He builds houses for poor in Cambodia
The psychologist Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos and his wife Jenny, participate in the special program of the organization «Tabitha Foundation Australia», where his sister Dr. Sianna Panagiotopoulos who is a scientific researcher at the University of Melbourne and Austin Hospital Medical Research Foundation, participates as well. The Panagiotopoulos couple, always have their children with them. «To listen about poverty is totally different than to see it with your own eyes,» says Panagiotis, adding that «contact with the real face of the world, is the best gift I can give to my children.»
He is a Psychologist at Xavier College, and he enjoys the appreciation and admiration of the supervisors and his colleagues for his inventiveness in designing programs that giving children the chance to come into contact with the real view of life. With his wife Jenny and their three teenage sons, they went to a village in Cambodia, the Sunrise Children’s Village, to provide clothing and manual labor, wherever was needed. In fact the place he went, it was a village where the inhabitants are orphans. In Cambodia there are a lot of them. «The mines, the war, the natural disasters and AIDS, have done their job,» said Panagiotis with a bitter irony.
Regarding how this idea started, P. Panagiotopoulos says: «I think that the fact that 80% of people in the Third World countries are in a terrible state, leaves a few people untouched. The difference is to find a way, to open in front of you a little loophole that makes you see what you can do as an individual».
A part of the program is to build «houses» for people who live in huts, made from branches on the ground. «Appalling conditions», says succinctly, Mr P. Panagiotopoulos and continues: «We never expected to see so much poverty. It was a strong shaking for everyone. Before you go, you read, you hear, you see pictures, you get information. However, nothing compares with this natural reflection of poverty. You can even lose your mind. You feel the most unprecedented emotions to conquer you. Not one by one, so as to be able to understand and give an answer to yourself, but all together, like a hurricane rushing through you and flooding. They numb you and they pierce your heart. On the one hand you feel guilty, because if you dreamed that you were lining there, you would wake up in cold sweat. On the other hand, you feel that it is inhumane the so-called developed countries to allow their fellow human beings live in this misery. You understand that too many still need be done.