By Thanasis Gavos – London
A container full of food and personal hygiene products has arrived in Cyprus after a long journey from the UK. The invaluable content is a token of love and solidarity by Cypriots in Britain, the result of a well organised initiative by ‘Cyprus Love Campaign UK’.
Young Cypriots, with a helping hand by established diaspora organisations and groups, managed to convince their compatriots to contribute plentifully in order to support people back in the island facing the challenges of the economic crisis. Not that they needed too much convincing…
The UK Cypriots showed a remarkable degree of preparedness, spirit of togetherness and coordination ability in providing support for their mother country and its people, recognising that much would be expected from them. This acute sense of national duty was firstly picked up by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, which quickly called a gathering of the community in north London to discuss ways and put forward suggestions for providing support.
The main decision was to initiate a response by the wealthiest UK Cypriots who would be used as a vehicle to attract investments in the newly formed National Solidarity Fund. At the same time, the Archdiocese, local churches, Greek schools, various social groupings and volunteers such as the people behind the Cyprus Love Campaign united their forces in what has been an exemplary display of solidarity. Food, clothes, money, medicines and other essentials have regularly been leaving the UK, hitting Cyprus with waves of compassion and encouragement.
The organisation of British Cypriots professionals, called EPISTEME, also worked on a longer term and higher level of response. It organised meetings with well know economists, energy and tourism sector analysts, high technology experts, shipping professional and others with the aim of forming a united front against the crisis. The ideas and proposals put forward have created an arsenal of ready to implement policies, which are shared with the Nicosia administration.
British Cypriots have yet again proved how close to their heart their small island is. Their prompt actions create a climate of optimism that Cyprus will exit the stalemate in which it has found itself sooner rather than later. And maybe this reaction could be used as an example to follow by the much more fragmented Greek community in the UK.