelical teachings.

Referring to the exhibited paintings and photographs, Father Panteleimon emphasized that through these artworks, the new life offered to these children becomes apparent. A new life in perpetually hospitable Greece, filled with light, safety, and hope. He concluded by reading a letter from a young child that expressed gratitude for the safety and new life found in Greece after a journey filled with fear and uncertainty.”

The event was honored by the presence of dignitaries, including the Most Reverend Metropolitans of Thessaloniki, Mr. Philotheos and Mr. Varnavas, the Coordinator of the Prime Minister’s Office in Thessaloniki, Mr. Ioannis Papageorgiou, and Members of Parliament K. Gkoulekas, E. Simopoulos, and N. Chatzioannidou. Also present were the General Secretary of Decentralized Administration of Macedonia-Thrace, Mr. I. Savvas, the representative of the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia, Mr. Eust. Avramidis, a regional councillor, the Mayor of Oraiokastro, Mr. P. Tsakiris, the newly elected Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr. St. Angeloudis, the representative of the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr. St. Gogakos, the President of OVREPO, Mr. G. Konstantinidis, and Mr. Ath. Beggas.

The Painting and Photography Exhibition will be open until Wednesday, December 6, with operating hours from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

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* The accommodation facility for unaccompanied minors operates under the framework of the program “Greece Program – Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2021-2027”

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