CULTURE

Vardinoyianni praised for work to protect children

In Paris recently, Anne-Aymone Giscard d’Estaing, the wife of the Philhellene former president of the French Republic, gave a press conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the «Fondation pour L’Enfance,» when child abuse was still a taboo subject. Focusing on the foundation’s achievements and goals, Mme Giscard d’Estaing made particular mention of measures to protect children from all forms of abuse and violence, as well as the need to make the public more aware of the problem. «Just as 25 is the age of maturity for human beings, our foundation is celebrating its maturity, which gives us a feeling of great joy and justification,» she said. She also mentioned the fruitful cooperation she has had with similar organizations in other countries and with distinguished personalities around the world such as Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Rania of Jordan and Maria Barosso Soares, wife of the former president of Portugal. Giscard d’Estaing also drew attention to UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyianni, president of the Foundation for the Child and the Family, whose work she praised. «Within our foundation, we have worked with Mrs Vardinoyianni for several years in many European and international programs, with great success,» she said. Finally, she announced that the second European meeting of judges and prosecutors working with juveniles will be organized in Athens next March by these two foundations and the European Commission. The first was held in 2000 at the Sorbonne. The anniversary celebrations culminated in an «International Evening for Childhood,» which for the last 10 years has been held at the Palace of Versailles. The program included a concert, a modern version of the ballet «Romeo and Juliet,» and an official dinner. The guests were Queen Silvia of Sweden with Princess Victoria, Queen Rania of Jordan, Queen Paola of Belgium, the first ladies of Armenia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Cameroon, the president of the foundation «Palestine Avenir,» Suha Arafat, the former empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi and Maria Barosso Soares, who is president of the Red Cross in Portugal, along with Marianna Vardinoyianni from Greece.