Greek Minister of Defence, Mr Nikos Dendias, with a member of the school cadet. Looking on admiringly is Deborah Eleazar, a Trustee.
Greek Minister of Defence, Mr Nikos Dendias, has visited St Nicholas Charity Foundation in Tema Newtown, following on from his previous visit this year.
During the visit, the Minister promised to assist in building a football pitch in the future. This will be in addition to a basketball court, which is currently under construction.
The Minister has taken a close interest in the school and has been very moved by the efforts being made to ensure the motto EVERY CHILD DESERVES AN EDUCATION is maintained.
Mr Dendias was in Ghana for the United National Ministerial Summit to support Peace Operations, which took place on 5th December.
He also held bilateral meetings with Dominic Nitiwul Minister for Defence Ghana and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.
Despite the busy schedule, the Minister and his delegation, including the Greek Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Athanasios Kotsionis and Mr Evangelis Ntemiris ADC took time to visit the school to see at first hand the continuing progress being made by the children.
Banner showing Greek basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo, on the left
Greek basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Minister was met in the traditional fashion with the school brass band and Navy cadet Corps marching him into the school and a church service held at the St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Tema.
There was also a short cultural display, including a Ghanaian cultural dance, a Serra Pyrrhic Dance (performed at the Athens Olympics 2004), and memory verses by the smaller children.
The Minister took the opportunity to visit the Basketball court which is being constructed from donations previously given by the Ministry.
The court will be named after the Greek famous basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Mr Dendias was particularly impressed that both 2022 and 2023 graduates from St Nicholas junior secondary had all passed their Basic Education Certificate Examination and secured places in Senior secondary schools.
He congratulated the school and staff for the hard work and effort in giving a chance to the children of the area living in disadvantaged conditions and for many the graduates will be the first in their family, attending senior secondary school.
In attendance were two former Ghanaian footballers of the Greek team Olympiakos Peter Oforikwe and Kofi Abonsa who promised to hold football workshops for the children.
Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis of The Heritage Management Organisation, with the support of the Mellon Foundation was in attendance and is in Ghana embarking on a three-year programme for capacity development in the heritage management sector aiming to contribute to a dynamic sustainable ecosystem.
Deborah Eleazar, Trustee of the UK registered charity took the opportunity of thanking the Minister and his delegation for their support and to also mention the founders of the school Captain Panagiotis Tsakos, The Maria Tsakos Foundation, Tsakos family for their constant involvement and help and Mr Evangelos Mytilineos , their Foundation for the classrooms, school bus and ongoing assistance with the contribution of the HC Mrs Marianna Gavriel.
Each child was given a gift from the Minister and the children presented an original African Icon of the patron saint St Nicholas whose name day was being celebrated on 6th December to the Minister to celebrate his name day.
Ongoing fundraisers continue in the United Kingdom with various organisations including the Baltic Caledonian Society, in the USA through King Baudouin Foundation as well as other initiatives. The school is anxious to secure the running costs for 2024 and to continue the good work being done.
There was talk as to whether a study should be done on the school to see if the school origins and results could be used as a blueprint for other marginalised areas.