Once again the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain sent a Christmas card and Euros as a present to each of the, now 45, enclaved schoolchildren in Rizokarpasso. This year each student will receive €100 with their Christmas Card. €50 from the Association of Rizokarpasso and €50 as a very generous gift from Mrs Anna Kleanthous, who was born in Rizokarpasso, to whom we are thankful. We are grateful to the Cyprus High Commission in the UK for arranging the transportation of the Christmas cards and Euros to the enclaved schoolchildren in Rizokarpasso. We are certain the schoolchildren will like their religious Christmas card and enjoy buying a gift of their own choice with their €100.
Rizokarpasso was the biggest town on the peninsula and is located halfway between the small town of Yialousa and Apostolos Andreas Monastery. Prior to the 1974 Turkish invasion Rizokarpasso had approximately 3,500 Greek Cypriots, there are now 248 enclaved Greek Cypriots, a further 53 Greek Cypriots have returned to their homes in Rizokarpasso. The small number of enclaved Greek Cypriots have remained continuously in their homes since 1974 denied basic human rights and freedoms, a very difficult existence, especially during the early years following the Turkish invasion.
In 1974 there were 277 students in the Dimotiko School, 235 students in the Gymnasio, a total of 512 students. A nursery school was opened in 2004 and the Gymnasio was also allowed to reopen. There are now 12 schoolchildren in the Nursery, 18 in the Dimotiko and 15 in the Gymnasio, a total of 45 students. Since the invasion thousands of illegal Turkish settlers have been transported to Rizokarpasso taking over the homes and properties of the Rizokarpasso owners who were killed or became refugees.