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Volume 11, No. 2 Fall 2008

Greece: Aid to Farmers in Peloponnese, NBA’s Stojakovic Provides Wheelchairs for Thessaloniki

“For many people and especially children, this was the first time they received a wheelchair, such as one 14-year-old boy who has been carried around by his grandfather his whole life,” said IOCC Greece Head of Office Despina Katsivelaki, speaking of IOCC’s recent $200,000 shipment of wheelchairs to northern Greece. Photo credit: M. Allen/Wheels for HumanityAndreas of the village of Anilo, Greece lost his grazing land and half of his 700 olive trees to last summer’s wildfires. IOCC’s program is providing farmers like Andreas with forage seed to regrow their pasture lands, providing a long term source of feed for their livestock. Photo credit: S. Clark/IOCC Greece

Peloponnese, Greece — IOCC’s relief to Greek farmers continues to help thousands who were affected by last year’s wildfires to sustain their farms. Through $1.8 million in grants by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as well as thousands of donations from individuals, IOCC has provided emergency animal feed to more than 3,100 Peloponnese farmers. The wildfires destroyed more than 500,000 acres of forest and pasture lands. Farmers had no way to sustain their flocks – for some, their only source of income. To permanently solve the issue of animal feed, IOCC has also distributed 20 tons of seed so that farmers can regrow burned pasture lands. An additional 60 tons of seed will be distributed before the end of the year.

Greece’s northern Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Epirus regions also benefitted from IOCC. Through a generous gift by Peja Stojakovic of the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, IOCC distributed $200,000 worth of wheelchairs, including sports wheelchairs for disabled athletes, other mobility devices, and therapeutic equipment. “For many people and especially children, this was the first time they received a wheelchair, such as one 14-year-old boy who has been carried around by his grandfather his whole life,” said IOCC Greece Head of Office Despina Katsivelaki. The wheelchairs were custom-fit to suit the needs of each recipient by a team of volunteer health care professionals from Wheels for Humanity and local partners in Thessaloniki. The project is part of a larger regional program designed and implemented by IOCC with the support of the Peja Stojakovic Children’s Foundation to provide assistance to disabled children and adults in Greece and Montenegro.

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