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Christodoulides praises Red Cross ahead of annual fundraiser

ΠτΔ – Έναρξη εράνου Κυπριακού Ερυθ
Christodoulides addressed the launch of the Pancyprian fundraising campaign of the Cyprus Red Cross Society

Cyprus Red Cross is bringing the different communities of the island together for a common humanitarian purpose, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Monday.

The president was speaking at an event marking the launch of the fundraiser on the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day at the offices of the Cyprus Red Cross in Nicosia.

The fundraiser, established in 1991, will last until May 28 and aims to support the social, humanitarian programs of the Cyprus Red Cross.

He started his speech with a quote by the Chief Executive Officer at the American Red Cross, Jarett Barrios, who said one in 25 people around the world have benefited from the Red Cross.

In Cyprus, where the humanitarian organisation was established in 1950, volunteers helped in dealing with the consequences of the big earthquake in 1953, the Turkish invasion in 1974 while the branch is now running a specialised therapy centre in Polemidia for children with disabilities or developmental difficulties.

The work of the Cyprus Red Cross would not have been possible without the social sensitivity that distinguishes the Cypriot people, the president said. “Cypriots massively participate in such initiatives, by contributing to the annual Red Cross fundraiser, by participating in the blood donations organised and by joining the team of volunteers,” he noted.

And an important aspect is how this work unites various communities on the divided island.

“From the very beginning of the establishment of the Cyprus Red Cross, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites, Latins joined its district committees together, all united by a common purpose: the alleviation of human suffering,” Christodoulides said.

“In a world plagued by conflict and strife, in a semi-occupied homeland still suffering from the ongoing occupation, the values that the Red Cross stands for – of humanitarianism, of cooperation between people and between peoples, above prejudice and what may divide us – are invaluable and as never before relevant,” he added. Those values are key to effectively address the suffering that indiscriminately afflicts all of humanity, the economic crises, the natural disasters and the diseases we have to deal with, the president said.

The government will continue to support the Cyprus Red Cross, Christodoulides said, while the organisation also stands by state when needed, such as in collection of food and essentials to send to third countries.

“The Red Cross assists the relevant governmental services in the humane management of migrants while they remain in our country, implements the Social Welfare Programme for vulnerable groups of the population and has provided significant assistance to our stranded people from the very first moment,” the president said.

In addition to its established charitable activities, the Cyprus Red Cross carries out commendable work in the field of providing palliative care services, having established the specialised Children’s Therapy Centre ‘Stella Soulioti’ in Polemidia. The Centre treats people with disabilities or developmental difficulties, from infants to adults up to 22 years of age.

On an international level, the Cyprus Red Cross’ projects are of great importance for the Republic of Cyprus. It has implemented major projects, such as the construction of a hospital in Sri Lanka and the contribution to the construction of a second hospital in Badulla for the victims of the tsunami and the construction of a Community Health Centre in the municipality of Oleni in the fire-stricken area of the Peloponnese. It also created four children’s parks in the municipality of Marathon, in the area of Mati, which was affected by the devastating fires in 2018.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was founded in 1863 by a committee of personalities led by Henry Dunant, a young Swiss businessman inspired to establish humanitarian organisations with trained volunteers who would care for the war wounded regardless of which side they belonged.

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