The Hon. Esther Passaris, from Kenya’s Parliament visited The Greek Centre on Thursday 20 April and met with President of the Greek Community Bill Papastergiadis OAM and Jorge Menidis.
Bill and Jorge along with a congregation of GCM staff and students took Ms Passaris on a tour of the 15 story Greek Centre building and spoke on the vast programs that the GCM offer.
Ms Passaris expressed an interest in the activities of the Greek Community, with particular focus on the Greek School’s program. She expressed her interest in implementing similar programs back home as there are 300 Greeks currently living in Kenya. She was particularly impressed with the GCM’s rich cultural programs and especially with the annual Film Festivals, Live music events and theater productions.
Furthermore, Ms Passaris spoke about her Greek heritage more particularly about her father who was a naval architect and was responsible for the construction of the first naval ship in Kenya. Ms Passaris highlighted her hope to have a 3rd generation of Greeks living in Kenya to continue to learn the Greek language. She also praised Kenya’s Archbishop Makarios on his extensive socio-cultural initiatives which are inclusive of the construction of numerous secondary schools.
During Ms Pasaris’ visit both Bill and Jorge were afforded the opportunity to speak with Archbishop Makarios over the phone who further discussed the rich Greek cultural programs in Kenya and agreed to additional dialogue for the further enhancement of relations with East Africa.
Ms Passaris shared her thoughts about her visit stating, “This is the start of a strengthening our bond between the GCM and our ties with the Greek Community in Kenya. The GCM is a front runner in matters of the cultural preservation and strengthening the ties of the Greek diaspora.”.
Bill Papastergiadis OAM agreed with Ms Passaris on the importance of Greek diasporic communities working together commenting, “Moving forward the GCM commits to help the Greek Community in Kenya and Hon Esther Passaris to strengthen our bond. This is a start not only to share with our fellow Greeks in Kenya our rich Language programs but led a hand to help in any way we can to preserve the Greek Language in Kenya”
Hon. Esther Passaris is visiting Australia to attend the Harm Reduction Conference, which works towards the prevention of the misuse of alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and, illegal substances. Harm looks to employ strategies that encourage and support suffering young adults in their journey in seeking treatment.Ms Passaris also received a copy of the book “The Embodiment of a Distant Homeland: The History of the GOCMV” to remind her of her visit.