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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 January 2017
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 JANUARY 2017 Teaching resilience to the most frail victims of the crisis Two academics from the University of Western Macedonia present their work with primary school children struggling with the after-effects of the drisis in Greece NIKOS FOTAKIS It is a well-known fact that the ongoing financial crisis in Greece has begun to take its toll on several groups of the population, not least among them children. For the past years, teachers, parents, as well as sociologists and mental health professionals, have been reporting a rise in incidents of children struggling with learning or developmental issues, presumably ignited by the after-effect of the crisis in their families. Agapi Vrantsi tried to act on it. A teacher herself and headmistress of a small primary school in Western Macedonia, she decided to further explore the issue, taking on a PhD on 'Enhancing resilience in children during economic crisis through teaching interventions in primary school', she set off on a challenging journey. The PhD candidate recently visited Australia, alongside Associate Professor Katerina Dimitriadou of the University of Western Macedonia. Invited by Maria Dimopoulos, who is active, through her venture, Myriad Consultants, in issues affecting children and women in the community, the two academics were given the opportunity to present their research findings and methods of teaching resilience in children aged 9-11 years old. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, prof. Professor Dimitriadou defined "resilience" as "the human capacity for recovery from negative life experiences and potential for empowerment through strategies for dealing with such experiences". She went on to explain how this program is an effort to strengthen both students and teachers and create "something positive" in an educational system that seem to be suffering. "I was spurred by the fact that Greece is suffering from the financial crisis and that I live and work in an area − Western Macedonia − which is among the poorest and most challenged in the country," explains Agapi Vrantsi. "Unemployment is very high and it affects many fragile parts of the population, especially children, who are the most fragile. We see children being very stressed and suffering from anxiety; some are isolated, others are becoming aggressive and refuse to participate in class. "We’re focused on cases of children who show difficulty or reluctance to integrate. We introduce activities in the classroom which help them develop resilience. We focus on the development of the child's 'soft skills' which help the sense of community. Though this only began before Christmas, we already have encouraging results," she said. The program will conclude in May, when the research findings will be presented in the academic community. During their brief visit in Australia, the two academics had the opportunity to present their work to stakeholders in the Greek community; teachers, academics and people involved in policy. "We wanted to see what kind of issues teachers deal with here, working with new migrant children, who are often facing many challenges," says Professor Dimitriadou. "Some are discouraged from following Greek school, which undermines the objective of inter-cultural education. Overall, the issue of resilience is not restricted to Greeks; we saw interest among other groups, especially people coming from the migrant or refugee communities, who also struggle to assimilate. What's more important is that we had the chance to engage in dialogue and establish relationships that will allow us to continue to exchange resources". For her part, the PhD candidate is grateful to be given the opportunity to present her work and raise awareness of the struggles that Greek students are facing at the moment. "This journey made me feel more confident and gave me strength to further pursue this project", she said. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM AZ Ready for 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour Greek Australian racer aims for first place High-profile Porsche racer Aaron Zerefos returns to Mount Panorama on Sunday, 5 February for the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour. It will be Zerefos' sixth start in Australia's biggest endurance race, and he is aiming for a repeat of last year's race, in which he recorded a strong second-place finish in the Porsche class. Zerefos, who resides be- tween Sydney and California, says the race becomes more competitive each year, with the 2017 event set to host a grid of more than 60 cars from 15 different manufacturers, driven by some of the best drivers from Australia and overseas. "It's very nice to be invited back with a good team like Wall Racing," Zerefos told Neos Kosmos. "The Porsche is strong package and I'm hoping for another podium result." Zerefos has had a busy 12 months, competing at different Porsche Races around the world including racing a limited edition Mark Webberdriven 911 GT3 Cup at Sydney Motorsport Park's Porsche Rennsport Festival The 2017 Bathurst 12 hour will be shown live on Channel 7mate from 5.30 am on Sunday 5 February. Qualifying action on Saturday 4 February can be watched on the live stream at www.bathurst12hour.com.au. Son who killed own mother suffered from bipolar for years Distressing details have emerged over the murder of 75-year-old Violet Tamvakis Shocking details behind the murder of Violet Tamvakis were finally revealed in a hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday. NEOS KOSMOS Published since 1957 Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by Rural Press Printing, Ballarat. 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Christopher Gogos Sotiris Hatzimanolis Nelly Skoufatoglou Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis Contributors: Dean Kalimniou, Theodora Maios, George Stogiannou, Con Stamocostas, Jim Claven, Theo Theofanous, Brian James, Michael Sweet, Gerard Papasimakopoulos, Michalis Michael Proofreader: Angela Costanzo Graphic design: Peter Kelidis, Nicole Denton Positions Vacant Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 REGISTERED NURSE - COMMUNITY CARE Colbrow Homecare recruiting Greek Speaking Nurses to work with a client in their home in the Sunshine area. Short term contract and shifts will be between 3-4 hours in length.You will be required to monitor and assess the patient and the care provided by the family and assist where necessary. Immediate start available.Current AHPRA Registration and Police Check essential.Please contact Michelle on 03 8548 5444 to apply or for more information concerns ueries, feel free to write to the firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you may call the office on (03) 8548 5444, Monday to Friday between 0800 - 1700 hours According to a report by the Herald Sun, the 75-year-old was in the process of changing her will in a bid to stop her son Socrates Tamvakis from selling the family home, when she was allegedly murdered by him. The incident took place in the family home in Bentleigh, where the beloved mother and grandmother lived with her son, in the early hours of 26 April 2016, when police allege the 45-year-old beat his mother with a rolling pin and stabbed her to death. Mr Tamvakis appeared in court on Tuesday, and despite pleading not guilty, was charged with the murder of his mother. The youngest of three siblings, his elder sisters revealed to the committal that he had been suffering from bipolar for some 25 years and had a history of verbally abusing their mother. While Mrs Tamvakis' second daughter Dimitra Kotsabouikis described the pair's relationship as "love-hate", she said that she had never witnessed her brother be physically violent towards her. "Socrates has said many times he was going to kill mum, but I never thought he'd do it," Mrs Kotsabouikis told the court. The sisters said that their mother was in fact changing her will, but that it was her intention to allow Mr Tamvakis to continue living in the house for the entirety of his life, but to stop him from selling it after her death. An electronics technician, Mr Tamvakis has a long history of mental illness. Diagnosed with depression at the age of 20, he had since been admitted to psychiatric clinics involuntarily some 30 times. The 45-year-old will stand trial at the Supreme Court of Victoria on 31 January.
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