The people of ELIZA are all looking in the same direction, all striving to prevent violence against children, all carrying the same message: “Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse.” In order to ensure that our goal is achieved we are following many different directions, informing, educating, building structures for the identification of abuse. For the people at ELIZA early prevention and identification of abuse is the most important step towards a healthy adult life.
Board of Directors
The well-known painter, sculptor and stage designer, Marina Karella is the Founder and President of the ELIZA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Born in Athens, she studied art and stage design with Yannis Tsarouchis and completed her studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.
With her husband Michael, with whom she has two daughters, Alexandra and Olga, she has lived and worked as an artist, in New York, Paris and Athens.
Throughout her highly successful artistic career she has exhibited in cities around the world, such as New York, Paris, Athens, Los Angeles, Madrid, Brussels, Rome and London, while her works are displayed in leading museums and foundations.Her deep concern for children who have suffered abuse and neglect and her determination to create an institution for their protection in Greece led to the founding of the ELIZA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children by Marina Karella and her husband, in 2008.
Historian, traveler and author Prince Michael of Greece, son of Prince Christopher of Greece and Princess Francoise d’France, was born in Rome and spent his childhood in Morocco, Spain and France. After the death of his mother in 1953 he lived with the family of his uncle the Comte de Paris and received his degree in Political Science from the University of Paris.
Returning to Greece, he served in the Greek army for four years and in 1965 he married painter/sculptor Marina Karella. They have two daughters, Alexandra and Olga.
In 1970, Prince Michael of Greece published his first book, Ma soeur l’histoire, ne vois- tu rien venir? and received the Priz Cazes.
This was followed by over 20 publications, among which:
- biographies (Louis XIV: l’envers du soleil)
- historical novels (L’imperatrice des adieux, La Bouboulina, La nuit blanche de Saint-Petersbourg, La Conjuration de Jeanne, Le vol du Regent,)
- autobiographies (Memoires insolites)
Prince Michel has received many literary awards and his books have all been translated into many languages.
With his latest, Une promenade singulaire a travers l’Histoire, he stands among the outstanding contemporary writers of history.
Prince Michael’s deep concern for abused and neglected children led to the founding in Greece of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children ELIZA, together with his wife Marina Karalla, in 2008.
Lia Georgopoulou was born in Athens. For several years, she worked in the sector of Public Relations and Communication in educational organizations and companies both in Greece and abroad. Along with her career, she has always been actively involved as a volunteer in the social welfare sector. Among other involvements, Lia has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Athens Old Peoples’ Home and of the Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage.
She is also a member of MDA Hellas and an extremely active President of the “Friends of Parnassos Literary Society”.
As founding members of ELIZA, and members of the Governing Board, Lia and her husband, lawyer Leonidas Georgopoulos, have played and continue to play a decisive role in the establishment and development of the Society’s work.
Daphne Economou was born and grew up in India. She continued her education in England and holds a degree in English Literature.
On her return to Greece, she worked as a volunteer on a long overdue national project for the rehabilitation of elderly refugees from Asia Minor, whilst simultaneously running a children’s theatre group.
She married Constantine Economou and they had three children, George, Marianna and Themos.
In 1972, she and her husband, together with a group of outstanding members of Athenian society founded Cerebral Palsy Greece. Since then, Daphne has served Cerebral Palsy Greece in many capacities, including as Chairman of the Board, always retaining her particular interest in cultural and artistic activities for people with and without disabilities.
She was elected Chairman of the International Cerebral Palsy Society in 1996 and has published articles and spoken at many international meetings largely on the subject of ‘Learning from the child with disability’.
She was happy to join Marina Karella and Prince Michael and to share their great expectations, when they founded the ELIZA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, in 2008.
Daphne has been writing off and on throughout her life. Saturday’s Child – A journey through an Indian childhood was published in 2007, Poems in 2013 and 81 Cadogan Square in 2016.
Christina Kyriakopoulou was born and raised in Athens. She started her professional career in France in the 1960’s and she gradually acquired extensive experience in the field of commerce, having worked originally at the Papagiannis stores and then having served as the CEO of the Sinanis store. Up till 2010, she ran a store with the Escada group collections.
Her extensive involvement in charitable activities includes her long association with the Friends of Merimna, where she served for several years as Honorary Treasurer.
Christina responded immediately to Marina Karella’s call for the founding of ELIZA, and she has served actively as a member of its Board of Directors ever since. She is currently Honorary Treasurer.
Christina has one son, Menelaus.
After graduating from the Arsakeion High School, Anna Andreadi became a registered archaeological site guide before completing her studies in photography.
In 2004, Anna became a founding member and Secretary General of the“Friends of Merimna” Αssociation. She has also served on the Board of thε “Kallipatira” Women’s Association and as Honorary Secretary General of the “Together for Children” Association.
From 1999-2004, she worked as a volunteer in the public relations department of the Athens Organizing Committee (ATHOC) for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, contributing her experience from her participation in the bids for the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Games, on behalf of Athens.
A passionate sailor, she has organized two dozen European and World championships as well as crewing, twice, to second-place finishes in the Lightning European Championships.
Her organizational career began within the sport of sailing, where she served as board member of the Hellenic Yachting Federation before founding the Yacht Racing Club of Athens. In the late 1970’s she was instrumental in the spreading of what became the most popular boat in sailing history as president of the Hellenic Laser Class Association, a position she held for a decade. She still serves the sport as a Board member of the Yacht Club of Greece and a member of the Regional Games Committee of the International Sailing Federation, a position that she moved to after 11 years as vice chairman of the Women’s Committee.
She is a founding member and a member of the Governing Board of ELIZA, where she actively participates in all activities.
Ileana Makri was born in Thessaloniki and grew up in Athens. She finished elementary school at Moraitis School and graduated from the American Girls College of Greece. After receiving her BA in Business Management from the Deree College of Greece she married and moved to New York.
On her return to Greece, she opened the first concept store “Mageia”, on Haritos Street in Athens. In 1996 she studied jewelry design at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) in Santa Monica, California, and on her return she launched her first collection which immediately received high recognition both in Greece and abroad.
In 2014, she closed “Mageia” and opened a similar store named “Ileana Makri” where she launched her namesake line together with selected jewellery and accessories of international designers.
She has cooperated closely with ELIZA and currently serves as a member of the Governing Board.
Dolla Nomikou was born and grew up in Athens. On marrying Peter Nomikos she lived in London for many years, which is where her four children were born.
From 1982 to 1999 she was a founding member and a member of the Board of Directors of the “The Sick Children’s Trust” at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, in London.
On returning to Athens, in 2002, she served as a founding member and President of the Association “Friends of Merimna” until 2018.
She is a founding member and α close associate of ELIZA and currently a member of the Governing Board.
Ioanna Paicos was born in Athens and raised in Berlin. She is a graduate of Biology from the Berkeley University of California, and has also received an MA in Genetics from the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich. She worked for 10 years, from 1990 until 2000, in the field of IVF as a clinical embryologist.
Ioanna also holds a BA in Psychology from the Deree American College of Greece and had her Psychoanalytic training at the Greek Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Athens. For two years she interned at the Psychiatric Clinic of the Airforce General Hospital 215.
Volunteering and community work have always been a big part of her interests.
She cooperated closely with ELIZA these last years and is currently a member of the Governing Board.
Niki Boutari-Psarafti was born and raised in Athens. A Pierce College alumna, she enrolled at the Athens University of Economics and Business Studies (former ASOEE) and graduated with a BA in Business Administration.
She started her career at Procter & Gamble, while in 1982, she became one of the founding members of the advertising agency, ARROW, and soon rose to the position of key shareholder and CEO. Under her management, ARROW joined, as subsidiary, the global communications network of BBDO and BBDO Greece and maintained a steady position among the top 15 agencies ιn the country.
Niki was always involved in voluntary work and the support of voluntary organizations. She provided services, free of charge, for branding, communication strategic campaigns and publicity for organizations such as ELPIDA, MDA, ELLET and Together for the Child and, finally, ELIZA. For ELIZA, ARROW contributed to the production of the two TVC/ spots, consultancy, media planning and monitoring of viewership.
In 2013, Niki moved on to the sector of education and brought her expertise to the American College of Greece /ACG where she holds the position of Vice President for Marketing and Communication.
In 2015, she was elected to the Board of ELIZA, contributing apart from all media affairs and the close collaboration between ELIZA and ACG
She is married to Constantine Boutaris, of the well-known wine-producing family and has two grown-up children living and working abroad.
Aliki Papagianni was born in Athens and graduated from Pierce College in 1973. For two years, she studied marketing in Paris and in 1975 she commenced her professional career at the Papagiannis and Sinanis Stores, in Athens.
In 1986 Aliki began her partnership with the Mothercare pic U.K Company, as exclusive franchisee and in 1991 she became the CEO of the company. When the company was bought by KLM AE in 1999, she stayed on as Commercial Manager until 2014 and
in September 2014, she began a new collaboration with Mothercare UK as a consultant and undertook the restructuring of 52 branches in Turkey.
She retired in 2016, which allowed her to become further involved in voluntary work and as a member of ELIZA, and now as deputy member of the Governing Board, she offers her services in all fund-raising events.
Myrto Nilsen was born in Alexandria and studied Psychology at the Sorbonne and at the Pedagogical Institute of Paris. She lived in Denmark for many years where she taught Psychology at the University of Copenhagen and worked as a researcher in the Pedagogical Institute of Denmark.
In Athens, she supervised the Department of Research, Studies and Publications at the Center for Mental Health, while also working at the Social Psychiatric Center of Athens. She is a founding member of the MERIMNA -Society for the Care of Children and Families Facing Illness and Death- where she served as President of the Board from 2004 to 2008. She is also a founding member of the Hellenic Association of Group Analysis and Family Therapy.
As founding member and Scientific Councilor of ELIZA she played, with Eleni Agathonos a decisive role in the founding and running of the SOS ELIZA Children’s Home, as well as in the organization and monitoring of the VIMA Community programme, while simultaneously offering valuable advice to the Governing Board.
Myrto has published many psychological books and studies as well as literary works, and she is also a writer of books for children.
Eleni Athanasiadi graduated from the School of Physical Education and Sports Science of Athens. After graduating as swimming champion, she worked for twelve years as a swimming instructor for young children at major sports clubs. She then worked for fifteen years in administrative support at various multinational companies. In her capacity as
Head of Secretariat and secretary of the Board of Directors since ELIZA’s foundation, Eleni carries out a broad range of duties.
“Having shared the vision of ELIZA’s founders since the very beginning, I continue, after all these years, to believe in the great work carried out by our Society. As a professional, but also as a mother, and with a real understanding of how important it is for all children to have the love and support they so need, I hope that through my work I can continue to contribute in my own way to creating a better and safer future for all children.”
Dimitris Grigoriadis graduated from the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens with a Degree in Literature (Linguistics) and also holds a Masters Degree in Communication from the London Metropolitan University. He has ten years of experience in project management, communication and administration, and has worked for non-profit organizations and private communication and publishing companies. Since 2010, he has worked in collaborations with both national and international partners, implementing projects and initiatives that bring together the public and private sectors in support of social causes, such as education, culture, social services, economic development and digital innovation.
He joined the ELIZA team in January 2020, undertaking the coordination and implementation of national projects for identifying abuse, raising social awareness, promoting children’s rights and preventing child abuse at the earliest possible stage.
“I dream of a world in which the citizens provide affection and a protective shield to children who suffer, with ELIZA acting as the motivating force in the creation of a better tomorrow for future generations.”
Elina Koutromanou graduated from the Communication and Social Media Department of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, while as a student she attended seminars on Digital Marketing, Communication, Project Management and Sales.
Following an internship at the Press and Communication Department of the Bank of Greece, she joined ELIZA in 2018. Initially her duties involved taking on a large part of the administrative support of the Society’s programs for the Management of Child Abuse Cases, and then gained an active role in ELIZA’s Social Media environment. She also writes for the ELIZA website and coordinates specialist article content.
“Through my work I hope to make a small contribution to ELIZA’s efforts to protect children at risk, so that in future all children can live free from any form of abuse and neglect.”
Vanna Marketaki studied drama and pedagogy. This combination of subjects led her to journalism, with a focus on medical and social interest issues and she worked for several magazines and newspapers at positions of responsibility. From 2011 to March 2020 she worked as content administrator, writer and communications consultant for private individuals and companies, covering a wide range of professional services. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown brought her to ELIZA. She got to know the people, the programs, the vision and the motivating force of the only Non-Profit Society dedicated to child abuse exclusively. Inspired by the passion and love of its members, she joined the common effort of the ELIZA community for a future without traumatized children.
“I often think about how a tiny girl, 6-year old Elisa Izquierdo, died in the cruellest way imaginable before the entire hard-core legal and judicial mechanism of New York could mobilize so as to prevent a repetition of such an unprecedented case of child abuse. ELIZA must turn this unthinkable ‘sacrifice’ into actions that will prevent the abuse of thousands of other children. I hope we succeed, for Elisa and for the millions of other Elisas out there.”
Emy Ntotsika holds undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from the department of “Marketing and Communication Using New Technology” of the Athens University of Economics. Since 2010 she has worked in communication for companies and organizations, specializing in integrated communication strategy design, crisis management, and forging contacts with media representatives.
Emy joined the ELIZA family in 2016, taking an active part in the design, coordination and implementation of national programs aiming to protect children at risk of abuse and/or neglect, and in the publicising of the Society’s actions. Since 2020 she has focused on using her skill and experience to disseminate the Society’s work, with the aim of raising awareness in Greece regarding the importance of preventing and identifying child abuse as early as possible.
“I believe that when people join forces for a sacred purpose, such as the improvement of the lives of children who are at risk of abuse and/or neglect, then everything can really change. It is this very change that is the vision of ELIZA, a change we are achieving slowly but surely, with patience, perseverance and effort, for every infant and child that needs protection.”
Aphrodite Stathi studied Psychology (BA) at Deree College/American College Greece and Organizational and Social Psychology (MSc) at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She worked for more than 15 years in strategy, communications and R&D in Greek and international organizations.
As Head of Administration of ELIZA since 2014, she directs the organizational design and implementation of national initiatives for the advocacy of children’s rights through public and private sector collaboration. In 2015 she received the US Federal Assistance Award to visit organizations, universities and Child Advocacy centres in the USA. In 2017, as Marshall Memorial Fellow, she specialized in best practices for the protection of children in the USA.
By mobilising collaborations, she contributes to designing interventions for the primary and secondary prevention of child abuse. Specifically, the design and implementation of educational programs for professionals and research programs in collaboration with scientists from the US and Europe, the improvement of multidisciplinary collaboration, and the creation of best practice models. Alongside her work, she offers her services as a volunteer to charity organizations and also aspires, through her lectures, to strengthen the position of NGOs and the voice of civil society.
Her dream is for Greece to embrace all children and for ELIZA, a model organization for the support of children and their families, to ensure the prosperity of future generations of citizens.
The Scientific Team
Every step we take at ELIZA is designed and implemented following our collaboration with experienced specialists, scientists dedicated to the proper protection of vulnerable children and families. ELIZA thanks them all warmly for the knowledge they impart daily, but also for their vision which acts as a beacon, illuminating our every action.
Leda Anagnostaki, Psychologist/Psychotherapist for Children and Adolescents, Assistant Professor at the Department of Early Childhood Education of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Tinia Apergi, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist/Associate Professor of Psychology, American College of Greece (ACG)
Olga Themeli, Assistant Professor of Criminal Psychology
Elektra Koutsoukou, Dr. of Children’s Rights, Lawyer, Scientific Collaborator at the University of the Peloponnese.
Marina Martinou, PhD Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Scientific Collaborator for the organization “Together for the Child.”
Alexandros Panos, Paediatrician, 2nd University Paediatric Department, “P. & A. Kyriakou.” Athens Children’s Hospital
Alexandra Soldatou, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, Medical Faculty of the University of Athens, “P. & A. Kyriakou,” Athens Children’s Hospital, Head of the Child Safety Care Unit