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Open Access The Value of Social Pedagogical Volunteerism in the Midst of the Greek Economic Crisis: The Example of Voluntary Caring for Patients in the Hospitals (EDANI)

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Caring for common affairs and unconditional service are connected with Greek life and culture and closely related to religious duty and piousness. In the difficult days of the economical crisis and recession, offers for organized volunteering have culminated. The Voluntary Caring for Patients (EDANI), is both an organized ecclesiastical activity which wonderfully reclaims scientific knowledge and a model of education, support, supervision and distribution of volunteers. Along with the crisis, the effort has been more thoroughly organized and based on self- devotion, love for the other, social and spiritual sensitivity, EDANI manages to maintain a stable number of volunteers and to multiply its offer to nursing institutions in quality and quantity. It has well-trained and supportive volunteers taking care of patients (adults and children) who have no family environment to support them. In fact, EDANI is conducting social pedagogical work. Its strong social pedagogical character is demonstrated through: a) its sensitivity and interest in vulnerable groups of people, which is transformed into actual and systematic action; b) the pursuit to enable people to have a better quality of life, which we consider a duty; c) the development of volunteering action, which begins with the intention of an unconditional service and continues with meeting the needs of people who go through a bad situation; d) seeking personal strengthening and involvement of the patients and the volunteers; and e) finally, the vision of well-being for all people. The media, the volunteers themselves as well as the structure of the Orthodox Church of Greece have played an important role in bringing out this social pedagogical character of EDANI and have contributed to its success. During this period of crisis the Orthodox Church of Greece is promoting the spiritual character of the voluntary offer, organizing the distribution of material, time and money in order to sufficiently support people in need in our country, and has engaged in important religious and social pedagogical work for many years now.
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Keywords: ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE; PATIENT CARING; SOCIAL PEDAGOGICAL WORK; VOLUNTEERING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2015

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Social Pedagogy makes a substantial contribution to the cross-cultural discourse around social pedagogy. With emphasis on a theory-practice connection, articles in IJSP reflect a wide range of social pedagogical traditions and provide a greater understanding of social pedagogy in ways that are both relevant at a practice level and contribute to the body of theory and research. The interdisciplinary field of social pedagogy is constantly developing and evolving, and needs a strong foundational theory base, supported by well documented practice. IJSP is the only UK based English-language journal dedicated to social pedagogy and has so far attracted substantial international attention. Recently adopted by UCL Press, one of the peer reviewers praised IJSP for being ‘at the forefront of developing a scholarship in social pedagogy in an English language context, attracting a mix of local and well-known international contributors’.
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