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homeculture & reglition > Leousio Foundation of Aegina (Λεούσειο 'Υδρυμα)

Leousio Foundation of Aegina (Λεούσειο 'Υδρυμα)

Text by Souzana Raphael

For 20 years, this church-run Aegina foundation has provided regular, daily meals to elderly people on the island, some of whom are bedridden, others without any pension, without children, but in general unable to eat well without the support of the foundation. Meals are cooked and delivered to them daily by volunteers, all free of charge.

I spoke with Κύρια Ιώτα/ mrs. Giota/ Jota/ Yota, who has worked from the beginning with the Leousio Foundation "Agios Nektarios". She kindly provided me with information while meal preparation went on nearby in the large kitchen of this old building right on the edge of Aegina city. I learned that the original founders were Παπανικόλας Σαββόπουλος/ Papanikolas Savvopoulos, and, after one year, Πάπας Ανδρέας/ Papas Andreas, who has been chief director since then. For those who don't know this, the prefix "Papas" before a first name indicates the status of Orthodox priest. The foundation is administered by the Agios Nektarios church, located a few miles inland from Aegina city.

Τhe building was provided by Anna and Antonis Leousis, who are brother and sister. Giota is kitchen director, under the authority of Papas Andreas who also lives in the building. One daily meal is delivered at midday, 7 days a week, all year round, to those in need (as described above), with 55 people being served at present, and 15 more soon to be included if more funds will be come available. Meals are provided to homes as far away as Souvala and Perdika, from which towns someone comes to pick up the meals and deliver them, though deliveries in Aegina town are made by the volunteers.

Volunteers are both men and women, with two volunteers cooking and two making deliveries and picking up donated food as well. Those who carry out these tasks are not the same ones every day, (though the two ladies who gave me a ride into town later, where they were going to pick up donated bread from three bakeries), told me that they had served long stints at the foundation on a daily basis.

When I asked if things had changed much during the course of the 20 years of the foundation's existence, I was told that things were pretty much the same from the beginning. There had been as few as 10 people being served at times, however (compared with the soon-to-be 70). Support from the municipality is minimal, I was told - maybe once a year during the holidays. The food for the year-round meals is provided for in part from donations of money or food items, from Agios Nektarios church, and from an Athens rent from a house that belongs to the foundation. The vehicle in which I rode to town with the volunteers had been provided by the local Kritikos supermarket chain.

Anyone in serious need can request to be added to list of people served by Leousio. If a member of a church, that person should seek agreement from the priest, though if not, can apply directly to Leousio.

To contact Leousio Foundation via phone either to offer support (money, food or volunteer help) or to request meals, see contact details at the right.

Show the Leousio Foundation of Aegina on a bigger map
contact:: Leousio Foundation
"Agios Nektarios"
telephone mornings
until 12:00:
(+30) 22970 24072
Papas Andreas Dotsikas
telephone after 13:00: (+30) 22970 24 676
mobile: (+30) 6978 998 520
e-mail (only in Greek): anntotsikas@yahoo.gr
e-mail (English) sellask@yahoo.gr

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