Livadia in Greece near Mount Parnassus… the site of an international Orthodox camp…
The Local Church of Greece appealed to the Russian community to help pay the debt of the international Orthodox camp near the Greek town of Livadia. “Today, our debt is 200,000 Euros (8.226 million Roubles 267,809 USD 168,747 UK Pounds). We’re asking you to help us pay off the existing debt, and to sponsor our 2011 programme for kids from Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus”, according to an open letter of Archimandrite Nektarios Antonopoulos, the abbot of the monastery of the Transfiguration, to the Russian authorities, Russian business circles, public organisations, religious associations, and cultural and scientific groups, passed on to Interfax-Religion.
Fr Nektarios wrote that the camp was established in 1971 with the support of the Metropolia of Thebes and Livadia, and has lasted for 40 years “due to the involvement of the ruling bishops, the personal contributions of the clergy, and sacrifices on the part of many devout lay Christians, as well as the care of the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Lord. We would continue to assume all costs for the children who come to our camp from foreign countries, but, unfortunately, the economic crisis in Greece has shaken the economic stability of our people, so, therefore, private donations have decreased to a mere trickle. In 2010, when we held the traditional three sessions for orphans from Russia and the Ukraine, we had to resort to loans to make ends meet”, Fr Nektarios said.
There are several sessions held in the camp each summer, with campers coming from all over Europe. In season, thousands of kids from Greece, Serbia, Poland, Romania, Jordan, Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, and Uzbekistan come here for camp. “According to experts, our camp can be considered one of the largest Orthodox camps in the world. In contrast to conventional summer camps, where the children come from stable families, we try to invite kids who are down on their luck, children without parents, kids from shelters, orphanages and boarding schools”, Fr Nektarios wrote in his letter.
Since 2002, under the aegis of the programme Мост любви (Bridge of Love), the camp invites children from all over the former USSR. Over the past eight years, kids came from Moscow, Tambov, Krasnoyarsk, Yugorsk, Nyagan, Perm, Kerch, Sevastopol, Simferopol, Alushta, Evpatoria, Yalta, Alyabzevsk, and Chernopole. Each camp session is in two parts… a guided pilgrimage tour and a stay at the camp at the foot of Mount Parnassus. Another feature of the camp is its charity programme. All costs associated with airfare, hotels and meals, for both children and adults (teachers, health workers, and other accompanying persons), as well as local transportation (bus fares and boat trips on the ferries), are covered by voluntary donations from Orthodox Greeks.
13 December 2010