On Monday, August 19, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced that METAdrasi is the 2019 recipient of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
METAdrasi, a Greek Civil Society Organization, stood out among hundreds of nominees from all over the world, for their innovative – on a national and European level – activities, in particular in the field of interpretation and protection of unaccompanied children. “We are very proud and we thank the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for this great honour,” states Lora Pappa, Founder and President of the Organization.
METAdrasi was selected following a thorough and in-depth review of their activities and the decision was made by an independent international jury of distinguished individuals.
“METAdrasi is a remarkable example of a nimble organization that leads the charge in areas where essential services are lacking” stated Hilton Foundation President and CEO, Peter Laugharn.
METAdrasi stood out because they manage, under particularly difficult conditions, to develop innovative activities and to find practical solutions for the immediate and effective coverage of essential needs. To date, METAdrasi has supported over 12,000 unaccompanied children and has conducted more than 1,400,000 interpreting sessions, facilitating the vital communication between refugees and competent services and entities.
“This prize gives the opportunity for our voice to be heard louder, promoting solidarity in action. It opens up new perspectives to contribute mainly to the protection of unaccompanied children, through advocacy, with a view to mobilizing all EU member states to share responsibility” says Ms. Pappa.
With the prize fund, METAdrasi will provide support to the public hospitals, already overstretched by the refugee crisis, so as to benefit further from the organization’s existing and innovative tele-interpretation system. Additionally, METAdrasi will expand their activities for unaccompanied children and their non-formal education programmes, as well as support initiatives among Greek, refugee and migrant partners. Finally, part of the fund will be used to strengthen METAdrasi’s activities at the entry points, in order to cover emergency needs, given the fact that Greece is located in a critical geographical position among three continents and through the ages faces unpredictable refugee flows.
Ms. Pappa concludes: “This distinction acknowledges the important role of Civil Society in Greece, that, despite the economic crisis, continues to set a worldwide example of solidarity towards the fellow-being. With wholehearted thanks, we wish to share this great recognition of our efforts with all of METAdrasi’s supporters and friends, in Greece and abroad, that have trusted and supported us during all these years.”