Love and giving for children know no borders. The major contribution of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center to the ‘Marianna V. Vardinoyannis – ELPIDA’ Children’s Oncology Unit proved this, supporting hospitalized children and medical staff by sending 5,000 protective masks.
This wonderful initiative is creating a bridge of friendship between Greece and Azerbaijan, as the NGIC operates with the support of the country’s President, Ilham Aliyev, and First Lady and Vice President, Mehriban Aliyeva, who have close bonds of friendship with the President of the ‘ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer’, Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.
Both Mehriban Aliyeva and the members of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, who include heads of state and prominent figures from around the world, have visited the Children’s Oncology Unit and were impressed by the wonderful work being done to save children with cancer.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis is a founding member of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and a member of the Board of Trustees of the organization, and she has been honoured by President Aliyev with the “Azerbaijan Order of Friendship” for her important contribution to the creation of strong ties of friendship between Greece and Azerbaijan.
Wanting to express her gratitude for this wonderful initiative, Mrs. Vardinoyannis spoke via Skype with the Secretary General of the organization, Rovshan Muradov. In the context of their conversation, Mrs. Vardinoyannis called for initiatives and international cooperation in response to the crisis that has been created on a global level by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Governor of Agia Sophia and P. & A. Papasavvas Children’s Hospital, Manolis Papasavvas, participated in the conversation and expressed his warm thanks to Mr. Muradov for the donation of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center.
The conversation went as follows:
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis: My dear Rovshan, I’m very pleased to see you, if only in this way. Seeing a friend during this difficult time gives me great pleasure, and I would like to express my warm thanks for the wonderful initiative you took for our children. I am truly very deeply moved.
Rovshan Muradov: You are one of the founding members of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, and you always have the support of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva, who has already visited your hospital twice. She was very impressed and moved by everything you have done and the way you have taken care each individual child. You have undertaken this project, and these are all your initiatives. We are all very proud and pleased that you are a member of our Board of Directors.
In a recent conversation I had with Kerry Kennedy, we said that those who are hardest hit by this pandemic are the weakest, and we have to do everything we can to support them. Of course, this initiative for the hospital was supported by the two Co-Chairs of the Organization, Dr. Vaira Vike Freiberga and Dr.Ismail Serageldin.
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis: I would like to express my love and thanks to the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva. Mrs. Aliyeva and I are very close friends. We work together at UNESCO, and she, too, is a Goodwill Ambassador. I will never forget when she assumed her role as Ambassador – I was one of the first people she met, and all of the initiatives she has taken since then, all of her donations and everything she has done, have made me truly proud. It is an honor to be her friend. I deeply appreciate President Aliyev and the work he is doing for his country. And I would like to thank them for their sensitivity in supporting our children. I would also like to thank the two Co-Chairs of the organization, Vaira Vike Freiberga and Dr.Ismail Serageldin, who supported this initiative.
I would also like to thank the President of the Kingold Group, Chau Chak Wing, a good friend of the NGIC, who has taken important initiatives in response to the crisis.
I want you to know that I, too, will support you in any way I can. We thank you very much, not just for the 5,000 masks you sent, but for everything the NGIC does for our children. You all support us, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Rovshan Muradov: Everything you have done is truly invaluable, and especially now, in this crisis, when the children are so vulnerable. You have done truly wonderful work. Everyone in the NGIC is very impressed and moved by the way you embrace each child, by the love you show, and we are truly proud to have you with us.
We thank everyone for supporting the NGIC‘s initiatives, including the letters we sent to the G20 in support of global health, economy and agricultural production. It is important that prominent figures such as yourself, Dr. Vaira Vike Freiberga and Dr. Ismail Serageldin are joining your voices to support these causes. We thank you warmly. You can’t imagine how much we appreciate everything you do.
The recent conference held in Athens a few months ago, at your initiative, was a wonderful event. And in the recent meeting we had with Pope Francis, everything you have done for Latin America by creating schools. You also support human rights and our dear friend Kerry Kennedy’s Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. You are a rare person and we are truly proud to have you with us.
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis: Thank you very much for your kind words. All of the distinguished persons who support the NGIC are a real inspiration to me, and I thank everyone who contributes in their own way to creating a better world. All of the initiatives you have undertaken are truly wonderful, and you have my support. In my conversation with Kerry Kennedy, we talked about all of the recent developments and decided to join forces internationally, through the NGIC, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, my own Foundation and other foundations, and work hard together to save human lives. And through your position, you will contribute to this with the other important foundations the NGIC collaborates with.
I am truly disappointed that I can’t travel to Azerbaijan, where this year’s annual meeting was postponed. But I believe we will soon have the opportunity to meet again, up close, and work for a better tomorrow.
Please convey my thanks and greetings to the President and my dear friend the First Lady of Azerbaijan. They are always in my heart.
Rovshan Muradov: The world needs women in leadership positions, like you, Vaira Vike Freiberga and Mehriban Aliyeva, to make the world better for everyone. All of the initiatives you have taken are so important, and we know how much you appreciate all the members of the NGIC. I would like to convey the warmest greetings from Dr. Vaira Vike Freiberga and Dr. Ismail Serageldin, who are thinking of you and everyone at the Oncology Hospital.
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis: Give them my greetings and thanks. Azerbaijan is in my heart. Our discussion will be joined by the Governor of our Hospital, Manolis Papasavvas.
Manolis Papasavvas: I would like to express my profound gratitude to the NGIC. Today we received the 5,000 masks we will be giving to the doctors and nurses and the parents of our young patients. I would like to inform you that, throughout the crisis, our Hospital has operated normally and all of the children’s treatments are proceeding as planned. The children and our staff were completely safe and we haven’t had any cases of Covid-19. And of course I would like to thank Mrs. Vardinoyannis, who always supports us and who, during the crisis, gave us strength and courage to keep fighting to save these children’s lives.
Rovshan Muradov: Mrs. Vardinoyannis is truly and angel. All of the members of the NGIC know this to be true. She tries to help every fellow human being in need. Everything she has done for the children is truly wonderful, and during this difficult time, we, too, wanted to support the children. The First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva, and Marianna V. Vardinoyannis have a common vision: to protect human rights and to ensure that everyone has equal access to healthcare. Both of them are doing so much to reach this goal, and we are truly grateful. We are here to do anything we can to support not only ELPIDA, but Greece as a whole. And your country’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has done a wonderful job compared to other European states.
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis: We all really do feel safe thanks to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. He has done a wonderful job, and we all hope that this nightmare will end soon. The Prime Minister has made a great effort and put his soul into supporting everyone in need. He acted as a true humanitarian, putting human life above all else. In my opinion, this is what should be important in every civilized country: human lives first, and everything else after that. He was very caring, and many lives were saved by his actions, and we are grateful to him.