Published: February 14, 2020
Published: February 14, 2020

Nikos and Spyros Remind Greek Girls That Anything Is Possible

When natural disaster strikes, it can devastate local communities. This was the case for one children’s home for orphaned girls in Greece. Fortunately, two of our colleagues, Nikos and Spyros, heard the call and decided to step up and do something about it. They wanted to show that from the ashes of disaster, you truly can grow the roses of success.

In his spare time, Nikos Papastamatakis is into car racing. But to us, he’s the technical sales representative for Athens. He provides 24/7 technical support to our customers, taking calls and making visits to their premises.
I enjoy the unexpected challenge. I find it very exciting to find the best possible outcome and to help create a satisfied customer.

Spyros Kiriakotzidis likes to take short trips with his family on his small boat to the Greek islands. He is our business development manager for Automotive Refinish for Balkans, Greece, Cyprus, Serbia and Georgia. While in charge of his teams’ goals and strategy, he also visits factories and potential customers and deals with technical customer support issues.

I enjoy being out most of the day and dealing with different kinds of people in all those different countries.

Though their daily work doesn’t bring them together much, they united to help make a COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® project happen last year at the site of their Charity Partner, The Chatzikiriakeio Childcare Institution.

Girls Displaced by an Earthquake

The Chatzikiriakeio Childcare Institution, in Piraeus, Greece, is a historic national foundation providing protection and education for young girls. It supports orphaned girls by giving them the care they need to have a better start in life.

The Athens site held a Colorful Communities project at the foundation in 2018, turning an old wagon into an exciting study room! But this time, they had a different focus.

Some years ago, the foundation suffered damage from a severe earthquake and the main residential building had been under renovation ever since. The girls had to move into small temporary houses.

The accommodation was boring and dirty on the outside. It didn’t support their mood or psychology.

The main hall and two adjacent rooms used for group and extra-curricular activities were spacious but not pleasant or properly equipped.

A Place the Girls Can Call Home

In the fall of 2019, Nikos and Spyros led a group of over 25 volunteers, more than half our team in Greece! They came together to infuse the children’s home with color and inspirational messages of hope.

Making their way through nearly 200 liters of SELEMIX® paints, they refreshed the site’s residential buildings. A local artist, known professionally as KIKO, created a mural with a motivating message in its main hall. They then tackled the external walls of the buildings (as well as others nearby) with 350 liters of SIGMA® paints in a warm and pleasant shade.

They also replaced awnings for new ones, spruced up the playground, filled the restaurant with curtains and chairs, and the group activity rooms with furniture and a sliding door!

We have finally provided a warm, pleasant, inspiring, and happy place that 110 girls can call home.

Sharing the Bright Side of Life

The work the volunteers did has totally transformed the space and looks “exquisite” next to the colorful wagon painted the previous year. People visit the premises daily to admire the result and have photos taken in front of the wagon and the mural!

The joy and the smiles on the children’s faces. The look in their eyes when the project was completed, and the way they were gazing at their renovated premises. It makes me #PPGProud of our team.
Alexandra Vassiliadou, executive administration for Protective and Marine Coatings, Greece

As part of the grand opening, our Athens team organized a career day to inspire the girls with presentations from successful female professionals from PPG and other companies, and remind them that anything is possible.

Anastasia Katsilieri, manager of the institution, was thrilled.

How wonderful the true meaning of the words ‘us’ and ‘together’ is when the difficult path we have to go through is together with people who have deep faith in the bright side of life.
Learn more about Colorful Communities initiative here.