Plant Your Roots in Greece - Under the auspices of SAE
The non-profit organization “Plant your Roots in Greece” Foundation was established in 1991 in Washington and was presented to the Greek American community in 1994 at the Annual Convention of the Hellenic American National Council in Chicago held under the chairmanship of Theodore Spyropoulos.
The foundation was placed under the auspices of the National Council during the devastating wildfires in Greece. Over the past years it has been very active in promoting its objectives among the wider Greek American community and in Greece where it established a Greek branch in 2004.
“It is our sacred duty to participate in the reforestation of our native country”, pointed out SAE Regional Coordinator and “Plant Your Roots in Greece” Foundation chairman Theodore Spyropoulos. “Let’s not forget that the Ancient Greeks were early environmentalists considering that their world theory was based on the principle that nature is sacred and humans are merely a part of the evolving – in a sacred manner – creation.
Our vision is to witness Greece become green again, the way it is remembered by immigrants. Become once again Europe’s natural jewel.
Our philosophy combines the Ancient Greek principle of respect toward nature with the Olympic idea of voluntarism.”
The objective of the foundation is a three-prong effort to raise public awareness both in Greece and abroad:
1. Develop an interest in ecology and contribute to the protection of the environment in Greece by planting trees. Make a pledge to plant a tree during each visit to the homeland.
2. Forge stronger bonds with the native land, more so for the younger generations of Greeks living abroad.
3. Become volunteers. Reforestation takes place in cooperation with local government authorities, the Archaeological Service and volunteer groups (pupils, students, athletes, boy scouts, hunters, firemen).
Among the honorary members of the organization are, Hilary Clinton, honorary president, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece and other distinguished public figures from Greece and abroad.
Following a decision reached by the SAE Oceania Region, Coordinator George Aggelopoulos announced in September 2007 the expansion of the programme to Australia under the name “Plant your Roots / A tree in Greece”.
The programme was placed under the auspices of SAE following a presiding board decision in the 2nd regular meeting for the year 2007 held in Thessaloniki on December 10 and 11.