In 2021, a total of 282 social care programmes by NGOs received more than €12.7 million in government support, helping them to partially cover their operating costs, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Anastasia Anthousi said on Saturday.
She added that it is expected that in 2022 this amount will increase even more, due to the new, unique needs that have arisen.
Anthousi was speaking at a conference held by the Pancyprian Volunteering Coordinating Council in Ayia Napa focused on volunteer work and how it pertains to the youth.
“This conference is undoubtedly an important initiative for the institution of volunteering in Cyprus,” Anthousi said.
“Volunteering is an expression of people’s will to help their fellow man, to support each other, strengthening the structure of society and strengthening the feeling of cohesion,” she added, noting that volunteers are always present, active citizens, ready to provide without expecting a reward.
She said the role of voluntary NGOs is constantly expanding throughout the spectrum of social life.
“From the voluntary effort to provide relief to victims, resolve conflicts and eradicate poverty, to offering care services to socially excluded individuals or groups, volunteering demonstrates the existence of humanity and empathy in Cypriot society,” Anthousi said.
In closing, Anthousi said that “the government and especially the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare, due to the nature of the issues it manages, remains by your side to provide all possible support and assistance to organised bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations,” she added.
Meanwhile, the council said that it acknowledges the long tradition of youth participation in all aspects of society and the importance of their involvement in volunteer work.
Honorary plaques were awarded to students who distinguished themselves in the 2021 Ideas Fair competition for secondary schools on the theme of volunteers joining forces to support society.