“International students definitely benefit the most from VOIS, but the long term goal is for the local community as a whole to also be able to benefit from VOIS, because we believe our destinies are tied together” are the words of President and Co-founder of VOIS Cyprus, Emmanuel Achiri. While celebrating the many achievements and successes of VOIS in the aid of international students, Achiri spoke to Gundem about the aspirations for VOIS in the next 10 years and the challenges they have faced from day one.
The VOIS Cyprus is a non-governmental organization that is making waves for international students living in Northern Cyprus. The organization was founded on the 5th of February 2018 by Fiona Kavakure, Ezinne Favour Ogwuegbu, Adeyinka Oladapo and Emmanuel Achiri, who are four outstanding international students from various ethnicity, who came together for the single purpose of uniting all international students and providing an avenue for international students to speak their truth and get their voices heard.
VOIS Cyprus stands for VOICES OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS CYPRUS
VOIS works hand in hand with Cyprus locals, the government and some of the major universities in Cyprus to represent international students and find solutions to some of the challenges they face. They provide benefits such as recommending students for scholarships, assisting students with court cases and making sure international students are treated in a just and fair manner. VOIS organizes events, open mic nights and some game nights to try and raise money to fund some of their events and better help international students challenge themselves. The non-governmental organization is made up of a large team of about 60 members across the universities in Northern Cyprus, all working together to make a change. According to the VOIS president Emmanuel Achiri, the members of VOIS stand by one saying “you either join VOIS or end up needing VOIS”. This only shows the dedication this organization has in assisting international students and providing an avenue for international students to share both their positive and negative experiences in the hope that they can find solutions to make life as pleasant as possible for international students.
VOIS Cyprus was created by the students, for the students.
The VOIS Cyprus is the only non-governmental organization in north Cyprus that was created by students to represent students, they believe that continuing to assist international students would only make Cyprus a more attractive place. The VOIS remains enthusiastic about the future of the organization, they hope to continue to share the authentic stories of international students and protect the interests of international students throughout the north of the island.
For the full interview with Emmanuel Achiri, please visit: https://gundem.emu.edu.tr/en/2019/05/02/interview-with-vois-president-emmanuel-achiri/