14 May 1987
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council notes with satisfaction the resolution 37/122 of the 37th Session of the General Assembly designating 1987 as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. The year provides an urgent need to focus world attention on people who have no place to live. It provides an opportunity to heighten the awareness of the plight of the homeless and mobilize assistance for them.
The condition in which people live also determines their health, well-being and ability to engage in gainful employment. Shelter as a component of social and economic development echoes that of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which affirms the right of all “to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.”
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council has an extensive program of feeding and providing shelter for the homeless in urban communities. In addition, its youth have currently organized a program called HOPE IN ACTION (Helping Other People Everywhere) which assists those in developing countries. Under this program, Dr. George Christakis was commissioned by His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos to make an extensive study of the health and nutritional status of the Greek Orthodox in Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya.
As a result, the current Kenya Project came into being, a pilot program which will send a twenty-five member team of young adults to Laipipia, Kenya to serve as construction and medial teams. The construction team will help build housing and construct water wells. The medical team, composed of 2 doctors, 2 nurses, a dentist and 5 medical students will set-up clinics in the area.
Already 8 water wells have been constructed in several villages outside of Nairobi, Kenya.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council is committed to increasing public understanding of the problem of homelessness and securing the participation of governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental sectors in addressing and solving the problem of adequate shelter.