The Petalouda Center is an educational community center which serves the Roma people in Athens
The Roma community, not too far from downtown Athens, can seem like a different country altogether. Situated close to the front steps of another of HM’s ministries, The Hope Center, lies another world in need of love – a people who are misunderstood, judged, and forgotten – the Roma. The world puts its’ limitations and expectations on them, often leading to hopelessness. Problems from the past, which plague their futures, include the lack of education and social inclusion, leading to a lack of jobs and income. Many are without running water, power or permanent home structures. Furthermore, narcotics, child labor, and participation in child marriage does not aid their inclusion into society. On these not-so-distant streets walk our friends who have a voice but do not know who to call out to. They may yell at the government, at Greeks who mistreat them or at each other, but they need to call out to the One who hears them. But who will tell them about Him?
Responding is part of obedience. Obediently and joyfully, we have taken on the challenge to work within our local Roma community, against many odds, believing that change is possible in Jesus’ name. And change is what many of our dear Roma friends desire for themselves! Transformational change takes a long time. However, through an emphasis on education and relational opportunities, Hellenic Ministries has opened the doors of the Petalouda (Butterfly) Educational Center. The same way a caterpillar wants to fly but needs time and nurture, we hope to nurture this community and share the transformational power of Christ by helping them with things they never thought possible – reading, writing, applying for jobs, learning new skills, and more!
Our goal is to help each of the children gain self-confidence and the desire to attend the local Greek government schools and complete their education.
We also extend our help to the adults in this community as there is much desire to learn!
This is a war zone. An area that is covered in strongholds through drugs, prostitution, violence and abuse. Therefore, prayer is truly the biggest need. Please pray daily for safety, for our whole team and for all the children. Pray for breakthroughs on multiple levels and for the education classes to help set the children on many exciting paths.
We need volunteers who love people, especially children of all ages, and believe in the importance of education. Although speaking Greek is of huge value, many of our volunteers do not speak Greek and are still a big help to us. So please get in contact if you want to join us!
As this ministry was started in faith, further incoming support for the ministry is still a need while we grow and hope to improve our facilities and resources. Please consider supporting this ministry with a gift or monthly donations, clearly stating if you want it to go towards Petalouda expenses.
On 27th July an awesome team from the USA visited us and we all had lots of fun playing outside games with some of the kids... it's our summer break, so although they enjoyed the games the children still asked... "when will our lessons...
Story time with Erini under the tree at Petalouda.......
15th June... Over the past few weeks our next-door neighbours have become very angry because the children have been climbing their beautiful trees to steal their fruit and in the process some of the branches have been damaged and...
14th June. Erini and Sarah visited another local Roma community to visit some of our friends there!!!...