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Yermasoyia offers to host unaccompanied refugee minors

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Yermasoyia Municipality in Limassol on Saturday expressed the wish to host unaccompanied refugee minors and suggested the renovation of an old school building to accommodate them.

Mayor of Yermasoyia Kyriacos Xydias told the Cyprus News Agency that following consultations with residents of the municipality he will suggest to the municipal council the use of an old school building that has not been used for years to offer a home to unaccompanied refugee minors.

“Our country has experienced the pain of displacement and many of our compatriots are being hosted for more than 40 years in their own country or abroad,” Xydias said.

He said his municipality can offer the proper infrastructure and help the children integrate into society, “instead of isolating them in one space.”

The idea to host the children at the old school belongs to a resident of Yermasoyia who had posted it on social media and was met with great support from the mayor and many residents of the area. “Many offered to volunteer, while two taverns said they could offer meals for the children,” Xydias said.

He said the municipal council must approve the use of the school for such a purpose, which is expected to take place within the coming week. The municipality will also inform the competent ministries.

The building of the old primary school is located in the historic quarter of Yermasoyia.

The initiative follows strong reactions this week from the Zygi community against a government decision to house unaccompanied children under 14 from Syria at an abandoned military camp in the area.

The reactions urged many on social media to call for a boycott of the coastal village known for its many fish taverns.

Following the indignation the reactions caused Zygi community leader Georgia Michail said they did not object to the facility being used to host these children but that they would have liked to have been officially informed of this by the government instead of finding it out by accident.

She said they had found about the decision by chance when Michail saw people inside the barracks and asked them what they were doing.

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