The tragedy with the migrants in Lesbos island has no end – Read the article of one of our Caritas Cyprus men witnessing this tragedy.

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3_3[1] The latest report from Antony in Lesbos 31/10/15. Antony is a volunteer with the Caritas Cyprus Migrant Center, running under the coordination of Dolores Rebello Savvides.

Antony wrote:

“Yes it’s cold for the refugees in Lesbos.

Helping Syrian refugees earlier tonight –

My heart breaks several times a day. Sometimes I turn away almost in tears. Last night I walked between two lines of refugees sitting and standing in the freezing cold deciding in my head to which child (some were crying from the cold and hunger ) I would bring a blanket to, as we had a limited number and I had to keep in mind the information I was given that late in the evening refugees were to arrive who would need the blankets. When I brought the blankets out to hand them to the “chosen ones” naturally other children and parents started pulling them and others pleaded. Needless to say it was very rough emotionally for me. However when I asked a translator to explain why I chose those children (crying and the lightest dress) and that I could not give out more because of the new refugees arriving who would be soaked, they all went silent and were understanding. Their reaction was very moving.

Please also find below the link for an article based on mifgrants and refugees that are arriving in Greece as it was prepared by Caritas Europa.


Migrant crisis in Cyprus- Testimonies and how Caritas Cyprus Migrant Center reacts to this severe crisis. An article prepared by Caritas Europa.

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The Caritas Cyprus Migrant Centre is an autonomous sector of Caritas Cyprus and is made up of representatives from the parishes working with migrants of Limassol, Nicosia, Larnaca and Paphos under its Head Fr Jerzy Kraj and its Coordinator Dolores R Savvides. The Caritas Cyprus Migrant Centre is island-wide and is separate from the individual Caritas parishes.

The centre provides throughout the island legal, social and administrative advice to migrants and advocacy support to help them secure their basic needs. Migrants for CCyMC include domestic & agricultural workers, asylum seekers, refugees, victims of trafficking, college students, spouses of Cypriot and EU nationals and impoverished Europeans.

One in five of the population in Cyprus is a migrant with asylum seekers coming mostly from African and Arab countries, Syria in particular. Cyprus is facing particularly difficult times due to the division of the island with the Turkish Cypriots in the north, to the economic crisis and due to the instability of neighbouring countries. As a result, migrants are often at the bottom of the government’s list of priorities, suffering great hardship, social exclusion and are well below the poverty line.



“My name is A and I am a Syrian Christian from Aleppo, aged 24. I have a degree in IT and can speak English. As the eldest of my family, I would be required to enrol in the Army after I graduated. But in February 2015, my family decided that due to the continued attacks on Christian areas of Syria, and in order to avoid my imminent recruitment by the army, I should leave Aleppo as soon as possible and go to Cyprus. The plan was that the rest of my family – my parents and 3 young brothers – would wait for my advice as to whether they should follow me to Cyprus or flee to another country.

After paying € 1,800 to the smugglers, I left Syria and travelled to Lebanon by bus; after that to Turkey by ship, with very bad weather; from Turkey, I somehow managed to arrive to northern Cyprus. I paid another €600 for boat and bus tickets and other expenses on the route. I walked to the border with southern Cyprus and declared myself as an asylum seeker to the Republic of Cyprus.

I had relatives in Limassol and made my way to them. I also got to know about the Caritas Cyprus Migrant Centre in Limassol and offered my services to them as a volunteer and translator. They received me as a brother.

I have never received any welfare nor housing benefits from the Government of Cyprus. In any case, my relatives and the Caritas Cyprus Migrant Centre have fully supported me. I have now been granted recognised refugee status from the Government of Cyprus, so I am free to seek employment, but due to the economic crisis there are no jobs in Cyprus; especially not for migrants. I am unable to travel to other European countries and seek employment there, because any travel document I can obtain (as I cannot be a Cypriot national for at least 7 years residency) will be valid for 3 months only.

Three months ago the home of my family was bombed. I would like my family to join me here but we don’t have the money to pay the smugglers. The cost payable to smugglers to get to other European countries will be about € 5,000 per person. Besides, I am not sure how my family will be able to look after themselves financially in Cyprus, without jobs or welfare.”

Caritas response

The parishes working with migrants have helped feed, house, clothe, provide transport, and arrange medical care for them. Since the last 6 months of 2014 those parishes have been providing groceries for about 200 migrant families (600 persons) monthly.

The CCyMC has established an itinerant migrant legal/administrative/social advice service providing services to migrants in all the parishes on a regular basis. During 2014 throughout Cyprus, the Caritas Cyprus Migrant Centre has assisted in more than 150 new cases of migrants with legal/social/administrative and status problems, in addition to about 100 cases continuing from the previous year.

Follow the link below to find and read the article at Caritas Europa website:

Major Earthquake hits Nepal-Let’s all pray for the victims.

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Prayer for Nepal

Loving God,

We pray for all those affected by the earthquake in Nepal as we offer the words of the psalmist, “Be strong and take heart, all who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:25).

May those who are paralyzed by fear…
Be strong and take heart

May those who have lost or are still searching for loved ones …
Be strong and take heart

May those who remain trapped under rubble …
Be strong and take heart

May those rescue workers who provide relief and recovery …
Be strong and take heart

May those who are moved with compassion to help …
Be strong and take heart

God, whose love knows no bounds,
fill all those who suffer with your comfort and peace.
We ask all this through Christ, our Lord. Amen

Thanks to Catholic Relief Services for providing the prayer.11107167_10152848021441593_8031468190341518401_n[1]

Run and walk against hunger: invitation

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Save the Date: 19th October 2014


During the Week of Action (13-19 October, 2014) for the Caritas campaign One human family, food for all, Caritas members around the world will host events to raise awareness of hunger in the countries and abroad. A list of possible activities is below.


As one suggested activity, we invite Caritas member organisations to set aside time at 10.00 am on 19 October, the concluding day of the Week of Action, for a run or walk against hunger.

We have uploaded our last campaign bulletin on Baobab to give you the website where you can learn more about what Caritas Internationalis will be doing on Sunday 19th October 2014 in Rome ( You are welcome to arrange a Caritas run or walk at any time during the Week of Action (13-19 October, 2014).


Audience – participants to be gathered for the race

– Staff and volunteers of Caritas organisations around the world

– People of faith

– Representatives of government/local authorities

– All people of good will who are  sensitive to hunger issues




One human family, food for all offers a unique opportunity for our voices to join as one and for us to work together to end the scandal which is world hunger. The campaign places an emphasis on personal transformation, policy change, and service towards others. The run or walk against hunger further reinforce the momentum already fostered through the Wave of Prayer that launched the food campaign in December 2013. This sports initiative will increase public impact of our call to end hunger and our advocacy on behalf of food security.




Members can organise the run or walk against hunger either independently or in conjunction with an in-country Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) field officer (we can connect you with them).


The Caritas organisations based in Rome (Caritas Internationalis, Caritas Italiana and Caritas Rome) will participate in the run against hunger with FAO, WFP, IFAD and Bioversity International (the four international agencies that form the food and agriculture hub in Rome) to raise awareness of world hunger through a 10K race and a 5K non-competitive walk.


Given that the ‘Hunger Run’ is an FAO-branded initiative, if a national member wishes to arrange it independently of FAO, the name of the event must not be the same as theirs.


As with the Wave of Prayer, Caritas member organisations located in Oceania will be able to open the run at 10.00 am their time. Caritas members are also free to add a symbolic action to the run or walk against hunger, such as the cooking of a special meal, the sharing of bread, etc.


If you combine the Run with government lobbying efforts, CI plans to provide a postcard template and a list of advocacy “asks” you may choose from when contacting your government leaders.


If you choose to host a Hunger Run, please fill in the following information below. Please include additional activities.


Also, please ask people from the communications group from your region to document the event. We ask you to post comments, photos and videos from the event on Facebook and Twitter.


Additional activities for the Week of Action


You are the experts and you know best might interest your own Caritas supporters most. However, if you need ideas, a longer CI list includes:

- Arrange special picnics with the homeless, elderly, or vulnerable.

- Exhibit photos of families in your parish or diocese eating a meal together or share photos of your family’s harvest, especially unusual fruits, vegetables, etc.

– Encourage campaign supporters, if they grow food, to meet and share seeds.

– Reach out to TV chefs and chefs at famous restaurants, encouraging them to 1) Publicly cook recipes from Caritas projects in the developing world; 2) Cook using leftovers; 3) Cook using a staple ingredient from the developing world.

– Hold your own cooking competition using leftovers or staple foods of the developing world.

- Recipe book. Caritas supporters worldwide share best recipes and we create a PDF. This could include a “leverage your leftovers” component about recipe that prevent food waste, or “donate your diet”—describe your diet or day(s) of fasting to contribute to Caritas.

- Project words and images, such as an image of a woman farmer, on iconic buildings.

– And of course…Masses, prayer vigils, and Church-based events for the Week of Action


Raising awareness and funds


October is also Mission Month. We encourage all members to please make contact with national and local Diocesan offices that plan on collecting funds for their missions to coordinate their respective initiatives.


Each and everyone counts! Get fit and run with us for a great cause.


Thank you for your continued support!


The Campaign Steering Committee

Social Justice is a fundamental principle to tackle child and family poverty

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Caritas EuropeStatement on the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice – 20 February 2014

Social Justice is a fundamental principle to tackle child and family poverty 

On the World Day of Social Justice, Κοινωνία Caritas CYPRUS together with Caritas Europa calls on policy and decision-makers of CYPRUS to acknowledge social justice as a fundamental principle in tackling family poverty and social exclusion.

Most recent statistics show that in 2012, 124.5 million people in the EU-28 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

In Cyprus those recorded as living in poverty or social exclusion in 2012 numbered as high as 234,000 people (Crisis Monitoring Report 2013).  Although the European Commission and Member States of the European Union including Cyprus have committed themselves to take serious steps to significantly reduce these figures the reality is that there are more and more people experiencing poverty and social exclusion in our country.

The Treaty on European Union clearly states that the European Union shall promote social justice.  This is a task to be fulfilled by Cyprus too and Caritas Cyprus, whose mission includes promotion of social justice, urges policy and decision-makers to give a greater importance to true social justice in today’s profoundly changed environment. Social justice concerns the social, political and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their respective solutions (Para 201 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church).

This is to say that the government must develop policies and laws which respect the interdependentness and interrelatedness of economic and social development in a sustainable way when working on eradication of poverty and social exclusion. True social justice requires strong commitment to both of these aspects because without economic growth there are no adequate resources for social development and without investing in social protection system, social inclusion and social services there is no long-term and stable economic development.

” I am Marios, 12 years old. My parents cannot provide for my school snack so  the school has to provide for me”.

“I am Ali 11 years old. My family came from Syria one year ago. We have used all our savings for accommodation and food. We have not received any welfare benefits from Cyprus Government and my father cannot find a job. We receive food and clothing from charities and live in fear of being evicted.”

When it comes to economic and social development policy and decision-makers of the government and local governments are encouraged to keep in mind that the dignity of each person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all policies of our society.

Inspired by the voices of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion Κοινωνία Caritas Cyprus  calls on policy and decision-makers at local, regional, national levels to tackle child and family poverty and social exclusion as a matter of high priority and not to hesitate giving real practical effect to the fundamental principle of social justice. The coming EP elections shall also cover this topic since the results will be of crucial importance for the future of a social Europe.


Caritas Concert in Larnaca 16th February‏

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invites you
to an afternoon of music, song and dance
with the theme of FAITH, HOPE & LOVE
Our Lady of Graces Roman Catholic Church (Terra Santa)
1 Terra Santa Street
Performance: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. 
Doors open 3:30 p.m.

€5 per person on the door

Reservations not required


CARITAS CYPRUSis a registered charity, established in Cyprus since 1979, and a member ofCARITAS INTERNATIONALIS dedicated to ending poverty, promoting justice and restoring dignity.  Larnaca chapter tel. 99794237map Our Lady of Graces RC Church