Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis participated in a video conference with Greek kids all over the world, as well as children of different nationalities learning Greek.
Mitsotakis spoke with students and teachers from 16 schools located in every corner of the world: From Buenos Aires or Argentina to Los Angeles, USA and Vancouver, Canada, and from Europe and Balkans to Kinshasa in Congo and Australia.
The conference sealed the success of the digital learning platform for the Greek language "staellinika.com", which is a valuable tool for learning the Greek language, Greek mythology and Greek culture.
StaEllenika is a collaborative effort of the SNF Center for Hellenic Studies and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The apps are designed for kids aged 4+ (Greek for Preschool/Kindergarten), kids aged 6+ (beginners Greek for ages 6-8) and kids aged 9+ (beginners for ages 9+).
The video conference was attended, among others, by the His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, and the director of the Hellenic Studies Centre of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation at Simon Fraser University, Dimitris Krallis.
"Some people that attend this video conference may remember my visit to Simon Fraser University, it must have been eight years ago, if I remember correctly, that I had visited the headquarters and (there was then there) a great man - unfortunately he is not here with us today - who also put his own stamp on the running of this project. It is very important for me, Your Excellency, to be able to have a tool for learning the Greek language, which uses the internet, that is, has a digital infrastructure, is easy to use, is based on modern technology, but also exploits the richness of Greek and Greek history and mythology to make the learning of Greek language exciting and enjoyable, for those and for all the children who mainly want to keep alive the connection with the Greek language," the Greek PM stated.
Last month it was announced that through a collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the www.staellinika.com initiative will be piloted in select Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Schools.
"And you know perfectly well, especially in the United States, what an important and integral element of Greek identity is learning of the Greek language. And today we have many more possibilities through technology to be able to make this first contact with the Greek language easier, more accessible and for children all over the world, whether they are in America or in Kinshasa in Africa or in Australia, whether they are in Asia or whether they are children who have Greek roots or children who do not have Greek roots but are interested in learning the Greek language, to be able to take their first steps and become acquainted with the beauty and richness of our language," Mitsotakis added.
The Greek PM also had the opportunity to speak to the children, including Nicolas and Benedicte from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have no Greek roots but love learning the Greek language which they have done for three years, with the help of the Missionaries. Speaking in Greek, Nicholas said he wanted to become a surgeon when he grew up, while Benedict said he wanted to become a paediatrician. "Well done, we always need more and better doctors," Mitsotakis said.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America pointed out that Greek culture is universal. "The Greek language is a golden key that puts us in a treasury full of treasures that are unpaid. No matter how much we share these treasures of our culture, they will never diminish, just the opposite will happen, "he said.
The www.staellinika.com initiative is already operating on YouTube, and the app is available on apple (iOS) devices for children aged 4-5, 6-8 years and over 9 years. The app will become available on android devices in September.
Η εκμάθηση της ελληνικής γλώσσας είναι αναπόσπαστο στοιχείο της Ελληνικής ταυτότητας. Είναι σημαντικό να έχουμε ένα ψηφιακό εργαλείο εκμάθησης της ελληνικής γλώσσας που αξιοποιεί τον πλούτο της ελληνικής ιστορίας και μυθολογίας για παιδιά σε όλο τον κόσμο. https://t.co/w2iZKu6WvX pic.twitter.com/Uv1OjRKYsR
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) June 23, 2020