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Greek FM in Emotional Visit to St. Nicholas School in Ghana

St, Nicholas Greek School Dendias
FM Dendias visited the St. Nicholas Greek school in one of the most impoverished areas in Ghana. Credit: Insyagram/Nikos Dendias

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited the Greek School of St. Nicholas in Ghana during his official visit to the African country last week.

Amid emotional scenes, students who are learning the Greek language and the culture of the country welcomed their guest by parading with Greek flags and dancing to Greek tunes. Dendias said he was filled with great emotion and pride.

“The Greek School of St. Nicholas in Tema is a proud example of how we can help our fellow human beings on another continent. On the map, it looks very far, but when you are here it looks very close to home,” Dendias said.

On behalf of the Greek government, Dendias made a donation to support the School’s activities, and he donated books to them as well.

St. Nicholas Ghana Dendias
An emotional scene as a young student embraces Greek FM Nikos Dendias. Credit: Instagram/Nikos Dendias

St. Nicholas school offers hope for impoverished children of Ghana

The school, in one of the most impoverished areas of the world, offers hope and opportunity for hundreds of children who would otherwise probably end up sifting through mounds of trash for recyclables and items they could resell, as many do in Ghana.

St. Nicholas, which opened its doors in February of 2012, is the brainchild of Captain Alkiviadis Kapas and his Philhellene friend Deborah Eleazar. It is located in the port town of Tema New Town, close to Ghana’s capital city of Accra.

St. Nicholas School Ghana
Teachers and students of St. Nicholas School welcome the Greek FM. Credit: Instagram/Nikos Dendias

The school’s motto is the phrase ”Every Child has a Right to Education.” Without St. Nicholas, these children may never have received any formal schooling.

Katerina Kappa, the daughter of Alkiviadis, who is a volunteer at the school, told Greek Reporter recently that ”the kids are living in horrid conditions. If the school did not exist most of them would probably be wandering the streets.”

In addition to a full curriculum as indicated by the Ghana Education Ministry, the children learn Greek grammar, history, poems — and even Greek dances. ”They learn to love Greece. We have the Greek flag, so dear to us,” said headmaster Emmanouel Dongo.

The coronavirus lockdown in Ghana in 2020 forced the school to close down for a time. Eleazar said that since the school closed, life for the pupils, who were also fed at the premises, has become very difficult. “There is real hunger,” she told Greek Reporter. She added that volunteers started an initiative to raise funds in order to give each family of the children that go to the school a food parcel, which should last about one week.

Things have improved since Ghana has introduced a Covid-19 vaccination campaign, however. The government hopes it will achieve its target of reaching 20 million people with the life-saving vaccine.

Greece has now donated over 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to Ghana. Handing over the consignment in Accra, Dendias said the donation is “an expression of solidarity of Greece in Ghana and its people. Greece actively supports Ghana in fighting the pandemic.”

He added that it is important for countries to share their resources so together they can win the fight against the pandemic.

Related: The Greek School Changing Lives in Ghana

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