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Alexandraki, Litsa

Abstract and Keywords

Litsa Alexandraki (1918–1986) was best known for her work in Greece on matters of child welfare, and the protection of refugees and migrants. She was also elected for three terms as President of the International Federation of Social Workers, a position she held from 1962–1968.

Keywords: International Federation of Social Workers, Pioneer of Social Work in Greece

Litsa Alexandraki was born in Russia to wealthy Greek parents in 1918. Because of the political upheaval at the time, the family fled to Greece as refugees. Educated in Greece, Litsa Alexandraki graduated from the Faculty of law of Athens University in 1940 and in 1941 she was assigned lawyer by the High Court of Greece to the First Instance Court of Athens. She also graduated from the School of Voluntary Nurses of the Greek Red Cross, and was later appointed positions of high stature in the Swiss, Greek and International Red Cross.

Litsa Alexandraki studied criminology, sociology, psychology, social work and education at the London School of Economics and at the University of London from 1946 to 1950. Upon her return to Greece, she was appointed as Advisor to the Greek Ministry of Welfare and was responsible for the initiation of a program to assist families who had been devastated by war or other circumstances. During that period, she participated in a number of law-drafting committees, assisted in the organization of the schools of social work, and taught social work. Additionally, Litsa Alexandraki worked tirelessly on behalf of unwed mothers unable to adequately care for their newborn babies, and in 1966 she participated in the group that researched and formulated the law concerning adoptions in Greece.

Litsa Alexandraki was passionate in her devotion to the protection of children, to the protection of refugees and migrants, to volunteering, and to social work.

She worked as a Volunteer for the Red Cross and in 1953 offered her services to care for victims of a strong earthquake in the Ionian Islands. For many years she was a volunteer for the Queen’s Fund, and consultant to the Queen on matters of child welfare, when Greece was a Kingdom. She was also a founding member of the Volunteer League, and remained a member of that organization to the end of her life.

Litsa Alexandraki was a founding member of the Hellenic Association of Social Workers and was its President from 1961–1963. In 1962 she was elected President of the International Federation of Social Workers and served for three terms as President from 1962–1968. During this time she expanded the IFSW membership to Asia, Africa and Latin America. She resigned as IFSW President in 1968, and served as Honorary President until her death in 1986.