Embassy at Work 2011
Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of September 11 Through Service
September 9-11, 2011
A small group of volunteers from the U.S. Embassy visited the Halk Vakfi Home for Aged in Sinirustu, near Famagusta, to commemorate the victims of 9/11 events, by reaching out to marginalized members of society. The volunteers played backgammon and rummikub with the aged of the Halk Vakfi, who heartily welcomed the visitors. This was a first time contact for the Embassy community with the Halk Vakfi, where 45 aged reside on a property that includes several acres of gardens and some animals.
One of the residents, who immersed himself wholeheartedly in a game of rummikub, was upset that the volunteers could not stay longer for a second game. Another, a backgammon player, easily adapted himself to the wish of a 13-year-old volunteer to shift from backgammon to play checkers although he did not understand the rules at all. The owner of the house, herself also a resident, invited the group to lunch and shared the problems facing the residence, and expressed her strong wish for future cooperation.
On September 9, two days before the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, five employees of the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia visited the Engomi Health Center. The volunteers bravely rolled up their sleeves and donated to the local blood bank, responding to the urgent need for blood at area hospitals. Through this donation, organized by Embassy Nurse Barbara Joannides, the U.S. Embassy community helped commemorate the men, women, and children who tragically lost their lives in terrorist attacks over the last ten years, since September 11, 2001.