Young Volunteers kicks off a month-long IVD celebration in Cyprus
28 October 2003

Nicosia: Young Volunteers, an active youth-led organization engaged in promoting volunteerism and community development, takes the lead in organizing a series of events for a month-long celebration of International Volunteer Day (IVD).

On 5 December, a ceremony with the theme, "Life through Light", will be held at the Platia Eleftheria to light the first Young Volunteers wooden Christmas tree. The Christmas tree, symbolic of the contributions and achievements of volunteers, will be decorated with poems and quotations on volunteerism written by the volunteers themselves. Mr. Pefkios Georgiades, Cyprus Minister of Education and Culture, Mr. Michael Klosson, Ambassador of the United States to Cyprus, Mrs. July Panayopoulou, wife of the Ambassador of Greece to Cyprus and other prominent local personalities will grace the occasion.

As well, several schools in Nicosia, including Ayios Omoloyites Primary School, Junior School, Rainbow School, A’ Engomi Primary School and Highgate School have agreed to allot school hours for a drawing and writing session where children will be asked to express their views about International Volunteers Day. The members of Young Volunteers will be asked to share in school assemblies their reasons for volunteering.

On 6 December, Mr. Michalakis Zambellas, Mayor of Nicosia, will lead the tree planting in the Park of Volunteers to mark IVD. After which, a follow up clean-up campaign entitled "I love Nicosia and I want it clean" will be organized in April. In partnership with the Municipality of Nicosia, the Young Volunteers will lead the cleaning of the old part of the city. Mayor Zambellas will formally launch the campaign, together with Mr. G. Perdikis, President of Green Party of Cyprus.

The official web site of Young Volunteers, Young Volunteers Web, will be launched at a press conference on the first week of December.

Moreover, the Young Volunteers will organize fund raising activities to support some of their voluntary works. Throughout December, the Young Volunteers choir will conduct a series of presentations in department stores like Marks and Spencer and Woolworth and for service organizations like Ernst & Young and Rotary Club of Nicosia to raise funds for their Apostle Varnavas Special School project. The project aims to assist the Apostle Varnavas Special School in financing the construction of an educational playground, special gym, and a kiosk within the school premises where the children can sell their crafts.

Members will sell baked goodies and other crafts in Christmas Bazaars, starting 26 November until 13 December. Proceeds from the Christmas Bazaar project will go to organizations caring for children with leukemia.

Apart from fund raising activities, Young Volunteers will be engaged as well in voluntary works. Young Volunteers has scheduled their annual elderly voluntary work project on 14 December. The children will provide entertainment and food for the elderly of Engomi Third Age municipality club. They will also facilitate Christmas decoration of the home. They have likewise scheduled a day of service and entertainment for the children at the Philanthropic Nursery of Ay. Omologites.

On 22 December, selected members of Young Volunteers will guest in "With Yianna Loizidou", a top-rating afternoon radio talk show, to share what it is like to be young volunteers. Guest hostess, Mrs. Eleni Neophytou, President of Pancyprian Welfare Association, will interview the children.

Lastly, the Young Volunteers will spend an inspiring afternoon (date to be confirmed) with the President of the Cyprus Red Cross, Mrs. Photini Papadopoulou, learning more about volunteer work and the history and activities of the organization.

From: Young Volunteers, Cyprus

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