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Dear friends,

The global economic crisis has affected Cyprus, with very negative consequences for both the economy and the society in general. Several aspects of the personal life of every Cypriot citizen have been affected.

For this reason, the Nicosia Development Agency (ANEL) has decided to act for the benefit of the citizens of its member municipalities, undertaking an innovative initiative. More specifically, ANEL has established a supportive, to the citizen, service in Nicosia District that offers citizens new opportunities and prospects for addressing some of the difficulties that the economic crisis has caused. This service has been named "Social Solidarity Program"

The establishment of the "Social Solidarity Program" is part of the frames of social economy. The term "social economy" refers to economic activities undertaken by various organizations of the society (e.g. companies, organizations, associations, clubs, etc.) which primarily intent to provide services to their members or the society without seeking for profit making.

The idea for the establishment of the "Social Solidarity Program" comes from the Board of Directors of the Nicosia Development Agency (ANEL) and constitutes a special service that the Agency will offer to the citizens. From this service may benefit residents of the municipalities that are members of ANEL, namely residents of the following municipalities: Latsia, Strovolos, Idalion, Yeri, Tseri, Engomi, Lakatamia and Aglantzia. In addition, the Municipality of Nicosia participates in the Program.

The "Social Solidarity Program" is expected to bring positive results to the local community since it creates employment opportunities, gives meaning and value to the local products and assists citizens to actively be engaged through participation in the market. There is no reason for someone who is unemployed to remain at home doing nothing, without any income, waiting for the day when he or she will find a job, however in this way, an opportunity is provided not only to become an active member of the society but also to obtain some kind of income, not in cash but in To.M. units, which may be used for purchasing needed services or products that potentially are impossible to be otherwise acquired.

The main objective of the establishment of the "Social Solidarity Program" is the creation of a different lifestyle and type of relations between people. The opportunity is provided to ensure both individual and social self-sufficiency and, furthermore, to create a moral and equal local society and economy.