Project in Greece

St. Martin's has been asked to help in many undertakings in a world in which there is so much need and hunger, in which the harvest of God's gifts is so unevenly divided. One of these undertakings is the North Euboean Foundation in Greece. In what follows I have tried to give an idea of what such an undertaking involves, what the plans and hopes are, and what is already being done. This is not an appeal, but a very matter-of-fact account of some practical work which you have helped to make possible. If the work is successful the need for outside help will cease, but just now it's terribly important. The Foundation really has six projects, four of which are planned to run for five years, and two for an initial period of three years.

Medical and Nutrition Programme

For three years the Foundation has operated a medical programme, supplementing the existing service which is still quite insufficient. It is based on the Foundation's own Health Centre, which is fully equipped with a laboratory, x-ray unit, and Land Rovers. The Centre is staffed by a British volunteer Doctor with a special interest in Paediatrics, assisted by a Greek doctor and midwife, who is now undertaking a special survey of all the children in the area—total population 20,000, 33 villages, 500 sq. kilometres. She co-operates with the local Greek General Practitioners, and undertakes general medical work in addition to her special interest in nutrition and children.

Veterinary Programme

In 1962 the Foundation introduced into its area, for the first time, veterinary services which have been operated by qualified British volunteers. At the end of 1964, the British Veterinarian was joined by a Greek counterpart, and together they have planned a five year programme which includes the cost of building a stable and forage store for the hospitalisation of animals, allowances, insurance, depreciation and repairs for transport, heating, lighting, and drugs, dressings and forage which are supplied gratis only to owners unable to meet cost prices.

Horticultural Programme

Three Greek Agricultural Advisers (under the supervision of a British volunteer) have such a heavy programme that they cannot give adequate attention to horticultural crops, although the climate is suitable for a wide range of fruit and vegetables for which markets are available. The Foundation plans to employ a British volunteer to work with the Greek advisers in establishing demonstration plots, not only for commercial growers, but for the `family garden' which could make a far better contribution than it does.

Visual Aid Unit

The Foundation is planning the use of a mobile sound projector complete with generator and a slide projector. This unit is to be used in co-operation with the three Agricultural Extension Teams and the Veterinary service.

Farm Project

At the request of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture and with the approval of F.A.O. the Foundation has established a Demonstration Farm Project, on plans by the Land Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency and the Department for International Cooperation of the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This will be used as a centre for instruction and for the existing Extension Teams. The Project is managed by a qualified Israeli Manager who will be assisted by a Greek agriculturist.

Village Hall

The Foundation plans to erect a village hall in one of the `key' villages where there is no communal building at all. At present it is compelled to use an inadequate room in a peasant Farmer's house for its own Farmers' Club (including girls' club meetings, instructional work, film shows, and so on). This building could be prefabricated. It would be used as a demonstration for the whole area and for other parts of Greece where no such facilities are available.

And, finally, it is planned to obtain if possible two motor cycles urgently required by the Greek Vet, and by one of the Agricultural Extension workers, to enable them to visit their areas during the summer months.

This, then, is the work being done and attempted in an area where all the amenities we take so much for granted are not available, where the harvesting of so much that makes life sweet is so difficult.

THE VICAR [Austen Williams]

Published in St. Martin's Review, November 1965

  Copyright © 2009-2017 Irene Noel-Baker.