By Eleni Courea
600 Christmas ‘packages of love’ were given to needy primary school students in Nicosia on Tuesday, distributed by mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis and members of the municipal council.
These ‘packages of love’ contain shopping vouchers from a Nicosia supermarket, for food for Christmas and New Year’s Day dining table. The supermarket’s provision of vouchers comes after a donation by the Lefkosiazo network of volunteers and from the Nicosia Municipality.
They also include entry coupons to the Christmas Wonderland operating during the holiday season in the Costanza moat and free tickets for the whole family to a children’s production of Aladdin at the Maskarini Theatre.
At the event on Tuesday, the mayor emphasised that local government and civil society rely on private and voluntary initiatives and support to continue implementing social welfare policy.
“Unfortunately, during the past two years the number of needy students at primary schools in the Nicosia municipality has doubled, reaching 600 in 2014,” Yiorkadjis said. However, he said “despite the financial difficulties it has experienced, the municipality secured the money to cover the needs of all 540 students last year.”
He said the municipality’s budget of €6,000 did not cover providing packages for all needy children, but was matched by €6,000 from Lefkosiazo, which meant all their families could be given some relief over the Christmas and New Year holidays.