Embassy benefit concert for SOS-ELIZA Children’s Home
Athens, 30 April 2012 – The Austrian Ambassador to Greece Mag. Melitta Schubert invited 80 Greek guests to a charity concert in the Austrian Embassy on 28 April to help the ELIZA SOS Children’s Home in Maroussi.
“It is a great pleasure and honour for us as members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to be able to help charitable causes while we are on a concert tour”, Chairman of the orchestra, Prof. Clemens Hellsberg, said. A quartet of Philharmonic musicians led by Concert Master Rainer Küchl performed works by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss at the Embassy in the benefit concert. The following day on 29 April the entire orchestra conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano gave an afternoon youth matinee concert, the proceeds of which also went to the ELIZA SOS Children’s Home.
The concert in the Embassy was followed by an art auction, in which works donated for the home by the prominent Greek artists Marina Karella (president of the ELIZA Association), Vassiliki, Vassilis Theocharakis and Mark Hadjipateras, went under the hammer.
“Greece is currently in a very difficult situation and the children are the most innocent victims of the crisis. It was thus very important for me to make a symbolic gesture of help and solidarity”, Ambassador Mag. Melitta Schubert said, “and it was a great honour to welcome the wife of the Greek President, Madame May Papoulias at the concert.”
Mrs. Papoulias has visited the children’s villages in both Vari and in Thrace and she knows the very important contribution the SOS Children’s Villages are making to providing children in need with a new home. This is why she supports the efforts of SOS ELIZA to provide neglected or abused children with a temporary home and to give them therapy and care.
The net proceeds from the benefit evening at the Embassy totalling 28,000 euros and the proceeds from the youth matinee concert of 10,000 euros – 38,000 euros in total – were donated to the Children’s Home in Maroussi by the Vienna Philharmonic and Ambassador Schubert in a ceremony on April 30. This is the first home that "SOS Children’s Villages Greece" and the "ELIZA Association Against the Abuse of Children" have built in a joint project. “We are considered unique and exemplary with our combination of scientific care and therapeutic methods”, the home director said.
Abused children up to the age of five are cared for in the home for a maximum of two years. Highly professional and qualified staff seek to prepare the children for integration in society that will be as smooth as possible. The biological parents of the children are also involved in this process as far as possible, so that they will be in a position to take the children back after their care periods in the home. Where this is not possible the children are received by the SOS Children’s Villages family.
“We estimate that around 7,500 young children up to the age of five are abused and neglected each year. Regrettably we fear that the current economic crisis will lead to an increase in this number”, Anastassios Vrettossos President of SOS Children’s Villages Greece said.
“I would therefore like to sincerely thank the Vienna Philharmonic, the sponsors and all who made this evening possible. The proceeds will pay for equipping the newly planned home, which is intended to provide children with a happier future.”
Austrian Embassy Athen
Tel.: (+30/210) 725 72 70
Fax: (+30/210) 725 72 92