The Symplefsi Group Sponsors the “Diaplous 2016” Event
The Symplefsi (or +plefsi) group is a non-profit organisation that supports people living in the outlying Greek islands by helping to improve the overall living conditions. Since its inception, the group has made various efforts to help the inhabitants of these islands. In 2016, the organisation was part of the Diaplous 2016 event, which focused on crossing the Aegean Sea to take supplies and equipment to schools on 9 islands located in Greece’s border regions.
Specifically, Diaplous 2016 focused on using funds donated by the Neraida Floating Museum to provide schools with electronic and educational equipment, including projectors and computers. The museum is an initiative of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, which is overseen by Greek businessman Spiro Latsis, amongst others. Additionally, the learning institutions also received furniture (tables, bookshelves, seats), educational games and consumable items. Prior communication between schools and the Symplefsi group helped to determine the type of gifts that would be fully utilised by the schools.
The cause saw 80 volunteers sign up to donate the equipment to the schools; with their efforts requiring the use of 11 inflatable boats. The entire event spanned across 11 days, with volunteers visiting the islands of Agathonisi, Arki, Kimolos, Lipsi, Levita, Patmos, Schinousa, Sikinos, and Folegandros. The schools’ students were also presented with children’s book displays, photographic exhibitions and a workshop to discourage smoking.
Symplefsi’s activities are purely voluntary, with much of its work focused on providing free medical examinations and improving infrastructure in local communities. The 2016 event saw many major infrastructure programmes launched across the 9 islands.
The Spiritual and Cultural Center on the isle of Patmos was equipped with air conditioners, audio equipment, chairs, offices and a library. Agathonisi benefited from a new rubbish truck, necessary for improved waste collection efforts on the island. In Sikinos, an emergency evacuation vehicle, fitted with modern ambulance systems, was donated to help transfer people in need of hospitalisation. In addition to these donations, more than 40 specialist doctors were on hand to conduct medical tests to more than 1,100 residents, with almost 500 blood samples collected for further testing. After analysis, the specialist doctors were able to advise local doctors on how to proceed with individual cases.