“Refugee woman, migrant woman in Cyprus” – Shocking testimonies and experiences of women.

Shocking testimonies and experiences of women, refugees and immigrants were heard during an event devoted to the female refugee and the immigrant woman in Cyprus.

Women from Somalia, Syria, Congo and the Philippines have given their own messages through their experiential narratives, narrating what they have been through until they reach Cyprus, as well as the thoughts and difficulties they face
every day in the local society.

The event took place on 9 July in Nicosia and is part of the broader context of a campaign for information and a series of actions carried out by the Office of the Commissioner for Administration and Human rights and the Aware campaign.

“My door is open to all of you and I am responsible for the readiness of our office to listen to you and to guide you, as well as to mediate your righteous demands,” underlined the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights Maria Stylianou – Lottides. Welcoming women refugees and immigrants as well as the audience, M. Lottides, added that the event is a small contribution to support the smooth integration of refugees and migrants into the Cypriot society.

“The general message of the event is the Acceptance, Respect and Integration of all of us, as it characterizes the aim of our campaign”, a project co-financed by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus, said, the representative of the campaign “Aware”, Irene Theodoulou.

Ester Beatty called on Cypriots to treat people coming from the Philippines and usually work as domestic workers, as equals and not as second-class citizens.

Rema, from Syria, voiced power messages as a single mother woman. She experienced war and after so many years he hopes for a better future and support for all the people who have experienced the vortex of war.

Two unaccompanied minors from Somalia, who have now reached adulthood,  Zulenga and Nasiyo. They shared with the audience the journey they made to reach Cyprus as unaccompanied young girls and the daily challenges and struggles they
are experiencing.

Garcia the young girl from the Congo, came to Cyprus at a very young age, she mentioned that in Cyprus she felt love and acceptance something that helped her achieve her goals. She added that she is an excellent student and athlete and that
she is full of dreams and goals for the future.

The event was completed with an artistic program prepared by refugees. Ibrahim Kamara from Gambia and Sano from Guinea, travelled us through the sounds of djembe drums, following that Robavine Azangu present his own song. In addition to that women from Philippines danced traditional dances and the artistic program ended with Michael N. N, who perform a poem that he wrote himself titled “We’re Here and waiting still”.

Οι ομιλίες της εκδήλωσης είναι οι εξής:

“Refugee woman, migrant woman in Cyprus”

The Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights and the AWARE campaign organise the event “Refugee woman, migrant woman in Cyprus”, on 9th July 2019, at 19:00, at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Centre (Lykourgou street, Nicosia)

The event is part of the actions and the awareness raising campaign of the Office of the Commissioner for Administration, regarding refugees and immigrants and, in general, discrimination against vulnerable groups.

The aim of the event is to make all of us aware of the difficulties faced by refugees and immigrants, and especially women, through empirical narrations, which will be presented at the event.

The event is supported by the UN High Commission for Refugees in Cyprus, the Cyprus Refugee Council, the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies and the Association of Recognized Refugees.

The event is open to the public.

Programme of the event is included.

For more information:
22 875561-3 / 22 405501


A party dedicated to refugees at Faneromeni

6th Annual Street Festival for the World Refugee Day

For the 6th consecutive year, the Annual World Refugee Festival takes place at Faneromeni Square in Nicosia, on Friday, June 14, from 6pm to 10pm. Organizers of the event are the Cyprus Refugee Council and the Aware Campaign, under the auspices of the Municipality of Nicosia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cyprus.

The festival sends the message of acceptance and solidarity with refugees, aiming at raising awareness of issues concerning the living conditions of refugees and asylum seekers in Cyprus.

The festival’s rich program includes music and dance, but also food. Traditional dishes from all over the world will be available as well as information stands of organizations dealing with issues of immigrants and refugees.

The festival will be preceded by a radio live link from Radio First 99.3, with Cristiana Georgiou and Christos Michalaros from 16:00 to 18:00.

The festival is part of the Cyprus Aware Campaign which aims to raise public awareness on issues about refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants and is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.

Participants: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cyprus, Municipal Multipurpose Center of Nicosia, Hope For Children, Center of Social Innovation, Association of Recognized Refugees in Cyprus, SOS Children’s Village, Cyprus Red Cross Society, KISA, Accept-LGBT Cyprus, Refugee Support Cener, The Oasis Project, miHub, Youth Board of Cyprus, Cardet, International Organization for Migration Cyprus, Cyprus Stop Trafficking, Synthesis-Center for Research and Education and Sistema Cyprus.

Participate to the street festival and take a Step with Refugees! Send a message of support and solidarity towards refugees!

For more information:

Tel. 22875561-3
e-mail:  [email protected], [email protected]
Join us on social Media: @cyrefugeecouncil @cyprusaware
Our Facebook event: https://bit.ly/2R4g5Vu

European Action Week Against Racism “Aware” Campaign with active interventions – Infopoints in Nicosia’s City Centre

On the occasion of the European Action Week Against Racism (16 – 23 March 2019) the activities of the campaign of raising awareness “Aware” for refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants are being extended.

In collaboration with the Cyprus Refugee Council, CARITAS and the Association of Recognized Refugees Cyprus, the “Aware” Campaign organises on Saturday, March 23rd at the beginning of Ledras – Onasagorou street a gathering with an information stand and live stream of relevant radio programme.

The “Aware” Campaign acquires significant purpose since the last two years increase of incoming refugees and asylum seekers has been observed, especially from Syria as well as Africa.

The main aim is for the Cypriot Society to gain objective and exhaustive knowledge regarding the refugee and immigration waves, come in contact with the communities of refugees and immigrants and take part in welcoming them and help them adapt.

The campaign especially focuses in the new generation, journalists and the local society.

Interactive seminars and workshops take place in schools and universities, events, while spreading information and raising awareness through mass and social media.

The new wave of this campaign will last for 18 months with the ultimate goal to strengthen the feeling of acceptance of diversity in a society which for years has been becoming  more multicultural.

The campaign is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus in order to support the team efforts for smooth integration of refugees and immigrants.

For more information:

Phone no. 22875561-3
E-mail: [email protected]
Find on social Media: @cyprusaware
Be #Aware – Γίνε συμμέτοχος!

A new meeting place for refugees and asylum seekers

The Association of Recognised Refugees announced on Friday it had acquired its own space in Nicosia which will operate as a meeting point and a place where refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants can meet each other and express solidarity.

The mission of the New Genesis Centre is to create a community among refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants, the association said, “highlighting their identity, their contribution to the host society and the need to restore their hope and prospect to rebuild their lives.”

The Association of Recognised Refugees participates in the AWARE campaign Respect- Accept – Integrate, for information and public awareness in Cyprus – a programme co-funded by the EU and the Republic of Cyprus.

The association calls on everyone to get in touch with them and participate in their activities at the New Genesis Centre.

They also called for volunteers who can offer items to equip and upgrade the space such as furniture they no longer need, office equipment, decoration, etc.

New Genesis Centre is located on 17 Pericleous street in the old part of Nicosia.

Source: https://cyprus-mail.com/2018/10/20/a-new-meeting-place-for-refugees-and-asylum-seekers/

M. Trajkovic: The Olympic champion who makes us proud, gives a humanitarian message!

Serbian origin sprinter Milan Trajkovic who is competing with the colors of our homeland, sends his own message of solidarity to the refugees and immigrants living in Cyprus. 

He talks about his success in the Olympics in 2016, the first years in Cyprus where he found himself after the war in his country, the values ​​of life he learned in athletics, racism and diversity. 

Milan Trajkovic is a supporter of the AWARE Campaign for Refugees and Immigrants. 

Watch his entire interview in the following video: 


Honorary citizenship of the 16-year-old student Datis Amirkalali from Iran was granted by the Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Petridis

Datis was born in Iran in 2002 and is of Iranian descent. He came to Cyprus with his parents in August 2011 and since then the family has been staying in our country as asylum seekers. 

The 16-year-old attends a private school in Nicosia and is a good student. From 2015 he participates every year in the annual Cyprus Mathematics Competitions of the Cyprus Mathematical Society, where we won the 1st Pancyprian Prize in 2016, 2017 and 2018. 

The Minister of Interior, taking into account Datis’s excellent academic achievements in mathematics, which make him not only an example of academic excellence but also social integration of a migrant in Cyprus, has decided to grant him honorary the Cypriot citizenship. 

As Datis Amirkalali is a minor, the Minister also awarded citizenship to his mother, Mr Behnoosh Salhi. 

The family expressed their gratitude to the Minister of the Interior, thanking him warmly for the award of honorary citizenship. 

These citizenships have been approved by the Council of Ministers. 

Source:  http: //www.reporter.com.cy/local-news/article/376160/o-iranos-mathitis-poy-kerdise-me-to-spathi-toy-tin-kypriaki-ypikootita13 

Smugglers are one step ahead

It looks like the cat and mouse game, an endless, that is, chasing of life and death. Refugees and migrants want to come to Europe either because they have been persecuted from their homelands or because they want a better future. In front of them they find closed borders and an increasing aggression. Europe for its own reasons justified or not has decided to close its doors to foreigners.

So, before a migratory route closes well, another more difficult and risky one appears. We have seen this happen many times. As soon as the Balkan route was closed in 2016, mainly following the pressure from Austria, flows in the Mediterranean increased. Italy acted swiftly, and with agreements made with Libya it managed to greatly limit the increases.

Now, a new Balkan route has emerged. As the French commander of Frontex said, refugees and migrants from Turkey are going to Greece and from there through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina head to the north. Then through Austria and the Czech Republic they arrive in northern Europe. According to data, about 800 people each month use this route, much less than the 200,000 in 2015.

Smugglers are almost like hackers. They are almost always one step ahead of the prosecution authorities. Their profits amount to billions of euros each year and are therefore unwilling to give up. Thus, they are constantly finding new ways and new routes to satisfy their “clients”. It does not matter if it is becoming increasingly dangerous, the new routes. Indeed, the more difficulties there are, the higher the profits.

The new Balkan route has already been perceived by Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurts, who has made the security of the European Union’s external borders a priority for the Austrian presidency this semester. It is certain that in the next few days, we will see this route closing. Refugee flows, however, will not stop. They may be reduced for a while. Until the next route is found.

Source: http://www.philenews.com/f-me-apopsi/arthra-apo-f/article/552210/ena-bima-brosta-einai-oi-diakinites

The dream of Balqees from Somalia

After her graduation from Larnaca Technical School last night, a dream became a reality for the twenty-year-old Balqees from Somalia, who lives as a refugee in Cyprus.

“Today a dream I’ve always had become a reality. You might wonder how graduation from high school could be a dream, but for me it is – that would not be possible in my own country. After so many challenges, it is not a little thing that I graduate today and I can hope that I can study, “said Balqees, excitedly, with the classmates, teachers and parents of her classmates applauding her.

Balqees, having lost contact with her family in the wake of the war in Somalia, was forced to leave her country and seek for a safe place to live. Arriving in Cyprus five years ago, at the age of 15, she found herself alone and far from her family in a foreign country she knew nothing about – either language or culture. As an unaccompanied child, she lived on a shelter in Larnaca along with other unaccompanied asylum seekers. She began to attend afternoon classes and learn Greek, but she often felt herself loneliness and nostalgia for her family.

Once recognized as a refugee, Balqees began to hope again. Having already spotted her mother and her younger siblings, she as a recognized refugee could now apply for family reunification and hope that at some time they could live together again.

After approving her application for family reunification, her dream will soon become a reality – living with her mother and her brothers in Cyprus. Feeling the security of the refugee status and the relief that she would soon be back with her family, Balqees focused on her goal and pursued her dream for education.

With school’s support, she managed to cope with the challenges and graduate. Of course, her dream does not end here. Balqees ‘ next goal is to study and become a social worker.

Source: http://dialogos.com.cy/blog/to-oniro-tis-balqees-apo-ti-somalia/#.W2gCrFUzbIW

Sisters from Cameroon have been admitted to the University of Cyprus

UNHCR calls for Cypriot universities to offer study opportunities to young refugees

By Marios Demetriou

18-year-old sisters from Cameroon, Ruddy-Alocha EBUA (Nicoletta) and Edith-Britney Ade (Dimitra) living in Nicosia are waiting impatiently for a beautiful summer, expecting to come in September and begin their studies at the Department of French and European Studies of the University of Cyprus. Since 2005, when they came in Cyprus, they are together in the same school consecutively in kindergarten in Agios Dometios, in the primary school of Kaimakli and in the High school of Pallouriotissa, where they graduated a month ago. At the graduation ceremony, on June 29, 2018, Dimitra was awarded for her performance in French, with a grade of 19.5, the highest grade in the Pancyprian Examinations. Their very good rating in the Pancyprian Examinations, (18.5 Dimitra and 17 Nicoletta), being their ticket for entry to the country’s top public school, is an important moment of a course full of difficult challenges in the educational system, as children of recognized refugees, different from their Greek Cypriot classmates, of their origin, color, language and cultural history, but determined to claim and to gain with their value the right – and all the obligations arising from it – to integrate equally in Cypriot society, to educate, to work and to live safely, like all their fellow citizens.

Greater state support

Nicoletta and Dimitra spoke at newspaper “24” for these challenges on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at a meeting in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cyprus (UNHCR) which monitors and assists the family , from the beginning of its establishment on the island. As the UNHCR Officer, Emilia Strovolidou, pointed out, “the two sisters belong to this small percentage of refugee children who manage to study in universities, in their host countries. The big challenge in education is regarding the 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds children who come to Cyprus in ‘’old’’ age and go directly to high school or Lyceum. It is much harder for them to enter the University of Cyprus and we do not have such cases. We have only cases like Dimitra and Nicoletta, who came to a younger age and attended primary school in Cyprus, and it is more feasible for these children to succeed at the Pancyprian exams and being admitted to the University. Therefore, there is a need for greater support from the state for these children to be able to compete with the rest of the population and to claim a position in the public university. To mention that, as UNHCR, we have a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Nicosia which provides among others scholarships – in whole or in part – to refugee children. ” Let us point out that today, according to a UNHCR global report, over 65 million people worldwide have been uprooted by war and persecution, of which 21 million are refugees and more than half are children. Of these children, only 50% have access to primary education, 22% to secondary education and only 1% to tertiary education.

Full story at:  http://24h.com.cy/2018/07/sto-panepistimio-kyproy-adelfes-apo-to-kameroyn/