Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis invited dozens of Greek school children from all over the world as well as children of different nationalities learning the Greek language to visit the country in the Summer of 2021 during a Monday teleconference.
The Greek leader spoke with students and teachers from sixteen schools from every corner of the globe, including Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Kinshasa, Congo and Australia as well as several European cities.
Participants in the teleconference highlighted the success of the digital learning platform of the Greek language “staellinika.com,” which is a valuable tool for learning the Greek language, Greek mythology and culture.
“We have a digital tool for learning the Greek language that makes use of the richness of Greek history and Greek mythology to keep our language alive,” Mitsotakis noted.
StaEllinika is an initiative of the the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University in collaboration with the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
This new online platform and suite of apps was developed by the SNF New Media Lab in the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies as part of a project called “Rebooting the Greek Language,” a two-year initiative supported by the SNF to bring new technologies and advances in pedagogy to the preservation of the Greek language in the diaspora.
This new online learning environment facilitates remote language acquisition for learners who range from preschool children to young adults.
At the teleconference Mitsotakis spoke in Greek with 7-year-old Lazaros Panagopoulos, who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and who learns Greek at the Saturday School of the Union of Peloponnesians in the city.
He also spoke with two boys from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nicolas and Benedicte, who have no Greek roots but have loved learning the Greek language for three years under the tutelage of missionaries.
Speaking in Greek, Nicholas said he wanted to become a surgeon when he grows up, while Benedicte said she wanted to become a pediatrician.
In a sign of the spread of the Greek language in the African country, PM Mitsotakis also contacted Christina Bartzi, a student at the Greek School of Kinshasa, who is preparing to take national exams to study computer engineering in Greece.
Students from the Odyssey Charter School in the US state of Delaware also spoke with the Greek Premier during the teleconference. Few of the students learning Greek are of Greek descent.
The Greek PM invited all the children who participated in the teleconference to visit Greece in the summer of 2021, hosted for free for two weeks, in order to further immerse themselves in the Greek language and culture.