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Greek Businessman Brings Smiles to the Children of Guatemala

Ilias Poulias is a Greek businessman working in Guatemala. The good Greek samaritan established, along with his brother, Fundación Poulias in 2007 to help poor children.

Poulias takes action in several working sectors, including banking, finance, retail, real estate and telecommunications in London, Athens and Central America.

The two brothers came up with the idea of founding such an organization when they met some impoverished children of Guatemala in 2003. They realized their problems and decided to contribute in the enhancement of their life level.

Thier institution, also called “La sorisa del niño (the smile of the child),” provides help to children living below the poverty line in crime infested areas. Its goal is to help them achieve their full potential through education while also providing for their health and nutrition.

Poulias was trained as an engineer at the Imperial College of London. He moved to Guatemala after receiving a phone call from his brother, Alexandros, who needed his support since business was going pretty well. Alexandros is a graduate student of Harvard Business School and the Executive Director of Televida company in the telecommunications sector.

“It was October 2011 when I first arrived to Guatemala and this was my life’s biggest month,” says Ilias. “Almost 11 years after this, I still live as if it is October 2011,” he continues.

“You see abilities and skills in these kids, of which they don’t have the opportunity to take advantage,” comments the Greek businessman.

That’s why the two Greek brothers turned the conference room of their Guatemala-based company into a classroom. They hired a teacher to help the children with their lessons because they wanted to “show them a different aspect of life.”

Guatemalan children deal with drug situations and criminality in their everyday life, but the Poulias Foundation aims to show them that this is not the only way of living.

“With only 10 euros per month, we can give these children meals for one week,” adds the Greek businessman and calls on institutions and individuals abroad to explore Guatemala and help these young people.

23 children have already been a part of the “Fundacion Poulias,” but about 60 kids could be hosted in total.

Ilias was nominated by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs as honorary Consul of Greece in Guatemala.

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