The highest national award was accepted today by “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center on the occasion of World Human Rights Day, receiving the first "Stella Soulioti" Human Rights Award from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a joyful, emotional and prideful atmosphere. The Evaluation Committee awarded the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (SPAVO) with the same honorary distinction.
The "Stella Soulioti" Human Rights Award was established following the decision by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to award individuals, groups and Organizations who have demonstrated outstanding work and activity related to the promotion and protection of human rights. The establishment of the institution comes to honor the Cypriot politician, legal, the first woman political official and holder of important and critical portfolios in the history of the Republic of Cyprus, Stella Soulioti.
With the work, the vision and the mission of Hope For Children aligned with the promotion and safeguard of children's rights in Cyprus, this award crowns the multifaceted efforts of its staff members. This year's theme of the anniversary of the United Nations World Human Rights Day is Equality and Article 1 of the relevant Declaration, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". The principle of equality, tackling and finding solutions to deep forms of discrimination affecting the most vulnerable people in societies such as children, are the central elements to the making and the implementation of the Organization's policy.
The award was received by the Director- General of Hope For Children, Joseph Borghese, the Director of Humanitarian Division, Andria Neocleous and the Deputy Director of the Division, Andria Angastiniotou. During her speech, Ms. Neocleous mentioned that "Today is a great day for Hope For Children. The "Stella Soulioti" Human Rights Award comes as a moral recognition of the work of more than 110 professionals who provide to thousands of children, the services of the Organization through substantial collaborations with the Republic of Cyprus, the Council of Europe and other important entities. With the pandemic having intensified even more the violations of the rights of many children, in the last almost 2 years we have taken important initiatives responding to the needs of the children of the Cypriot society. We are approaching social issues related to the protection of children based on human rights. And that is where we have seen that through collective and persistent efforts, change comes. Thank you very much for the moment you have given us today which will accompany our work and our commitment to continue to stand by the side of every child who needs us".
Then she dedicated the award to all the staff members of the Organization, making a special reference to the founder of Hope For Children, Joseph Borghese, who with his vision and determination he developed an organization that changes the lives of children for the better.
Finally, she thanked the proponents for their participation in the Hope For Children application procedure and for their genuine words that contributed to the award winning. The proponents of Hope For Children were the music composer and Goodwill Ambassador of the Organization Mr. George Theofanous, a foster family and a young girl who had previously benefited from the services and programs of the Organization.