2022 Major Beneficiary
Agioi Theodori Middle School & High School
in Gokceada, Turkey (formerly Imbros)
re-opened by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Why should we support?
Gökçeada, Turkey's largest island, was once primarily inhabited by Greeks and is the birthplace of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. In the 1920's, the Republic of Turkey imposed a set of policies targeting minorities in the country, especially the Greek Orthodox. With their properties confiscated through legal amendments restricting property ownership and anti-minority sentiment gaining popularity, Greeks were forced to abandon their homes and leave the country. Gökçeada now boasts an unbalanced population of Turkish and Greek-Turkish citizens with Turkish people in the vast majority.
The new school marked the first time a Greek school opened on the island since the 1960s.
The opening of the school has boosted the Greek presence on the island and has given the residents hope for their children's future in Turkey. With an accredited school for their children to attend, low cost of living and a growing Greek community, school administrators have witnessed families returning from Greece to the island their ancestors once inhabited.
By supporting this institution, we indirectly support the Greek Orthodox population who reside on the island, encourage others to return to their ancestral homeland and cultivate a Patriarchal constituency.
The elementary school opened in 2013 and the middle school opened in 2015. There is also a 2 year pre-school program.
In 2021, a total of 60 children were enrolled.
All students must be Greek Orthodox to attend.
Most families are either inhabitants of the island or have moved back from Greece or moved back from Istanbul.
His All Holiness
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
visits the Metropolis of Chicago
His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, visited the Metropolis of Chicago to receive an honorary degree from Notre Dame University in South Bend, IN. He was honored for his commitment to interfaith dialogue, his dedication to peace, his defense of religious liberty, his support of migrants and all who are marginalized and for his prophetic voice on the environment which equates love of the Creator with devotion to his creation.