Europe bowed to Father Antonios: He was honored as the best European citizen
Accompanied by 10 children from the "Ark of the World", the priest Antonios Papanikolaou received the award for best European citizen.

It is an institution established by the European Parliament in 2008. This award rewards activities or actions of citizens, groups, associations or organizations that have shown great commitment to promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration among the citizens of the Member States.

The important and critical work of "Kivotou", founded in 1998 in Athens by the then 26-year-old priest, Antonios Papanikolaou, has been offering support to young vulnerable children, Greeks and immigrants, from single-parent families or without parents, for 20 years. experience extreme conditions of poverty and abandonment.

Desiring to highlight one of the most important volunteer personalities of our time in Europe, Dimitris Papadimoulis proposed to the Committee of European Citizen Awards for 2018 - a proposal which was unanimously accepted - to give a third prize in Greece for the third consecutive year, against the two under the current regulation.

The words of Father Antonios for this great honorary distinction:

"What can I say; For an orthodox priest, you know, rewards are not needed in the sense that I believe and feel, that what we do is our duty, an obligation to our flock for the children and the wounded souls. So all this helps in the certification and in making our work even better known and to get help. I could not even imagine the development of this project of the "Ark" nor had I thought that we would reach this point with so many children.

As I usually say it is a miracle.

The "Ark" is a pre-existing plan and I just said "yes" and followed one need after another. Today in Brussels we have 10 children with us. You know when they told me I told them that this is something very important that some of our older children should also experience.

Specifically they are high school kids and the reason I wanted them to be with me right now is so they could open their eyes. To see new horizons. Today I will get the same children to receive the award and the message I want to give to them is to set goals and achieve them.

Because these are children who experienced bad things in the beginning of their lives, these children should now be able to "paint" their own life. "God gave each one the paints and the brush to make his own; the painting in his hand is whether he will blacken it or not".

On the occasion of the awarding of the "Ark" with the "European Citizen Award", Father Antonios, accompanied by 10 children of the Ark, visit Brussels for three days at the invitation of Dimitris Papadimoulis, with whom they will have a private meeting and discussion, regarding ways of encouraging, supporting and promoting the important social work of the "Ark".


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