On Tuesday, January 31, 2023, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, inaugurated the Center for Social Benefits of the Municipality of Sotiras.
The newly built building includes an outdoor space for events and conferences, a Municipal Library, IT, dance, music, painting rooms and a cafeteria that will accommodate children, young people, seniors and other vulnerable population groups. At the same time, social welfare and welfare programs, medical and other services will operate in the space, while the Cyprus Youth Organization will also be housed, which will in turn offer training, education and training programs as well as consulting services.
The creation of the Social Benefits Center is part of the general efforts made by the Municipality of Sotiras to create projects and infrastructures that will improve the living standards of the residents of Sotiras.
The event was attended by, among others, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis, the President of the House of Representatives, Ms. Annita Dimitriou, the Metropolitan of Constantia and Famagusta Mr. Vasilios, the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Mr. Yannis Karousos, the Minister of Labor and Social Insurance Mr. Kyriakos Kousios, the Government Representative Mr. Marios Pelekanos, the Deputy Government Representative Ms. Niovi Parisinou, MPs of Famagusta, Mayors and Community Leaders of the area, Municipal Councilors of both the current and previous Sotiras Municipal Council, the Prefect of Famagusta Mr. Georgios Chrysafinis, the President of the Cyprus Youth Organization Mr. Kleanthis Koutsoftas, the former Senior Prefect of Famagusta Mr. Andros Ktoridis, representatives of the European Funds Unit of the Ministry of the Interior, the Architects-Engineers of the "I&A Filippou" project, the Contractors of the "Stavros Andronikou & Sons Constructions Ltd" project, as well as a number of other collaborators and attendees.
At the end of the greetings, Mayor Sotiras offered the President of the Republic, as a souvenir, the effigy of Christodoula, the woman-symbol of the fight against cancer but also of the return to our ancestral homes. The statue is the work of the well-known Cypriot sculptor Filippo Yipanis and adorns the new Christodoula Monument in Sotira, which will be inaugurated during this year's Christodoula March of the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Association. Afterwards, the President of the Republic cut the ribbon and unveiled the building's inauguration plaque.
A small reception followed in the cafeteria of the Center.
Mayor Sotiras: Culmination of many years of efforts
During his greeting, the Mayor of Sotira, George Takkas, said that the opening event is the culmination of the long-term efforts of the Municipality of Sotira to create a center-jewel that will adorn both Sotira and the entire Famagusta District.
He underlined that the construction of the Sotiras Social Benefits Center was included in the announcements of the former Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Petridis, for the development of the countryside and the creation of infrastructure, within the framework of the Rural Development program with the utilization of funds from the EU. As he mentioned, the path to the implementation of the Center was not the easiest, which fills the Municipality with double pride that it managed to achieve its goals in the end.
Mr. Takkas emphasized that "today's event is a first-class opportunity to express our special thanks to the Government and the President of the Republic for the projects amounting to almost 10 million euros that were announced in 2015 and related to Sotira, as well as important infrastructure projects for our province, which either directly or indirectly affect our Municipality. The government aid for projects such as the radical renovation of the Sotira Municipal Stadium with the allocation of a fund amounting to more than 1,2 million euros, the construction of Glaukos Cleridis Street (the South Bypass in Vrastas that connects Sotira to Paralimni) amounting to 1 million euros , the road south of the Second Municipal Sotiras that connects Akropoleos Street with Karaiskaki Street at a cost of €500,000, the reconstruction of Vassili Michaelidis Street that connects Sotira with Frenaros, have modernized the road network to a large extent and have contributed the most to development and progress of Sotiras. In addition, thanks to the initiative of the Anastasiades government, the improvement and reconstruction of the Deryneia-Sotiras road, a project which has been a demand for decades for the two municipalities, has been launched and the work has started as early as November 2022".
Finally, addressing the President, he said that "your personal responsibility towards society, your hard work and zeal, have borne fruit at all levels. And Sotira has to say that never before has a President of the Republic offered her as much as you have in the last 10 years."
The history of the Sotiras Municipality Social Benefits Center:
The decision to create the Sotiras Social Benefits Center was taken on May 10, 2004 by the then Sotiras Community Council, while on May 19, 2009 the Community Council proceeded to purchase the land.
Plans were then prepared and through the District of Famagusta an application was submitted for inclusion of the project in the Rural Development Program 2007-2013 in Measure 3.2. The project was expected to start in October 2012 but was frozen before any funding / co-financing from European funds was approved.
At a meeting of the Municipal Council in September 2015, it was decided to change the plans, based on the viability of the project by the municipal authority but also to create a functional and low maintenance building, which can simultaneously employ both young people and individuals. elderly. Therefore, the Municipality proceeded to the modification of the plans and they were resubmitted with the aim of their approval and financing, something that was achieved, according to the announcements of the competent Minister of Interior.
The Sotiras Social Benefits Center is a result of the announcements by the President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiadis for projects in the Municipality of Sotiras, while it is included among the fourteen projects announced by the former Minister of the Interior Konstantinos Petridis for the development of the countryside and the creation of infrastructure, amounting to €9,4 million within the framework of the Rural Development program with the utilization of funds from the E.U.
Construction work started in January 2018 and was completed in October 2020. Its construction cost was around 1.8 million euros including VAT and was financed by one third by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the Republic of Cyprus and the Municipality of Sotiras while responsible construction of the project was the Famagusta District Administration.
It includes an outdoor space for events and conferences, a Municipal library, IT, dance, music, painting rooms and a cafeteria where it will be able to accommodate both young people and the elderly.