Good practices, problems and future plans for the island of Andros

The Observatory discussed online with the Community Center and the Municipality of Andros (June 13-14, 2023) and the findings were very interesting. In particular, interviews were conducted with:


a) the President of the Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Andros, Ms. Sofia Toundasaki,

b) the Deputy Head of the Directorate of Welfare, Education and Tourism of the Municipality of Andros, Ms. Vasiliki Routi, and

c) the executives of the Community Center of Andros, Ms. Lambrini Batsi and Ms. Katerina Dimitriadou.


The President of the Public Benefit Enterprise spoke to us about the responsibilities of the “Help at Home” program as well as the multifaceted support it offers especially to isolated and lonely people, people with disabilities and the elderly, while she noted that, even before the pandemic broke out, they had started recording the local needs of residents in isolated villages. Moreover, we discussed the challenges faced by the Municipality during the pandemic, considering that Andros is a large island, which is also the main difficulty of the residents. She emphasized the decrease in the population with the simultaneous increase in divorces, while she also spoke to us about the future plans of the Municipality, such as the enhancement of childcare centers and the creation of structures for the creative employment of children.


With the Deputy Head we discussed, among other things, the shrinking population and the tendency of families, especially young people, to go abroad, due to a lack of health infrastructures and stable employment. In addition, we talked about the increase in psychiatric cases, which was evident even before the pandemic, as well as the recently developed telepsychiatry. Despite the difficulties the island faces, there is a good standard of living, due to the maritime tradition that characterizes the island.


Furthermore, we discussed with the Community Center executives the fact that this year citizens did not come to the Center only for allowances, but also for counseling, due to increased financial issues, unemployment and health problems. They told us, among other things, about the increase in family conflicts, but also about the operation of the Children’s Protection Group, of which they are now members. In addition, they highlighted the difficulty in commuting, the rare bus services as well as high prices, which led to the operation of the second office in Batsi to better serve the citizens.


We sincerely thank all the participants for their contribution to the work of the Observatory.