Evangelos Marinakis Renews Groundbreaking Partnership With UNICEF
Greek businessman Evangelos Marinakis has renewed his ground-breaking partnership with UNICEF to help reduce child mortality from preventable diseases, in various countries around the world.
Through soccer team Olympiacos FC, where Marinakis has served as President and owner since 2010, the focus of the partnership will remain on UNICEF’s “100%” campaign to immunize children in Greece and abroad with life-saving vaccines.
In this new phase of the partnership, which Marinakis and Olympiacos have supported since 2013, the focus will be a new UNICEF multi-year campaign that aims to end preventable deaths of newborns and ensure that every child has the necessary nutrition and health care to grow and develop during the first crucial years of their lives. Since the partnership began, hundreds of thousands of children have been vaccinated, and thousands of health care workers trained.
Marinakis’ focus on immunizations in partnership with UNICEF has been hailed as an example of so-called “collaborative philanthropy”, where a philanthropic donor works closely and continuously with a network of peers and aid organizations to deliver complex, innovative solutions.
It was back in early 2013 that Marinakis was personally moved by how a focus on just one tangible variable such as vaccinations could potentially make such a massive difference to the lives of millions of children. It was at that point he decided to launch the partnership between UNICEF and Olympiacos. The goal was to raise funds and awareness, both in Greece and globally, for the100% Campaign.
On the extension of the partnership, Marinakis commented: “Olympiacos FC has always represented a set of ideas and values that not only promote noble sportsmanship and great sport successes, but also give meaning to the notions of solidarity and team work. It is for this reason that we, the Olympiacos family, will continue to be close to those in need, and assist in UNICEF’s mission to brighten childrens’ futures.”
Verity Nicholas, UNICEF Head of Corporate Fundraising said: “Four years ago, Olympiacos decided to join forces with UNICEF to help save children’s lives from preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus, tuberculosis and, polio. Together, we have achieved a lot and we continue the effort, despite the challenging economic environment, with even greater enthusiasm.”
The partnership with UNICEF is in line with other charitable and philanthropic initiatives that Marinakis has championed.
For instance, at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe, Olympiacos provided thousands of meals and items of clothing for arrivals in the frontline port of Piraeus. The club’s players even helped in distributing the aid to refugee arrivals.
At the time, Marinakis said that, although the physical aid was critical, perhaps the greatest benefit from the initiative was that it completely changed the way that many people in Piraeus perceived refugees – moving them from a negative to much more positive view.