Lora Pappa, founding member and President of METAdrasi, was awarded the North South Prize of the Council of Europe for 2015. The prize is awarded every year since 1995 to two candidates who were distinguished for their outstanding dedication in promoting North-South solidarity. It is the first time that a Greek candidacy prevails for the award, despite twenty years of continuous participation of Greece in the North-South Council of Europe Centre.
As stated by Ms. Lora Pappa “it is a great honor that METAdrasi’s work has been recognized by the Council of Europe. METAdrasi is a Greek NGO that has been working quietly, for five years, covering long-standing gaps, mainly in the field of interpretation and protection of unaccompanied minors. Everyone should be proud, through METAdrasi the solidarity of thousands of Greek citizens towards refugees has been recognized and the hard work, consistency and dedication of METAdrasi’s people has been rewarded. We would like to share this award with all our partners with whom we are fighting side by side every day, whether they are volunteers or from different places such as UNHCR officials for Refugees, Asylum Service and First Reception, police, coast guard, other organizations and authorities as well as medical and nursing staff of the hospital. We are extremely grateful to all those who believed in us, who shared our vision and continue to trust in us by supporting our work”.
METAdrasi, in its five years of operation, has helped more than 3,000 unaccompanied children and facilitated communication for over 250,000 refugees and immigrants through interpretation. It is the only organization that has a long standing presence in not only key cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki but also Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kos, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Orestiada and Idomeni. Additionally, it offers the opportunity to hundreds of volunteers to participate in addressing the humanitarian needs of refugees, particularly during the recent crisis.
The second award winner of the Council of Europe’s “North-South” award for 2015 is Joaquim Alberto Chissano, Former President of the Republic of Mozambique. Mr Chissano is a founding member of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) and played a key role in the negotiations in 1974 for Mozambique’s independence, between FRELIMO and the Portuguese government.