O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
“A hope for a better future”

“A hope for a better future”

OLYMPIACOS FC presented its great partnership with UNICEF!

Olympiacos FC presented Monday afternoon the launch of its great partnership with UNICEF. The panel at V’ammos event area in Karaiskakis hosted Mr. Vaggelis Marinakis, Olympiacos FC President, Mr. Lambros Kanellopoulos, President of the Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF, and Mr. Cristian Karembeu, Strategic Advisor to the Administration. All three men discussed about the importance of this leading partnership, the benefits that may derive and the context in which both sides will join forces and offer “hope for a better future”!

Mr. Kostas Karapappas, Olympiacos FC’s Press Officer, opened the Press Conference and promptly gave the floor to Mr. Vaggelis Marinakis, Olympiacos FC President:

“It’s my great pleasure to welcome Mr. Lambros Kanellopoulos, President of the Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF, UNICEF representatives and all of you. The launch of this historic partnership is very important for our land and Olympiacos, which as you all know is more than a simple sports club for our country.

Olympiacos, the most glorious club in the country, the biggest sports-related organization, the common point of identity for half of Greeks, adds its strength to the efforts by the United Nations and UNICEF, in this sacred venture of all mankind, that is to offer a better world to children, Greece and the whole world; I stress children who are the hope of this planet and breathe life into sports.

Olympiacos, in collaborations with UNICEF, has undertaken to raise by the end of the next 2 years an amount of more than 2 million euros by means of various actions to be announced in the coming months. The club will also continue with its charities that will be further enhanced once the Olympiacos Foundation starts its operations, which will stand by our fellow-people in need. OurpartnershipwithUNICEFinvolvesadualmessage. Firstly, it is a call to all our fellow people in Greece and across the world to stand by the side of children who need us, who are deprived of basic commodities such as water, medicine and vaccines.

With the contribution of Olympiacos, 50,000 children will be vaccinated in the whole world, including Greece, and will be able to have a better future. The 100% campaign aims at securing life-saving vaccines for children living in poor areas of Greece and the planet, something which is of major importance for children.

At the same time, this partnership sends out a message: there is more than a Greece in need and in crisis calling for help. There is also a country stretching out to help and embracing everyone in need. I think that it is extremely important to stress once more that Greece is not only asking for help; Greece is also able to provide help as long as we all want that. We hope that as many people as possible will follow our example and walk with us in the path of hope and solidarity.

I call every Greek to stand by us in this effort to build a better future for our children in Greece and across the world. We need you all to stand by us in this effort and we believe that Olympiacos, once again, will excel in this endeavor and deliver in the best possible way”.

Then, Mr. Lambros Kanellopoulos shared his views and adequately explained the importance for UNICEF to partner with Greece’s largest and one of Europe’s most important clubs, Olympiacos.

“Mr. Marinakis, Mr. Karembeu, ladies and gentlemen, this is a special day, a very unique day for UNICEF worldwide. Our partnership, and this is not an overstatement, represents a major moment for charities in Greece and the world. UNICEF is the organization built on the ruins left by WWII and for last 70 years it has been fighting across the world, and particular in developing countries, for the protection, security and development of children facing hardships, and against child labor and all forms of exploitation, poverty, malnutrition tormenting billions of people and especially children of the world.

No doubt, this is a great day of historic proportions since it sets a milestone in humanitarian action in our country. UNICEFontheoneandOlympiacosontheother. Olympiacos is a club that carries with it a huge part of modern Greek sports history and that contributes valuably to the development and evolution of Greek football and Greek sports in general; Their decision and action highlight that humanitarian and moral principles that must govern all modern societies, are not incompatible with sports, they do not clash with each other but go hand in hand.

This actions transcends all obsolete stereotypes of one-off events and vests them in a athletic, humanitarian and ecumenical character, since from now on our actions and events will be governed by the Convention on the Rights of Child that is a globally accepted document by all members of the United Nations Organization and embraces billions of people. It is also the way to voice all those children who currently suffer, fight back and call for solidarity, for support, for assistance to escape this living equipped with qualities and more opportunities.

So, this meeting of ours paves the way quite clearly. This is a very important moment and I stand before you feeling indebted to stress the following: the role of Mr. Marinakis in this effort has been decisive, beyond all charitable activities I am well aware of. He manages to establish solidarity, compassion, responsibility, love, hope and faith as a set of moral values that Greek society so dearly needs.

Today when Greece is challenged by the impact of financial crisis, today when humanitarian and societal crisis in Greece takes rampant and unprecedented proportions for, and not limited to, our generation, it is this initiative taken by Olympiacos and UNICEF that acts, and I do not exaggerate when saying that, as a beacon of hope, as a call of love. Olympiacos manages to touch upon modern social problems and, apart from that, to highlight –via their stance- how one may become a leader in this effort, regardless of the team one may support, of conflicts –in the good sense- between teams in Greek sports and football; what matters is to go beyond this context, beyond this established and outworn state of affairs, is to give a different dimension to what current sports club may become, what leading role major teams may play, in the context of unity and cohesion between countries.

From now on, Olympiacos is ranked with us, together with Barcelona; two top teams aligned and fighting side-by-side. Do you understand the courage and hopes that this meeting of ours will generate? An atmosphere of love, of unity, of optimism and love will spring out. I believe that the Greek society, which is currently suffering and has shown in the course of centuries the extent of its compassion, of kindness, will embrace this great venture and we will be standing next to them in this significant effort.

I want to thank Mr. Marinakis for all this effort of his and we believe that, not just Olympiacos, but their very President as well is a model of humanitarian solidarity, a model of bringing sports and society together, of mixing one’s involvement with football with humanitarianism and solidarity; a model of faith to and love for children that are daily suffering from violence, oppression, exploitation in all its forms, which actually challenge our civilization. I feel the need to thank you because this day opens up a brand new page in our effort to grow our actions and offerings at all levels”.

Ending, the floor was given to Christian Karembeu who, in his turn, stressed the following:

Goodafternoon. For me, this is a great day for a significant initiative by Olympiacos. I have already worked for UNICEF and I know very well what this is about. This initiative is very important for vaccinating children in Greece.

We launch a partnership with a major Organization with which we share the same philosophy, the same feelings, the same passion, the same will to save lives. We try to build a better future for our children and this partnership will enable our team to offer more to our county’s society. Sports gives us this opportunity to build a better future, to provide children with education, to enhance health services via sports.

I want to congratulate both gentlemen sitting on this panel with me, because their actions turn them into role models for our society. They have opened a new road and we will walk on that having a common philosophy, namely to improve our present and our future”!

Then, the Olympiacos shirt with the UNICEF logo on was unveiled. In this magnificent picture, with Christian Karembeu presenting to the panel our brand new jersey with the UNICEF logo on, and with Olympiacos President and Mr Kanellopoulos holding the jersey, the Press Conference came to an end.

For the photostory of the Press Conference, click HERE.

For the video of the Press Conference, click HERE.

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