In June 2024, well known photographer in our community, Alexios Gennaris, together with Alexandra Piha, are planning a return trip to Sierra Leone, specifically to the mission of Bishop Themistocles Adamopoulos and to visit the zinc house kids of Freetown.
This will be Alexios’ fifth trip to Sierra Leone and Alexandra’s second. It will also be their most hazardous, as it will be the rainy season which means the risk of floods and disease. There are also more cases of hunger amongst the poorer people because there are fewer street traders out and it is harder to navigate through flooded streets to buy food. The risk of fires also increases as people have to cook inside their zinc houses using charcoal on the ground because of the constant rain outside.
Alexios told Parikiaki, “We need to see how best to support people there. Without being in the thick of it, we will never know.”
Alexios’ visit in 2017 was to photograph the Orthodox Christian mission of Fr Themistocles Adamopoulos, now a bishop. His photos from the trips are still being used to promote the good work being done over there and are shown in all continents.
Three years ago, Alexios started sending food, clothes (including Islamic dresses and head scarves), books, medicine and other essential items. These have been primarily for the zinc house kids (pictured) and their families, as well as the mission’s clinics, schools and orphanages. Only last week, 10 desktop computers with monitors, and four large folding tables with 12 seats each, were sent to the mission’s teacher’s college and nursery/primary school, respectively.
The trip in February 2023 was a great success. Whilst in Freetown, Alexios and Alexandra arranged a beach party for 35 of the zinc house kids and 15 of the mums. They also had an open-air cinema and hosted a street party for 50 kids but ended up having 250 join them, all having something to eat and drink.
During the visits to see the zinc house kids, they met a woman who had lost the use of her legs after a severe stroke in 2017. She had spent six years sleeping on the floor and unable to leave her windowless zinc house. On their return, Alexios and Alexandra managed to send her a new wheelchair, bed and commode.
The tailor at the zinc houses also asked for a few cotton reels for his sewing machine. Around 50 industrial size cotton reels and thousands of buttons were sent as a surprise. This donation allowed him to continue supporting his family and friends. A new sewing machine is also currently on its way to the tailor after his last one broke.
You can support the great work of Alexios and Alexandra by making a donation via a Crowdfunder page. Money raised will go towards travelling expenses, two children’s parties, two christenings with the new baptismal font paid for by the Greek Orthodox communities of Coventry and Birmingham. Food and medicine will be bought whilst there for the continuous cases that arise and a portion of the money will go to the mission as they are in need of funds. 20 water purifiers will be delivered in person to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary for use by their rangers whilst on long treks through the rainforest.
Financial support has paid for school and university fees, exams, school uniforms and equipment, medicine, hospital tests, yearly rent, food, mobile phones, setting up businesses, Christmas and birthday presents, weddings and sadly funerals.
“Irrespective of their religious beliefs, we help children and families, most of which, we have met personally,” said Alexios.
To support this excellent initiative, please visit and help Alexios and Alexandra reach their £2,500 target.
Every donation counts and is very much appreciated.

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