Russian Families Hit by Summer Wildfires Enjoy a Week in Cyprus

As part of a charity initiative organized by Uniastrum Bank and the Bank of Cyprus, residents from the Volgograd region and Lukhovitsky district met with the Primate of the Cypriot Orthodox Church and Cyprus's first lady.

Moscow, Russia, March 26, 2011 --( On March 9 Russian families met with Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Church of Cyprus, at the Archbishop's Palace in Nicosia. Later that day they were welcomed at the Presidential Palace by the wife of the Cypriot President, Elsie Chiratou. On both occasions the families were visibly moved by the warmth of the reception, as well as by the words of support and encouragement offered.

During their stay on the island the Russian guests visited Cyprus's main cities, enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Shrovetide carnival, also spent time at a local school, where pupils had prepared a special program featuring traditional songs and dances. The hotel where the families stayed, which is situated on a picturesque shoreline not far from the holiday resort of Ayia Napa, organized daily entertainment and recreational activities for parents and children alike.

"This marks just the first stage of our charity initiative. Overall, some 200 persons from fire-stricken regions will be holidaying in Cyprus, half of whom are children," said Eugene Tutkevich, Chairman of Uniastrum's Management Board, at the reception given at the Presidential Palace. "Many of them are travelling abroad for the first time in their lives. For us, seeing their genuine joy and smiling faces is the best reward we could possibly wish for."