The history of the most important non-governmental organization in Greece

The history of the most important non-governmental organization in Greece

The Hellenic Red Cross was founded on 10 June 1877 on the initiative of Queen Olga and its first president was Markos Renieris.

On 6 October of the same year it was recognised by the International Red Cross. The aims of the Hellenic Red Cross, as described in its statutes, are, in wartime, the treatment and care of the wounded, the care of prisoners and the protection of war victims, while in peacetime, the provision of assistance to those affected by natural disasters and epidemics, the provision of social welfare and charitable work and the promotion of public health in general. The activities of the EEA extend beyond the Greek borders, with humanitarian aid missions to various parts of the world.

The work of the Hellenic Red Cross has been the establishment of First Aid Stations, Blood Donation Centres, Nursing Schools, hospitals (‘Erricos Dunan’, ‘Asclepeion of Voula’, ‘Korgialeneio-Benakeio’ in Ampelokipi) and the Missing Persons Search Service.

It is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It is considered the largest non-governmental organization in Greece. Its work is complex and based on the immediate response and the voluntary contribution and action of citizens. Its main objective is to alleviate human suffering in times of war and peace, supporting the wounded, the sick, the elderly, refugees, people facing financial difficulties and generally those belonging to vulnerable groups of the population.

At the volunteer level, the Hellenic Red Cross is divided into three main corps: The Volunteer Nursing Corps, the Volunteer Social Welfare Corps and the Volunteer Corps of Samaritans, Rescuers and Lifeguards. Each Corps has a different peacetime and wartime remit, as well as providing different training for its volunteers. All Corps work together at various levels to promote the humanitarian work of the Movement.

The Hellenic Red Cross has established the following public hospitals:

Asclepieion Hospital of Voula: Founded in 1921 by the Hellenic Red Cross as a sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis of the bones. In 1985 it was incorporated into the National Health System, but its ownership remains with the Hellenic Red Cross.
Henry Dunant Hospital: The Foundation is a non-profit, non-profit organization.
Athens General Hospital Korgelenio-Benakeio E.E.S.: Established in 1930 and today it is part of the National Health System.