ELIX was founded in 1987 as an initiative of Ms. Eleni Gazi, ex-Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, aiming at promoting volunteerism in Greece through organized forms of voluntary work.
Since the founding of the organization, hundreds of volunteer work programs have been organized by ELIX in several locations across Greece, focusing -among other- on the protection of the environment, the preservation of cultural heritage and the promotion of social cohesion.
Every year, hundreds of young people from all over Greece have the opportunity to enjoy the great experiences of volunteering by participating in one of the many volunteer work and educational projects that ELIX offers abroad, while at the same time over 150 volunteers from abroad participate in the respective programs of ELIX in Greece.
Thanks to these volunteers’ contribution, ELIX implements a number of social programs, which aim at supporting socially vulnerable groups, such as the "Summer in the City" and the "This Summer is Ours" projects, as well and the ambitious educational program "Learning for Inclusion", focusing on children, refugees and migrants, aged 3-17, living in Attica (supported by UNICEF and DG ECHO).
Besides the valuable contribution of hundreds of volunteers, ELIX collaborates with a number of specialized professionals in order to implement successfully its actions and to ensure the high level of its programs.
The ex-Chairwoman of ELIX's Board of Directors and founder of the organization, Mrs. Eleni Gazi, explains the reasons that led her to the creation of ELIX, as well as her vision for volunteerism in Greece:
«At the beginning of the 1980s I had the chance to participated in an international voluntary workcamp in Spain. It was a great experience!
Young people from different countries decided to meet in a foreign place and agreed to co-exist harmoniously for a short period of time, offering volunteer work to the local community that hosted the programme. Friendships were developed, values were exchanged, voluntary work with social impact was produced, personal development was achieved...
What a nice idea, I thought! Wouldn’t it be great if more Greeks had the opportunity to enjoy such an experience by offering volunteer work abroad? Or if volunteers from abroad, were attracted to our country to offer volunteer work here, as well?
Thus, ELIX was founded, initially under the name "PEEP - Volunteer Programs for the Environment" in 1987, maintaining a low profile and growing steadily. In 2007, we completed 20 years of active participation through successful projects throughout Greece and abroad. It was then that ELIX was renamed, creating in the same time a new corporate identity. The focus of its work expanded by including along the protection of the environment, the preservation of our cultural heritage and the promotion of social cohesion.
Since 2008 – a period when Greek society was hit hard by the economic crisis- ELIX has adapted to the new circumstances and has decided to focus more on social projects that benefit vulnerable social groups, especially children and young people.
In 2017 ELIX completed 30 years of continuous presence, with more than 500 volunteer work programs being organized in 120 locations across Greece, while the number of volunteers sent abroad is over 3,000.
Most of our important social programs are being implemented with the kind sponsorship of companies, foundations, international organizations and others and I would like to thank them once again for their valuable contribution.
I am proud of ELIX, because she grew wonderfully and I grew beautifully with her too. I was there to see her evolve, acquiring many new friends, motivating thousands of volunteers who carry her name abroad and building great partnerships with local institutions, foundations and international organizations. I feel fulfilled because ELIX's work has benefited -and will always benefit- young people and those who feel young!
I sincerely thank the founding members of the Board of Directors for our common vision, but above all, my colleagues in ELIX who coordinate and implement with great passion and commitment our voluntary actions and social programs.
Founder of ELIX
Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of ELIX
More than 30 years of social provision