A life of poverty could be debilitating for any children. It could lead them to drop out of school, engage in odd jobs that pay just enough for daily feeding; and until there is a break, the cycle will continue from generation to generation.
Fortunately for the Tema New Town community, the Maria Tsakos Foundation has come to do just that, changing lives and the poverty narrative through the St. Nicholas Charity Preparatory School.
In 2006, the Tsakos Group commenced the building of an Orthodox Christian Church in Tema New Town to serve its seafarers who frequently dock at the port of Tema.
Following the construction of the church, it became apparent that a school close by to cater for those children living in deprived conditions in the area was needed, thus the birth of St. Nicholas Charity Preparatory School.
Since then, the Foundation continues to support the school while chalking enormous successes in its work of teaching the Greek language and promoting elements of the ancient as well as modern Hellenic culture.
The St. Nicholas Charity Preparatory School is a one-of-a-kind, run entirely on voluntary donations and receives no state funding.
It is more than a school to the people in this coastal town; it is an opportunity for some of them to break the vicious poverty cycle and change the status quo.
In fact, it is evident in the job opportunities that the school presents to parents and other members of the community. This aptly aligns with the mission of the school to improve the lives of disadvantaged families living in Tema New Town by providing their children with quality education and vocational training in a manner that will guarantee them bright future prospects and through that break the debilitating hold of poverty that continues for generations.
For this reason, Madam Deborah Eleazar, Co-Founder of the Saint Nicholas Charity Preparatory School, together with parents in the community, continually express their gratitude to all donors, volunteers and stakeholders, especially the Maria Tsakos Foundation for giving the community a chance to change their fortunes for good.
The Foundation has also set up a maritime centre in Greece. The “Maria Tsakos” TCM Academy provides an interactive training facility utilising the latest technology in best-of-class training to both on-board and ashore personnel, thus clearly demonstrating Captain P. N. Tsakos’ deep interest and strong commitment to safety and the environment.
The Academy is accommodated at the Company’s Headquarters Building in Athens, in a 500 m2space that has been extensively revamped for the purpose.
The “Maria Tsakos” TCM Academy provides the means to officers and employees of the Group to continuously develop and improve their competence in order to ensure operational excellence in terms of safety, efficiency and competitive advantage.
The simulators installed provide the trainees with the opportunity to operate and react in a virtual, yet fully realistic environment where mistakes become lessons learnt, without risking damage to equipment and people.
They offer an exceptional educational experience, which is not available on-board. They also serve as a tool to initially educate and ultimately test and evaluate the officers’ competence and readiness to undertake higher rank duties and responsibilities.
The Maria Tsakos Foundation was founded in Montevideo in March 1978, inspired by the love of Uruguayans for the Hellenic spirit and culture. The Foundation developed into a principal centre for teaching the Greek language and promoting Hellenic culture in other parts of the world under the inspirational leadership of the late Maria Tsakos, daughter of the CEO of the Tsakos Group, Capt Tsakos, whose love of children is paramount and who always championed the disadvantaged.