Dozens of children in Paphos have been left without necessary treatment after the Interior Ministry last January decided to cede the building which housed the day centre for children with special needs, to the municipality of Paphos for the operation of the municipal food bank.
There has been no new development on the matter and the local Association of Parents and Friends of Children with Special Needs cannot provide the services which the children need.
This development has also led to the Association being excluded from Radiomarathon sponsorship and state funding since programmes offered to children and organised through sponsorships can not be implemented because of the lack of shelter.
All this, as parents explain, is taking place "despite promises by former Interior Minister Eleni Mavrou that the association would be given another building for the needs of the day centre and despite the letters sent to the current Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos that the association desperately request help".
"The building, which is Turkish Cypriot property, served as a hospital and day centre and was leased to the Association in 2008. However, in early 2013, the then Interior Minister Eleni Mavrou ordered its recovery and promised that the government department would find other premises to cede to the association. And so, the whole building was given over to the Municipality of Paphos despite the fact that the space in which the day centre functioned was repaired using donations, loans and parents' contributions," said Yiannakis Efstathiou on behalf of the Association of Parents and Friends of Children with Special Needs in Paphos. "According to parents, this development resulted in the "destruction of furniture, medical devices and filing system of the day centre, as everything was stacked and abandoned in some of the rooms of the building."
Even worse "if the building is not returned, as soon as possible, if relevant checks and the issuing of relevant operation permits are not carried out, then we will lose sponsorship for the next year, with victims being our own children", he added.