AWK volunteers receive award for outstanding community work

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Animal Welfare Karpathos receives award by the Citizen's Movement

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An award ceremony sponsored by the organization “Kinisi Politon (Citizen’s Movement)” was held, on December 9, 2021, in the Old Parliament in Athens. Among the 7 non-profit organizations selected to receive an award in recognition of their contributions to society, was Animal Welfare Karpathos (AWK). The selection of the organizations and the coordination of the event was made by the “Hellenic Judicial Committee” of the “Citizen’s Movement” . The awards were presented to the elected organizations by the Honorable President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou

On behalf of Animal Welfare Karpathos, this award was received by the president of AWK, Sofia Hiras. The ceremony was also attended by AWK board members Theochariti (Haidee) Pittas, Maria Pavlakou, Georgios Kourtis and Maria Loizou. In addition, Mrs. Serafina Avramidou of the Greek Animal Welfare Fund - Animal Action Hellas, also attended the event to support Animal Welfare Karpathos. 

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The introductory speech for Animal Welfare Karpathos was made by the chairman of the Hellenic Judicial Committee, Mr. Vassilis Rapanos, who stated:

Our task was not easy. From the many candidate organizations for the award, we had to choose the ones who with their presence and action showed that in our time there are still many people who place the  "we" above the "I". We are going through a difficult period in which we continue to deal with pandemic after a long period of economic hardship. In these circumstances, the honored ladies and gentlemen showed through their non-profit work that there is humanity, that there is hope. They confirmed the words of our poet, Georgios Seferis, who, during the closing remarks of the Nobel Prize speech at the Swedish Academy, said: {In this ever-shrinking world, each of us needs everyone else. We must look for the man wherever he is. When, on the way to Thebes, Oedipus met the Sphinx, and she asked him its riddle, his response was: man. This simple word ruined the monster. We have many monsters to destroy. Let's consider Oedipus's response.}  Now I come back to this  awards ceremony… As a Dodecanese, I feel particularly enthused that the committee has chosen to honor the Animal Welfare Karpathos, which consists of volunteers who for over 20 years have been offering active voluntary animal welfare work on the island of Karpathos. As a group of volunteers, it is the oldest on the island, having facilitated hundreds of adoptions, sterilizations and treatments for stray animals in need. The organization was officially founded as a non profit organization in August 2020 through the leadership and initiative of Greek-American veterinarian, Anna Katogiritis. This effort was supported by all the  volunteers and board members of Animal Welfare Karpathos. The aim of the organization is to reduce the stray population of cats and dogs, to rescue and  provide care to  animals suffering from diseases, to rescue animals who have been abused by humans, to inform the public about the guidelines on animal welfare and to educate children and young people through seminars. It is worth mentioning that through the Animal Welfare Karpathos, you chose Ms. President (speaking directly  to Katerina Sakellaropoulou) to adopt the now famous cat Calypso. Animal Welfare Karpathos is represented by its president, Mrs. Sofia Hiras, who offers volunteer work in both Athens and Karpathos, but also the United States, and whom I now invite to the podium. "

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Following Mr. Rapano’s speech, Mrs. Hiras made the following remarks from the podium, prior to receiving the award: 

We thank the Citizens' Movement for the honor bestowed on us today. We receive this distinction on behalf of all animal welfare organizations, but also on behalf of each animal advocate volunteer individually throughout the country. We, Animal Welfare Karpathos, may be  a small organization, but we believe that in a short period of time we have achieved a lot."

Ms. Hiras mentioned some of the remarkable achievements of the organization before thanking Ms. Sakellaropoulos for the adoption of Calypso, stating characteristically (regarding the adoption) that: 

"We believe that the act of the President was highly symbolic as it sent a strong message for animal welfare throughout the country and even abroad 

Sofia Hiras closed her speech by emphasizing the importance of appreciating the positive changes that are taking place around us, emphasizing that:

Yes, we hear every day about the many problems that stray animals are facing. At the same time, however, we see the positive side of things and that many aspects are changing and improving. More and more often we hear about animal advocacy organizations, municipalities and individual citizens who try to make a difference in their own way every day. The culture of a society is highlighted and proven the true- practical way it behaves towards animals. Every animal advocate must become the voice that animals do not have. This is our responsibility today and this is what we will continue to do. Your recognition today gives us the strength and courage to continue our work. On behalf of our entire team, thank you very much for this honor.

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Animal Welfare Karpathos would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers, donors and families who have adopted animals through the organization. Without everyone's contribution, the work of the organization thus far would not have been possible. It is our collective efforts that make a difference, AWK's hope is that more volunteers will consider joining the mission of the organization. 


Animal Welfare Karpathos is a non-profit organization registered on Karpathos island, Greece. AWK operates exclusively with the help of volunteers and donors. If you would like to learn more about the organization, please visit the official website: Email: