“The Smile of the Child” is a Greek registered NGO that has been active in the field of child protection and children’s rights since 1996.
It began as the dream of 10-year old Andreas Yannopoulos, who, shortly before losing his own battle for life, documented his vision in his journal. “The Smile of the Child” empowered by 360 committed employees and the support of approximately 2000 active volunteers, implements 24/7 throughout the year, all kinds of services and programs for the welfare and protection of the physical and psychological health, as well as for the safety of thousands of children in Greece.
Today, “The Smile of the Child” has exceeded all expectations and has proven all the grandeur that can be achieved when people unite forces for a common cause; just as a 10-year old child had predicted, long before us. After 18 years of action, the “Smile of the Child” organisation has become today a point of reference for every child, parent, and a great many public workers as it strives and succeeds in providing immediate solutions to the hundreds of problems children face, by always being on the front-line, cooperating with every competent public authority.
More specifically our main fields of Action are the following
- National Helpline for Children “SOS 1056”;
- 116000 The European Hotline for Missing Children;
- AMBER ALERT HELLAS (with the cooperation of 57 public and private institutions);
- Emergency intervention in cases of children in danger;
- National Centre for Missing, Abused, and Exploited Children;
- 13 community Homes all over Greece, raise in love and safety children that have been in danger;
- 2 of our Houses are Daily Care Houses, dedicated to children whose families suffer serious social and/or financial problems;
- Financial, psychological & social support of children (& their families) with serious welfare problems & their families, all over Greece;
-Financial, psychological & social support of children with health problems nationwide;
-Mobilization of donors of blood, blood platelet, and bone marrow;
-Mobile Medical Units & state-of-the-art ambulances at government’s emergency services disposal (EKAV), for the safe transport of children and newborns;
-Creative recreational activities in Children’s Hospitals in Athens, Thessalonica, and Patras;
-Preventive Medicine and Dentistry at schools and isolated areas nationwide, carried out by the Organisation’s mobile medical units;
-Information, prevention, and awareness-building programmes for Children, Parents, and Teachers;
-Counselling support for children and their families;
-Creative recreational activities for children in Athens International Airport, “Eleftherios Venizelos”.
“The Smile of the Child” throughout the years has undertaken important pioneering initiatives, presented significant know-how & working operating models to other international network members, resulting to extensive recognition & appreciation abroad.
The Smile of the Child is a Member of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited children (ICMEC) and the Missing Children Europe (MCE). “The Smile of the Child” enjoys special consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and participates to the UN’s Department of Public Information. The Greek organization is also a member of the European Network Eurochild, the European Federation of Street Children (EFSC) and the Child International Helpline
Since 2012 the Greek NGO operates the Southeastern European Center for Missing and Exploited Children which main mission is to enhance cooperation and promote good practices and know-how in the field of missing and exploited children in Southeastern Europe.
The organization is funded almost exclusively by monetary and in kind donations from private citizens, and companies, that cover the numerous needs children in Greece face. The organization’s financial records are monitored by well known and respected auditor companies (Price Waterhouse Coopers and Ernst & Young) on an annual basis. According to last year’s accounting data, only 10% of the organization’s income was spent on administrative costs. In other words, for every single euro donated to the organisation, 90 cents are used directly for its primary goal, the children.
In February 2013, “The Smile of the Child” issued the 1st Social Responsibility & Sustaining Development Report for the year 2011*, thus enhancing transparency and reliability in all levels. This is a truly innovative initiative, as it is the first and only NGO in Greece and one of the few in Europe,that issues a similar report, having also proceeded to a verification of all data by an independent body, TUV Austria Hellas.
As a result, “The Smile of the Child” has consistently been in the first place of the public’s trust for the last 8 years, according to various surveys performed (e.g., Awareness & Social Behaviour Index 2013).