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AKMI Institute of Vocational Training honors Marianna V. Vardinoyannis

On Tuesday 8 March 2011, on the occasion of International Women's Day, the AKMI Institute of Vocational Training honored UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and President of the "ELPIDA" Association of Friends of Children with Cancer, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.

The award to Mrs. Vardinoyannis by the AKMI Institute of Vocational Training was within the framework of the tradition established in recent years by the school administration to confer an honorary distinction to women who have left their mark on the social reality and through their work made their own history in the arts, culture, politics, business and social contribution.   The choice of Mrs. Vardinoyannis as this year's honoree during the celebration of International Women's Day was a decision made by the students of the AKMI Institute of Vocational Training.

The event took place in the school's "Odysseas Elytis" amphitheater in the presence of hundreds of students and the honorary distinction was presented to Mrs. Vardinoyannis by the president of the AKMI board of directors Mr. Konstantinos Rodopoulos who noted that this award is the very least tribute befitting a woman who has rightly been characterized by all the children she supports as a "second mother" and constitutes recognition for the more than 20 years she has devoted to her great goal of protecting sick children.

Accepting the award, Mrs. Vardinoyannis briefly addressed the audience, saying: "…   It is a great honor for me to accept an award from young people.   From people I never met until today and who are yet so familiar, as we are linked together by common visions for the present and the future of our society.   It means a lot to me, this expression of support for my efforts for a better tomorrow.   My whole life I have marched on following these visions, considering it my duty to contribute to my fellow human beings and to remain true to the expectations I too nurtured when I was a student to build a better world.   When we're young we believe we can change the world.   And that is what I invite all of you to never let anything disprove it.   Because even the smallest effort can make the biggest difference when it is made through mobilization for a sacred purpose…   Your dreams, your goals and your principles must be your compass in life.   And never give up.   Because above all you're healthy and strong!   And furthermore because as young people you have the advantage of hope for the future which in combination with a fine education and the proper orientation lay the groundwork for success…"

The emcee at the event was Mr. Nikos Hadzinikolaou, publisher-journalist and a teacher at the IEK Institute of Vocational Training, whom Mrs. Vardinoyannis did not neglect to thank publicly for supporting the initiatives of the "ELPIDA" Association all these years in his own way and with great sensitivity, calling him a "role model who inspires the young with his moral stance and attitude to life".