REFUGEES, ISSUES OF JUSTICE & MERCY; HUMAN TRAFFICKING, Etc.
KOFINOU REFUGEE RECEPTION CAMP, CYPRUS
The video link opposite will take you to a video showing an Israeli medics team serving Syrian refugees stranded from the sea between Turkey and the Greek island of Lesbos.
Syrians are fleeing Syria. Although Israel is technically at war with Syria, Israeli doctors and nurses have done the most unexpected thing: they are helping and saving Syrian refugees. Jews and Arabs together volunteering to help REAL refugees from the Syrian conflict. This is the true face of Israel – a light unto the nations!
Ministries to Refugees: There is only one specific Evangelical Christian ministry to refugees and asylum seekers in Cyprus. This is called OASIS. There are other Christian groups associated with refugees and asylum seekers, like ‘Caritas’ and particular church groups. There are also national Cyprus organisations like ‘Kisa’ or ‘Future World’, also Christian ministries in other nations, or international groups standing for refugees, or associated with their needs. There is also the Mercy Centre, run by a group of 10+ churches which caters for many people in need, including sometimes refugees.
OASIS says: ‘We are a Christian outreach to asylum seekers, refuges and migrant workers in Larnaca, Cyprus. Our desire is to demonstrate God’s love and to see lives transformed. We seek to impact the whole person – physically, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Our activities include: language classes, social events, cafes, food and clothing distribution, ladies events, visitation to refugee centres, bible studies and prayer.’
OASIS ministers in many ways, showing mercy, providing for needs, advising and supporting, etc. The group has a building used for this purpose surrounded by a garden for growing vegetables and for beauty, for refugees to take pride in and use.
Oasis Centre (Elias House) Ministry Schedule:
(schedule may vary so check website)
e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The time and days below may vary. Email above to verify.
Food Distribution: Mondays at 10-11…helpers from 9 to 11:30am.
Team Prayer: Tuesdays 3-5pm.
Cafe: Wednesday 9 to 12am.
English Lessons: Thursday and Fridays 9 to 12am.
Clothing Distribution: Wednesday 3 to 4pm, Thursday and Friday 10-12am.
Office: On request.
Issues of justice have been tackled little by little - in relation to the Asylum Office, a local refugee camp (Kofinou), and a Detention Centre, (Menogeia) amongst other things. PRAY for development.
Cyprus also needs some kind of a group focused on justice issues. An example is the project below, founded in Israel. This group is fulfilling a vital role for the needs of refugees, people caught up in trafficking, people needing justice. etc. .....Worth a read.
JUSTICE: The Jerusalem Institute of Justice. (website: www.jij.org.il)
The average age of entry into prostitution is 13-14 years old.
For more than six years, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice has been striving to aid the men, women, and children trapped in the sex trade. Along with that, we've been working hard to change legislation in Israel, which currently allows both the sale, and the purchase of sexual services.
"Nefarious", is a documentary on the global sex trade. (See website: jij.org.il)
The Jerusalem Institute of
Justice has been a key player in promoting a legislative model shaped after
Swedish Legislation in the Israeli Knesset. The proposed law will prohibit the
purchase of sexual services, placing the legal responsibility on the Client,
and not the provider. We were successful in passing the law through two of the
required four rounds of voting, and are continuing our efforts to see the law
fully approved and implemented.
Though many Members of the
Israeli Knesset (Parliament) are personally supportive of the proposed
legislation, no party to date has committed to changing the current situation.
For the most part, this is a result of the low level of public interest in the
topic, which offers little political gain for MK's promoting the law.
Israeli public opinion regarding the legitimacy of prostitution varies greatly. Much of our society is unaware of the realities of the sex industry. Early on, we realized that educating society on this issue, and changing the discussion related to prostitution will be key in bringing true change in Israel. We have been successful in presenting our message on Israeli television, along with many groups in Israeli society. We have also created a short film, titled "Zona", exposing the Israeli Sex trade.
Human Trafficking issues: ‘Freedom Dolls’ is
an emerging group which is based in Cyprus.
Victims in Cyprus, both men and women, largely come from South Asia and East Europe and are subject to debt bondage, withholding of pay and vital documents, and threats against their families. ‘Freedom Dolls’ NGO is based in Larnaca but is extending into the Paphos area. The group teaches and warns of trafficking, and raise money to support, counsel, employ and help those caught up. They have safe houses, enjoy support from churches and the police, and sell worldwide their dolls made by victims (www.freedom-dolls.com). Profits go to the trafficked victims. Some freed-up victims return home, and some are able to settle here and have a new life. The organisation is also involved in the legal process. Though the Cypriot government does not fully comply with international standards, they are hotting up their prosecution efforts and aiding in financing the sheltering of victims. Paphos: Freedom Dolls’ is now being established in Paphos. They need a safe house’ there and more volunteers.