Greece will finance the construction of a basketball court at a Greek school in Ghana, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias announced on Thursday.
Dendias, who is on a visit to the western African nation, recommended that the court could be named after Giannis Antetokounmpo. “When I come again, I would be very proud to see you playing basketball on that court named ‘Giannis Antetokounmpo.’ [It is] a name that unites Greece with Africa!” Dendias said.
Amid emotional scenes, students at the Greek school of St. Nicholas, who are learning the Greek language and the culture of the country, celebrated the announcement.
When I come again, I would be very proud to see you playing basketball on that court, named “#Giannis #Antetokounmpo” @Giannis_An34. A name that unites Greece with Africa! (statement following my visit to St. Nicholas’ Greek School in Tema, #Ghana). pic.twitter.com/rNXGSsGEtR
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) January 12, 2023
Dendias chose to start his second visit to Ghana at the Greek school of St. Nicholas, which is supported by donations from Greeks. He met with Greek residents, Ghanaian businessmen, and students learning the Greek language and culture.
The minister stated that he was moved to visit the Greek school again and pledged to return without the status of a minister.
Greece 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.
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 at all.
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,” said headmaster Emmanouel Dongo. “We have the Greek flag, so dear to us.”