Andreas Chimonas (President)
Nakis Merkis (Secretary)
OESEKA (Federation of Educational Societies of Greek Cypriots in England) was founded in 1971 with the aim of maintaining Cypriot culture, education and language in our community schools here in the UK. OESEKA campaigned to bring community Greek Schools under the auspices of the Ministry of Education of Cyprus to ensure that the Cypriot educational curriculum was implemented to best ensure that Cypriot identity and culture were preserved. The organisation achieved this aim and in 1977 the Second Cypriot Educational Mission brought over key teachers from Cyprus – but the Mission was missing a schools inspector, which OESEKA identified as crucial. The organisation took a delegation to visit key politicians in Cyprus and successfully negotiated for an inspector to be sent.
Since accomplishing its initial aims and objectives, OESEKA now plays a significant role in promoting Cypriot culture, language and education in our community schools and thousands of children have been educated thanks to the work of OESEKA. The organisation is a founding member of EFEPE (Coordinating Committee of Greek Educational Bodies in the UK) and the President of OESEKA always serves as the General Secretary of EFEPE.
In 1974, the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus led to thousands of Cypriot families fleeing to the UK as refugees. Demand for community Greek schools trebled because of this and OESEKA played a key role in ensuring that the schools coped with this unprecedented increase in demand.
OESEKA is also a founding member of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and its President, Andreas Chimonas, has served on the Federation’s Secretariat since then. Former President of OESEKA, Christodoulos Stylianou, served as Vice-President of the Federation and is now Honorary Vice-President of the Federation.