Cyprus Mail

European volunteers in action at Pournara


A mission with 140 volunteers from various European countries came to Cyprus in August to support refugees staying at the Pournara reception centre for asylum seekers.

The mission concerned an initiative of the Rome-based Roman Catholic Community of Saint Aegidi in collaboration with the public services of Cyprus and with the support of the Catholic Church on the island.

It involved 140 Italian, French, Spanish, and Belgian volunteers who distributed food to the refugees at the Kokkinotrimithia migrant centre.

The space is also available for children to play, while the community has run accelerated English and Italian language learning programmes in Nicosia for unaccompanied minors.

For minors from shelters in Paphos and Larnaca, the community organised day trips and other recreational activities in cooperation with the staff of these shelters.

Food distributions were also made to refugees in Nicosia who are no longer staying at Pournara.

With the #santegidiosummer initiative, the community intended not only to show solidarity to those who need to leave their country, but also “to remind the European institutions and European governments of the need to increase the legal entry routes for refugees, based on the model of humanitarian corridors.”

Through this model, more than 5,000 people are admitted and integrated into civil society in Italy and other European countries, an announcement said.


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