The association “Friends of Ikaria” is sending you the best wishes for the New Year 2023! May peace, love and health be with you!
We also would like to take the occasion of this first day of the year to look back to our activities in 2022 and to give you an outlook on projects planned in 2023.
2022 had been a very difficult year in a manifold way: The war in the Ukraine and its consequences for the world has a deep impact on the lives on Ikaria and elsewhere. On this backdrop it was, and it is very difficult for us a) to collect money for our projects on Ikaria and b) to find volunteers/supporters to follow the goal of our association: to support projects on Ikaria, which have an impact for the society on the island.
Having said this, we could nevertheless not only deepen some cooperation with local organizations on Ikaria, but we could also start new collaborations.
In February 2022 we kicked-off our long-term project “1 tree for every kid on Ikaria” in Plagia. Together with the local association of Plagia we planted 20 trees (incl. fences to protect them from the free grazing goats). The money was collected through our crowd-funding project and in total we invested 1000 EUR on Ikaria to buy the trees and material to make the project happen.
In March 2022 we could – finally – organize the “Volunteer Hiking Holidays” again. Again, with our partner organization the Ikarian Hiking Club “OPSIkarias”. We were able to support the making of the hiking signs with 250 EUR, which equals the sum we collected at the occasion of our first Christmas activity in Brussels in December 2021 by selling Ikarian products in the city. During our 5 days stay on Ikaria, we helped OPSIkarias to put up the signs and in that way, we could support their voluntary work on the hiking paths on the Atheras.
In April 2022 we shared happy moments with the association of the “Volunteer Fire Fighters” of Agios Kirikos. Finally, we could hand over 3000 EUR to support their work for the island. The money was collected through our crowd-funding projects.
In November 2022 we were very happy that we could support the creative work of the art-cooperative “Alaxú Padaxú- Ikarian Art House” in Christos Raches with another 1500 EUR – a donation we have received to support explicitly this project. “Alaxú Padaxú” is dedicated to organizing manifold artwork-shops for the little and adult Ikarians.
And in December 2022 we were happy that we could spoil our supporters again with Ikarian goodies. Together with local Ikarian producers we organized the “Ikarian Christmas Bags” and delivered them to the doorsteps of the buyers in Brussels, Antwerp and Rotterdam. This year we could increase the income of this project to 420 EUR and the money was transferred again to the Ikarian Hiking Club “OPSIkarias” to support their work in the making of the hiking paths on Ikaria. In addition, his activity supported the local producers on Ikaria with more than 1.500 EUR.
And 2023: What are we planning?
In these uncertain times it is very difficult to make big plans. So, we are focusing on small projects, hoping to attract supporters and volunteers for the realization of our project ideas – may it be financial wise or workwise on the spot.
We will continue our crowdfunding “1 tree for every kid on Ikaria”. As this is an ongoing and long-term project, money can be sent at any time to our bank account (see underneath) with the reference “tree planting on Ikaria”. We are in contact with 2 villages on the island and we hope to continue the planting this springtime.
In March 2023 – 19 and 20 March – we will finally organize an event in Brussels again. In cooperation with the Brussels based music club “Art-Base” and the “Drama International Short Film Festival” we will organize the “2nd Ikarian Film- and Music Festival” in Brussels. We will present films from Ikarian directors or films dealing with Ikaria. Ikarian musicians will come to Brussels and will play for free. The income of this event will go to projects on Ikaria. More information will come, so stay tuned.
In April 2023 – 10 – 14 April 2023 (Holy Week before Greek Easter) the “Volunteer Hiking Holidays” – in cooperation with “OPSIkarias” will happen again. We are preparing the details of the program, so stay tuned, more information will follow.
And in December 2023 – if possible – we will organize the “Christmas bags” again.
We don’t have more on the agenda now, as we have only a small amount of money available, and we don’t know the needs on the island at the moment. But we are ready to react in a good way, in case of specific or urgent needs.
As you might have seen, the main income source for our projects are the crowd-fundings, dedicated to specific projects. Our association still has only 20 members and the income from the membership fees (20, – EUR/year) is by far not enough to make our projects happen. Therefore, we must rely on supporters, who like what we are doing for the island. In case that you would like to be one of them, do not hesitate
- to become a member (sent your request to: email@example.com)
- to donate to our association – may it be to our specific project “1 tree for every kid” (ref.: tree planting on Ikaria) or to support our activities in general.
Friends of Ikaria
IBAN: BE33 5230 8081 7546
Wishing you all the best. May we have the chance to see each other again 2023 and may we have the possibility to do something together for the island we love.
All the best
Birgit Urban (President)
Nikos Plakas (General Secretary)
Assimakis Katsiaris (Treasurer)