Doros Theodorou: 25 years of service for peace at UNFICYP
In March, Doros Theodorou completed 25 years of service for UNFICYP. He joined the Mission as a warehouse keeper in the UN Protected Area in 1996 and made significant contributions since his first day on the job. In 2009 he embarked into the Civil Affairs section and ever since he has engaged with farmers, shopkeepers and people from both communities, to serve as a daily interlocutor on issues affecting civilian population.
When asked about the most challenging moment, he remembers the “coffee shop” farmers’ outreach meetings hosted before the COVID-19 pandemic. “We used to deal with farmers and, at often times, there were tensions because of permits or because some areas inside the buffer zone were closed and they could not enter. A farmer in one of these meetings got really angry and started to shout, so I had to use all my ability to talk and calm the situation down,” he recalls. “At that moment, my purpose was to inform people that we and UNPOL were not allowing access because the Mission wanted to protect them from entering mine fields and getting injured. Just a few days before that someone driving a tractor crossed the area and the property was damaged,” he explains.
He recalls the tension: “here situations can escalate very quickly and one thing I always tried to do was to remain calm and use my understanding to explain to others in a way they understand. My work was also a learning for me”, he says.
On his last working day, SRSG Spehar stated: “Doros made an invaluable contribution to UNFICYP over his many years of service. I thank him sincerely for his work and dedication and wish him the very best as he begins a new chapter in his life,” Doros, who’s a father of two, lives with his wife and hopes to spend more time with his grandchildren.
“I finished my service, but I cannot stay home and do nothing, I am planning to refurbish the house, help my daugthers in taking care of my grandchildren and meet and spend time with my friends after the pandemic,” he concludes.