Greece is a beautiful country with a large number of islands. The number of inhabited islands is variously cited as between 166 and 227.
During the summer months, the islands of Greece become the number one tourist destination. Ferries and cruise ships connect the mainland with the islands and it’s easy for anyone to transfer from one place to the other. But what happens when the winter comes, the weather gets bad and the ferry routes reduce? Residents continue to live and face the problems of living in remote islands. One of them is Anafi in the Cyclades. With 220 residents there is no regular ship connection to the Greek mainland. Moreover, the island lacks the presence of a doctor. For that reason, residents had to travel to an island close-by, Santorini, for their medical exams. In November 2013 the mayor of Anafi wrote a letter to the minister of health asking for a permanent doctor.
This is when the Rotaract Club of Athens decided to act. Our goal was to reach the isolated island of 220 inhabitants during winter & offer to them medical services such as blood tests, cardiovascular exams, vaccination, etc. Our first target was to raise money for our project, therefore on November 15th 2013 we organized an event in a music live stage hall in Athens where we welcomed 140 guests and earned almost 1,000 Euro.
Our second aim was to reach the island. So, on Friday 6th of December 2013 a group of volunteers travelled for twelve hours to the island Anafi, in order to offer medical assistance and to show that someone cares for them. The next day we set up a medical examination room inside the school and we examined 52 adults, vaccinated 13 children and donated 80 glucometers and 40 digital thermometers along with some books of literatur to the local school. Twelve of the examined people were found to need further medical care which was then offered to them by the University Hospital Laikon in Athens as a result of the health care bridge that our club had built with the hospital. The locals were very friendly and embraced the action and did not hesitate to express their fears and concerns because of the huge gaps in the health area. Therefore it was very important that we helped them to collaborate with the main hospital in Athens.
With this project, we’ve saved the people expenses (they had to travel to another island for exams), we’ve vaccinated children & toddlers, we might even have saved a life, but mainly we’ve worked as a team acting for the good of our society.