Vardis and Marianna Vardinoyannis
Vardis and Marianna Vardinoyannis are Greek philanthropists with an extensive record of humanitarian work as well as trustees of significant initiatives for peace, human rights, dialogue among civilizations, culture and education, in Greece and abroad. They are members of the Leadership Council of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and they support it for many years.
Vardis J. Vardinoyannis is Chairman of the Vardinoyannis Group of Companies. He graduated from the Greek Naval Academy and served for a number of years in the Greek Naval Forces and was discharged with the grade of Admiral. He is one of the most prominent and distinguished Greek businessmen. The Vardinoyannis Group of Companies is active in the areas of refining (Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries is a leading, most developed refinery in the Mediterranean with the biggest network of gas stations and products trading) of oil exploration, shipping, banking, hoteling, TV channels etc.
Marianna V. Vardinoyannis has been a world advocate and campaigner for human rights and the protection of children’s health and welfare. She is Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO since 1999, as well as Founder and President of the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation”, of the “ELPIDA Friends’ Association of Children with cancer” and of the “Orama Elpidas Association”. She also serves as board member of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Advisory Board, the MENTOR Foundation against drugs, the “Nizami Ganjavi International Center”, “Concordia”, "The Hellenic Initiative", as President of the Honorary Committee of the Special Olympics Hellas and many other organizations.
For more than 30 years, Vardis and Marianna are fighting against childhood cancer through “ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with cancer” and helped thousands of children to be cured from cancer, creating the first Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Greece (in 1993) and the first Pediatric Oncology Hospital in Greece (in 2010). They also established the Bone Marrow Donor Registry “Orama Elpidas” (in 2014) registering more than 110.000 volunteer bone marrow donors (data as for January 2020).
Through the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation” they support children and families, schools, people in need and refugees in Greece as well as UNESCO programs for education and culture, peace, climate change, protection of monuments, cultural heritage and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Foundation launched and develops the “Speak Truth to Power” Program of the “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights” in Greek schools.
They established and fund the “Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic Studies” at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina which was inaugurated in October 2008 providing advanced post-graduate studies in many students and scholarships. They funded the establishment of the Chair of the Greek Immigrants and the "Ioannis P. Vardinoyannis" Library at the New York University as well as the Constantine Karamanlis Chair for the Hellenic and Southeastern European Studies at the Tufts University.
They support vulnerable groups, homeless, elderly, people-in-need, victims of natural disasters. They adopted the Greek village “Makistos” that was destroyed by fire in 2007 and they funded the rebuilding of 70 houses.
During the Covid-19 crisis, they donated 50 respirators to Greek hospitals, sent food and hygiene products to vulnerable groups in different parts of the country and support many international initiatives for global solidarity and safety.