On Thursday 8th of February, a special ceremony took place in the French Embassy, for the “Legion of Honour” decoration of METAdrasi’s president Lora Pappa. The commendation was conducted by the French Minister of European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau.
This significant honor forms the French state’s highest distinction and is attributed to citizens that have stood out for their social contribution and their exceptional work.
This special evening, hosted by the French Ambassador Christople Chantepy, was enriched with the presence of METAdrasi’s team members from all over Greece and many friends and supporters of the Organization.
Mrs Pappa, stating that “Humanism is no one’s property” dedicated this distinction to all METAdrasi’s team members that “do their best, daily, in the field, under adverse circumstances”, as well as to the tens of thousands of supporters, that come from different sectors, but all contribute “…in their own way to a common goal: to help and protect other people that are found on European ground, in Greece, in order to escape violence, persecutions, conflicts, intolerance and poverty”.
The French Minister, having earlier that day visited METAdrasi’s accommodation facility for unaccompanied children in Athens, praised the Organization’s important work, which, by offering interpretation services and activities for the protection of unaccompanied minors, “responded in a remarkable way to society’s needs, during a hard period for Greece”.
Mrs Pappa thanked the French Minister and the French Ambassador, highlighting the French state’s significant support, thanks to which METAdrasi created the first and only accommodation facility for unaccompanied minors in Chios: “tens of children were able to find a secure environment, escaping from hot spots’ living conditions and from all kinds of danger”.
This facility is still operating today thanks to Stavros Niarchos Foundation that followed on France’s support.
Mrs Pappa, referred to the children that have been provided hospitality by METAdrasi so far: “Some of these children are today in Germany, in Sweden, in Austria and in other member states of the E.E. In a few years, they will become European citizens. And I would like to believe that their first steps on European ground, in the “house” in Chios, will incite them to contribute to the ideal of a “common future”.”
Mrs Pappa’s speech concluded in an emotional atmosphere, with the words of the French poet Paul Éluard:
“People are made to get along
To understand each other to love each other
Have children who will become parents of mankind
Have children with neither hearth nor home
Who will reinvent mankind
And nature and their homeland
That of all mankind
That of all times”.