Interview: Keletron Love for Children – 5th Cycle of Accelerator

1. A few words about the organization’s goals and work

“Keletron Love for Children” is a Nonprofit Organization established in April 2014 by a group of active citizens in the regional unit of Kastoria. It aims at protecting children’s rights as well as keeping them safe on the physical, mental and emotional levels. Since September 2014, it has been implementing five programs:

• “I support because I believe in this cause” program (Support Bank —Welfare Stores).
• Psychosocial support – counseling services for children, teenagers and parents.
• “Open Creative School of Kastoria” (Social Frontistirio).
• Health education programs for junior high and high schools.
• Establishment and operation of a day care center which supports 25 children coming from vulnerable families through the provision of educational support, meals and creative activities.

Since July 2018, the organization has been implementing a new program called “Sunny Life” – a Multi-purpose Facility of Change and Action for Children, Teenagers and Parents, as an extension of the day care center’s services. Since August we have been running a new program “Care for the third Age” in order to tackle the poverty and social exclusion of the elderly.

2. A few words about the programs that were funded

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation funded the “Sunny Life” program – Multi-purpose Facility of Action and Change for Children, Teenagers and Parents by covering the salary of 4 employees (1 psychologist, 1 social worker, 1 educator, and 1 secretary). This program aims at tackling the economic and social exclusion of vulnerable groups of the local population. The program’s goal is the multi-faceted support of 230 families with 330 adult members and 540 minors residing in Regional Unity, through the services of the Child and Family Support Center, the Day Care Center for Children, the Social Tutoring Center and the Social Grocery.

The “Care for the Third Age” program, funded by the TIMA Charitable Foundation, aims at tackling the poverty and social exclusion of the local population of the elderly. The program will support 50 families of elderly aged over 65 years old (enrolled in the Home Assistance program in Kastoria) at risk of poverty and social exclusion and 400 elderly people participating in the program of the Center for the Protection of Older People (KAPI).

The program offers psychosocial support as well as other innovative activities (informative lectures on medical issues, learning basic computer skills, learning traditional dances, “Safe House” program).

3. What advice would you give to an organization in writing a successful proposal for funding?

In order to write a successful proposal, it is essential for the organization to determine what the need is, for whom and with whom.  It is important to prepare a needs assessment from the beginning and focus on designing a suggestion that will bring the solution.

A proposal will be successful if there are a specific purpose and activities as well as expected results. It should be timebound as well as sustainable. In order to achieve this, the organization has to get trained in drafting and evaluating proposals. Last but not least, members of the organization should collaborate and work constantly.

4. How much do you think your participation at HIGGS Accelerator program has helped you and why?

Our organization’s participation in the HIGGS Accelerator program offered us significant knowledge, valuable experiences and the chance for networking with other civil society organizations. Thanks to continuous support and advice from HIGGS, the organization managed to write two major and innovative proposals for the Kastoria area which were funded.

5. Why would you suggest other organizations to join the Accelerator program?

The Accelerator program can help all organizations identify their weaknesses, but above all set new goals. By learning new methods and practices from experts will help them develop their organization, but also adopt a new approach to its operation and management. Participation in the Accelerator program is an unforgettable experience for any organization. HIGGS spaces are cozy and its people are approachable and supportive.

6. What are your next steps?

The aim of the organization is to continue providing welfare services to support as many families with underage children in need as possible in Kastoria. Due to the new social needs, the organization needs to expand its services. For our sustainability, we plan to develop new strategic expansion plans in order to cover most of these needs.

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