On 27 November 2016 the ship of the Ark of the World, full of love and warmth, with Father Antonios at the helm, dropped anchor at the port of the city of Volos, in the centre of Greece.
The Ark of the World in Volos is located at Dimini, Magnesia, only three kilometres away from the city of Volos. The new home was donated by the well-known Greek flour manufacturer Mr. K. Loulis. With God’s grace and blessing, the Child Protection Centre is a special and innovative child hospitality structure in Greece. It is addressed to children at risk, children who have experienced traumatic events in their life, children who come to us by prosecutor’s order. The Home hosts only boys, from infanthood to adulthood. It currently raised twenty seven (27) boys, while it can accommodate up to thirty five (35) children. Our main concern is for the children to grow up in a beautiful and loving family, in which they can feel security, affection, peace and protection and receive all that is necessary to spread their wings and meet the demands of modern life with dignity.
We focus on properly raising the children and providing psychosocial care and education so that they can become virtuous people, able to handle the difficulties of everyday life and be useful to other people.
Our Agricultural School
The Agricultural School is housed in the Home’s facilities. Our Agricultural School has two key objectives. First, through contact with animals and nature, it aims to offer children the peace for their every life. Through this therapeutic process, children learn to be responsible, experience the feeling of offer and acquire important virtues such as respect, patience, persistence and hard work.
At the same time, through education and training, children are directed to primary-sector jobs and pleasantly and creatively acquire knowledge of vegetal and animal production, which enables them to receive important stimuli and skills, valuable for finding a job in the future and living a decent life.
Our Agricultural School comprises thirteen (13) workshops, thereby offering comprehensive education and training in primary-sector jobs. All our workshops have modern and appropriate equipment. Moreover, our land comprises an olive grove, a vineyard, a greenhouse and an orchard.
- Our Oil Mill: Throughout the cultivating period, children have the chance to get to know the blessed olive tree. Every child can adopt a tree and be responsible for its growth. Thus, children learn the needs of the plant until maturity and harvest the fruit, which will then be taken to our modern oil mill in late autumn to produce virgin olive oil of excellent quality.
- Our Cheese Workshop: Our children can get to know and be trained in the traditional way to make cheese. They train in producing white and yellow cheese, yogurt, galotyri and myzithra cheese and butter.
- Gardens-Vegetable Gardens-Orchard: Our modern greenhouse includes a nursery and cooling mist, enabling children to reproduce plants from the seed bank. They adopt pieces of land in groups and are responsible for cultivating and producing fruit and vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumber, pepper, potato, water melon, strawberry and many others, depending on the season).
Children also learn to apply tree-growing techniques and recognize the types of fruit-bearing trees. When fruit are harvested from the trees, they are either consumed fresh or used to produce preserve, jam and compote.
- Aromatic Plants-Herbs Garden: The soil and climate conditions of the area favour the growth of aromatic plants, spread around the farm. Our plants either grow spontaneously, such as oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary and chamomile, or are planted, such as spearmint, verbena, lavender and mint. Aromatic and medicinal plants are used to produce essences or are dried to produce hot drinks.
- Seed Bank: Our Agricultural School has a special storage are for various types and varieties of plants. Through exchanges with organisations and groups, we renew and enrich our existing seeds, which now come to 120 different types. Our goal is to increase their number, always respecting tradition. Seeds come from traditional varieties and not from hybrids.
- Stone Mill: We also have a traditional, water-driven stone mill. Children process wheat, always with respect to tradition, and produce flour for bread, trachana pasta etc
- Pasta Workshop: Another activity of our young producers is to be trained in making traditional and fresh pasta (spaghetti, trachana, pasta braids) which, after being dried and packaged, is used to make our favourite dishes.
- Traditional Products Workshop: We use various fruits from our beautiful garden (apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, small tomatoes, water melon, zucchini), inspiration and imagination to make delicious home-made jams, preserves and juices to decorate our table and welcome our guests.
- Animal Feed Workshop: Pure and organic raw material is processed to produce bran, bone meals etc. Our animal feed is consumed by our farm animals.
The social service of the Ark of the World is located in the children’s home. Its main concern is to embrace the children, listen to their needs and give them the best possible support using the proper approach and necessary programmes. In particular:
- It undertakes to welcome and help new children integrate in our large family, so that they can feel the generous love, security and peace that their new home offers them.
- It provides psychosocial support to the children.
- It cooperates with psychologists, speech therapists and occupational therapists to provide comprehensive services in order to meet the children’s needs.
- It takes care of their medical issues and maintains constant contact with the doctors who attend to the children.
- It is informed on a regular basis of the children’s progress at school.
- It is responsible for maintaining safe communication of the children with persons from their supportive network.
- It welcomes, directs, trains and supervises volunteers, depending on the area of their voluntary work.
- It is responsible for organising the children’s activities, excursions and vacations.
- It provides information to the local society and visitors about the important and multifaceted work of the Ark of the World.
The social service, on the basis of the principles, the values and the spiritual guidance of Father Antonios, is always by the children with consistency, responsibility and trust, ensuring their dignity and giving them motivation and stimuli to be good and virtuous people.
Volunteerism is an integral connective ring for the operation of the Ark of the World. It is a simple and humble act, motivated only by our volunteers’ selfless love and eagerness to give. Since the establishment of the Ark, volunteers have been by our side, valuable assistants, motivated only by love, in our everyday struggle to raise our children.
You can offer volunteer work in these areas:
v Supportive teaching for the children
v Development of social and artistic skills (theatrical game, story-telling, arts and crafts, dance etc.)
v Provision of services by doctors, nurses, speech and occupational therapists
v Escorting in medical appointments and overseeing their hospitalization
v Assistance in preparing the home (cooking, cleaning, ironing)
v Assistance in maintaining the home (outdoor cleaning, electrical and plumbing works, painting etc.)
v Taking care of clothes and bed linen.
1.To raise and properly nurture our children, the Ark employs 17 people (instructors, social workers, psychologist, agronomist, cook, cleaner, driver, general-purpose staff). However, we are in constant search of funds to help us cover the salary of our staff.
2. We need support to cover our home’s operating expenses (electricity, telephone, water and sewage bills), fuel for transportations, heating oil and consumables.
3. Moreover, for the operation and maintenance of the Agricultural School (maintenance of workshops, procurement of animal feed, machinery, tools, seeds etc.), we need your support to meet the expenses.
4. For the transportations of our children, we need another passenger car.
Ark of the World in Volos
8 Iras Street, Dimini, Volos, Postcode 38 500