Paphos Branch

The Paphos Branch consists one of the Subsidiary Units of the Cyprus Red Cross Society (C.R.C.S.). The first President was Thalia Markidi who laid the foundations of the organizational structure of the branch, taught all the members and she is therefore still seen as the first volunteer of the city. Thalia Markidi was President until 5th January 1970. Immediately after, late Dina Kakogianni took on the President role and remained in this role until the end of 2012. 



The first important appearance of the Branch was at the great earthquakes in 1953.  Its service was unforgettable as it transferred the injured, elderly and ill, fed families in need, put up tents in the public garden to accommodate the homeless, gave out clothes, blankets and house ware. Above all, the most important was the general support and psychological support which they offered to those who needed it. The same scene was repeated at the earthquake of Arodes in 1985 and at Prodromi and at Poli Xrisoxous in 1995.


In 1964, with the events at Tiliria, a visit was organised there in order to give out food and clothes. After the bombs, all the women of the Council wore the honored sister’s uniform with the sign of the Red Cross on and they stayed at Paphos Hospital day and night to provide help to the victims and psychological support to their families.


Since it was founded, the Branch gave financial support to the city’s primary schools so that they could serve lunch. In 1967 it worked with the Civil Defense, organising First Aid teams under the orders of the Chief of the Civil Defense Service. The members of these groups had the rights to use the emblem of the Red Cross.


In 1969 the Branch used €860 to found a Blood Bank. It accepted a donation of €258 from the Archdiocese. It conducted two fundraising events and then bought essential machines at the price of €2.718 and on 30th January 1970 it donated them to Paphos Hospital. For over 30 years blood donation was the work of the Branch, with the creation of groups of volunteers which solved the problem in Paphos. With the passing of time, the Thalassaemia Association took on blood donations and it functions flawlessly to this day.


In 1970, the Paphos Branch donated the lending library with books and magazines to the Paphos Hospital, so that they could be used by patients. Two women from the committee took on the role of looking after the library every fifteen days.  


During the days of the coup food was taken from the men who manned outposts for the defense of democracy and legal Governing of the country. The contribution of the members of the Paphos Branch of the C.R.C. was important and valuable and worked constantly. During the Turkish invasion of 1974 the Branch was more than ready to accept thousands of displaced people, to whom they gave specific help to in terms of food, clothes, searching for lost people, receiving, sending and processing thousands of messages, sorting and classifying second-hand clothes and giving them out to those who were in need of them, spreading a shaft of hope to the disadvantaged. Intense gratitude is owed to the International Red Cross as well as to all the members of the committee, the Youth section, to the volunteers who readily showed their love to their fellow people.


In 1976, the Branch collected presents, mainly balls, and they were given at a closing ceremony of Z’ Primary School so that the children could send them to students at the Primary School of Agia Triada in Karpasia.


In 1990 the “Red Cross Photography Exhibition” was organised at the Megaro Primary School, the inauguration of which was celebrated by the now Archbishop of Cyprus, Xrisostomos II, who was then the metropolitan of Paphos. Each year a dance show was organised under the sponsorship of the then President, Stella Soulioti, who was always present. Dinners, teas, tombola, lectures and charitable markets for the reinforcement of the Branch were regularly organised.


The Paphos Branch generously offers to the C.R.C.S. Children Therapy Centre Stella Soulioti (which was called the Children’s Home for Sick Children) where children are cared for, whose futures were decided before they were born. For this reason, the fundraising scheme from “Door to Door” was set up.


Displaced and destitute people of the City and our province, asylum seekers, Turks, Europeans, ill students, are regular recipients of help from the Branch which offers food, clothes (second-hand and new), wheelchairs and other things. The aim of the Branch is to constantly send waves of warmth and consolation to the disadvantaged, regardless of religion and sex.


On 21st April 1991 the Branch began a tree planting program in a local park in Paphos, where Mrs Tolores Lazan, who was the then chief of the mission of the UN High Commission for the refugees which was called “Red Cross Park” for the missing and displaced.


The Branch works closely alongside the Civil Defense and the Civil Airforce which are always willing to help in emergency situations and offer psychological support to the passengers at Paphos Airport.


Material help and support was offered by members of the committee and volunteers of the Branch to the victims of the conflict in Lebanon on a 24 hour basis.


Visitors go to the elderly care homes, the schools “Margarita Liasidou” and “Theoskepasti” and to the Institution “Kivotos” and take school equipment, new clothes, presents and sweets with them.


On 4th June 2011 the new Branch building was opened, with big benefactors such as the Archbishop of Cyprus, Xrisostomos II, Mr Theodoro Aristodimou and the travel agency “Off to a Tee”.


It is known that many good people are around everywhere. The Red Cross has a mission to find them and to enlist them so that it can strengthen the movement in order to provide generously to those who are in need.