YouSmile is the European Student Voluntary Network of the Greek NGO “The Smile of the Child”. “The Smile of the Child” started from a 10 years old boy, Andreas Giannopoulos in 1995. Back then, the first volunteers were children who wanted to help other children. YouSmile is an innovative interactive initiative that has been established in 2012 for the promotion of creativity, communication and participation among youth. Children, teenagers and youth, volunteers of “The Smile of the Child” lead the activity.
· YouSmile is open to participation of youth from different nationalities, religions, ages or financial statuses.
· All the children and teenagers are equal and cooperate with each other under the values of respect and acceptance.
· Children and teenagers act against Bullying, Racism and Violence.
· Through its initiatives the children work on the awareness of other children and society itself on the subjects of equality, acceptance and freedom.
· Our purpose is that every child or young person is aware of his/her rights.
At the same time, YouSmile supports the other Departments of “The Smile of the Child” in the effort to eliminate child or family poverty and educate as many children as possible. Moreover one of the primary goals of YouSmile is to promote the three help lines that “The Smile of the Child” operates, i.e. the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056, the European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000 and the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116 111, to as many children and young people as possible and to encourage them to call the help lines and speak with no fear about issues that concern them.Finally, YouSmilers, as we call the members of YouSmile, visit children that are in hospitals after being removed from their families upon a prosecutor’s order due to abuse or neglect and keep them company, give them presents and play with them. They also assist voluntarily the Support Centers of the Organization with the distribution of essentials to families with children with welfare problems.
The mission of YouSmile is to encourage, support and bring together the volunteering actions and initiatives of children and youth at the European and International level. The main vision of YouSmile is a world where the voice of children/youth will be heard and taken into consideration by adults, while their creativity will be utilized in order to ensure their rights and capabilities as active members of society. YouSmile aims to embrace and promote the volunteering initiatives of students and young people from different countries and cultures. Long before youth participation became a priority issue for policymakers, YouSmile has been providing the opportunities and the necessary tools to children and youth in order for them to express themselves, learn more about their rights, enhance their skills, interact and bring a change in local societies.