On the occasion of the Mother’s Day, the Foundation bestowed prizes on six mothers who, each in her own way, are battling for life, giving hope and struggling for peace. The evene was organized on May 11th 2000 at the Old Parliament Building, in Athens.

Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis opened the event with an address, in which she emphasised significance and multifaceted role of the mother, which was and remains crucial, both in human society and in our hearts.  Mrs. Vardinoyannis referred to the aims of the event and to the mothers honoured by the Foundation: Mirella Kymbouropoulou and Panagiota Moschopoulou from Greece; Florina Brovina from Kosovo; Eleni Theocharous from Cyprus; Irena P. Dinic from Serbia; and Zeynep Oral from Turkey.

The Minister of Education and Religions, Mr. Petros Efthymiou, addressed the event  emphasising that the mother, the woman, always was and remains the principle carrier of Greek tradition, and the person who is behind every successful man, with her support and inspiration.

In a brief address, the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, praised the role of the mother, and the significance of the occasion.

The atmosphere was emotional as through the life stories of the mothers unfolded.  Even greater feelings were stirred when Eleni Theocharous devoted her award to all the mothers of Cyprus; and when Mirella Kymbouropoulou, mother of Stelios, the best student of the school of Spata, said that with God’s help she would be able to go to University with her Stelios, as she is his hands and he is the most precious thing in her existence.

Mrs. Irini Nikolopoulou, Greek journalist and mother, was moderator of the event.

Personalities from the cultural, political, diplomatic and business world were present, together with representatives of the Church, Governmental and non-Governmental organisations and social institutions, representatives of the Media and others.

Each of the mothers received a small sculpture created especially for the occasion by the artist Haris Messinis, together with financial support.

The stories of the mothers

(until the year 2000)


Mirella Kymbouropoulou is the mother of Stelios, the outstanding student of the Spata school who, because of a serious illness was unable to carry the flag since, according to the Constitution, one must be of sound body to be a standard bearer.  Thanks to the efforts of his mother, Stelios managed to carry the flag in the school parade.  Mirella Kymbouropoulou is an exemplary mother who knows how to believe, to love, to support, to be patient and to encourage.  Her love, her spiritual strength, but also her persistence resulted in Stelios’ overcoming all the difficulties and problems caused by his health condition.


Panagiota Moschopoulou, mother of five, from the village of Myrtia of the Province of Ilia, represents all those women who on a daily basis have to fight at the side of a sick child.  She experienced the threat of losing a child not once, but twice, after a bone-marrow transplant, which two of her children underwent at the Bone-Marrow Transplant Unit of the St. Sophia Children’s Hospital, which was established by the “ELPIDA” Association.  Panagiota Moschopoulou found the courage to continue with her hard struggle, in her faith in God, in her love for her children, in their own courage and patience, and in the marvellous efforts of the doctors, who finally turned the unachievable into reality.  The two children, whose donor was their own sister, after 18 months fighting for their lives, returned to their mother’s embrace happy and strong.


Flora Brovina, mother of two sons, is a paediatrician who also worked until 1981 as a journalist – in fact one of the best known journalists in the women’s sector.  She is also a poet and has published a number of collections of poems.  She is President of the Union of Albanian Women of Kosovo, a non-governmental organisation which is fighting for human rights and equality of the sexes.  In March 1998 she founded the Centre for the Rehabilitation of Children and Women – Victims of War.  During the bombing of Kosovo, she remained at the Centre to help the women and children under her protection.  Throughout the war Flora Brovina was present wherever the need for medical assistance called her.  In 1999 she was honoured by the French magazine “Marie-Claire”, which named her one of the three most influential women in the world, and by the Swedish “Pen Club”, which awarded her the Tsutsoski Prize.  Today Flora Brovina is in jail because of her activities.Flora Brovina’s prize was received by her son.


Eleni Theoharous, mother of one daughter, is a paediatric surgeon, and urologist, Professor at the Medical School of the University of Thrace, and Honorary Doctor of Universities in Russia and Belarus.  Today she works as Director of the paediatric surgery clinic of the Archbishop Makarios Hospital in Nicosia.  She is also member of numerous international scientific organisations, with many publications to her credit and even more honorific distinctions from all over the world.  Above all, however, she is known for her great humanitarian work.  In 1998 she was candidate for the PanEuropean Achievement Award and for the Humanitarian Action Award of UNESCO.  As a member of Doctors of the World, she has participated in aid missions to, among other countries, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, Haiti, Afghanistan, Gaza, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Kosovo, Serbia and Romania.


Irena Dinic, mother of one child, is an architect and works today at the Institute of Urban Development of Belgrade.  She became known when the images of her, giving birth to her child in Belgrade, at a time when the capital was being shaken by the bombs, travelled around the world’s newsrooms.  The hopeful message of peace sent by Irena Dinic, who brought a new life into the world from the ashes of war, is more powerful than a thousand peace demonstrations, and indeed, than war itself.


Zeynep Oral, mother of two sons and grandmother of three children, is a distinguished journalist for cultural issues, for peace and human rights and has been writing for the Miliet newspaper since 1968.  At the same time she has written 15 books, which have been translated into Italian and French.  She is one of the founders of the Helleno-Turkish Friendship Union and has been its Secretary since 1982, is a founder-member of the Najire Hikmet Foundation and masterminded the Ipektsi Award for Peace and Friendship among Greeks and Turks.  Zeynep Oral believes that in order to understand others, it is essential to get to know them; to see them in their true identity, in their own reality; to know their culture.  This is the only way in which one can be brave enough to resist and oppose oneself to all forms of provocation.  It is for this belief that she has fought, and continues to fight.