Until a few years ago Roma children in Dendropotamos of Thessaloniki, Greece did not go to school. They were condemned to live in poverty inside the confines of a ghetto, where they often resorted to illegal acts. Today, however, these children are part of an exceptional Robotics Club and are preparing a special trip to the US on April 21, where they will be honored for an innovative robot which they built themselves.
The man behind this dramatic shift is Athinagoras, archimandrite at the Metropolis of Stavropoli and Neapoli. Eight years ago, he created an organization called “Faros tou Kosmou” (Light of the World) which offers warm food, education, employment and hope to the children of Dendropotamos.
“When these children were asked to show their creations, they completed the task 15 minutes earlier than private school students. Some noticed their darker skin tone and by asking around, found out that the children come from Roma families” he said during an interview, adding that “A great American company invited the team in order to honor them in St. Louis. Meanwhile, the team took part in a nationwide contest where the kids won one of the three top prizes.”
The concept of the international competition was based on natural disasters. The team created a robot that bridges seismic faults, in order to safely transport the inhabitants of an affected area.
“Education and integration in a diverse society will help the children of Dendropotamos. Only with education and a great future job will they be able to escape from the fate to which they are bound,” said Niovi Pavlidou, who will be running in the upcoming elections in the administrative region of Central Macedonia.
See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!