They turned their pain into strength and decided to help children suffering from online bullying. The reason for George and Areti who lost their son, Christoforos at the age of 15. The parents of the child who was the victim of a toy opened their hearts and spoke to the SIGMA camera.
"Where we thought we were 10 steps ahead of Christoforos, Christoforos jumped 11 steps ahead. Unfortunately he was threatened and committed to some forums and various pages", says the father.
"Our child had dreams, he had a lot of dreams..." adds his mother.
"In the last 50 days or so we started to see some changes in his character..."
The child died 1 year ago and his parents created a page to help and inform other parents.
"Giorgos and I stood in the church and said, God, I wish we were the last parents... My children, please talk to the parents, don't be afraid of anything," says Mrs. Areti.
Cyberbullying can be described as a scourge of recent years.
Children of various ages fall victim to tricksters who, through the use of digital devices, harass them, terrorize them and, with authoritarian attitudes, finally trap them in their nets.
The parents of Christoforos who passed away a year ago, UK Cypriots George and Areti Nikolaou have set up a charity in his name to try to help and protect as many children as they can from the negative effects of abuse of social media.
"Christophoros is the child who tied us together with my wife, Areti. We enjoyed him for 15 years. A very polite, happy, cheerful child and he was also very good at school with an A category, a very good student", says Mr. Giorgos.
Asked by the father if they saw any signs of change in their child's life and behavior, the father says, "yes Christopher as we said before, recently, a happy happy child but in the last 50 days or so we started to see some changes in his character, in way of behaving and we would ask him if he is okay and he would tell us yes mom, yes dad we are fine, I have no problem. And we told him that we see him a little restless. He told us no, the school exams are coming now and I want to pass them.
For her part, the mother told him, "because Christoforos was a very good student at school.. there were times when I spoke to him and he answered me a bit more abruptly and I thought this was because he is 15 years old and he didn't want us to pressure him. We usually got together and sat down in the living room and watched TV, he came quickly, quickly to eat, as if someone was chasing him from behind... quickly go upstairs and I tell Giorgos maybe we should take him somewhere, to relax.
We went on vacation and came back and again the same and one day I remember waking up at night and hearing a noise. I went to Christopher's room and opened the door and I see my son sitting and watching a horror film, which is very bad and Christopher didn't like such things. He liked to watch comedies more. I told him what are these my love what are you doing and he said mom I have to see it I need to finish it… I said ok because it is an age where they say some things to each other. But these are all symptoms. Because we met a lot of parents like us in England and all the children went through the same stages, they did the same things."
His father said they met people from the time they created the charity for Christopher.
"Areti and I have reached a point now in our lives where we have decided not to sit back and do nothing either. And we decided to create a charity in his name and in fact the charity we did is to offer children various activities and it will be free. In fact, we collected over 23 thousand pounds which are all donations from the world and it will give us great joy to be able to offer something to other children and the reason behind all this is to give children the opportunity to understand that life is not only mobiles and games.
"He wanted to be an Architect. I am an estate agent in London and he wanted to be by my side
Unfortunately, I don't have that now, I don't have it and the reason we are here right now is because we want those who listen to us and those who listen to our parents to come and see our charity, to read them."
His parents say the child was experiencing this whole thing for about a month and a half.
"We found the messages after January 26. Until January 26th it was fine. From January 27 to March 1, things changed tragically."