The “Lambousa” Association was established in 1937 in the New York region by Karavas and Lapithos immigrants. Christos Foskos and P. Christou from Lapithos and Aristides Demetriou, Yiannis Spanos, Costas Nikitas, Gregoris Plousios, P. Sardanis, Iosef Fiouris, Ioannis Zannetos and Giorgos Papoulias from Karavas were among the first and founding members of the association.
The first chairman of the association was Mr. Foskos, followed by G. Papoulias, A. Demetriou, G.N. Loutsios, G. Christoudias and current chairman, renowned businessman, Evripides Kontos. The headquarters of “Lambousa” are now in Bergenfield of New Jersey, where many Karavas people live. The current board of directors comprises mainly Karavas people and friends of Karavas. The chairman is Stavros Kamilaris from Ayios Georgios, husband of Maria Pantehi.
The aims of the association are, among others:
- To maintain and promote the Cypriot traditions
- To strengthen the social, cultural and spiritual relations between the members of the association.
- To support with the available material means the development of education in Karavas, Lapithos and the environs.
(d) The moral and material support of the association’s members, as well as all Cypriots, in times of need.
After the 1974 events and the occupation of the northern part of the island by Turkish troops, the primary aim of the association, as well as all Cypriot associations in America, is to cultivate the awareness of the American public opinion about the tragedy of Cyprus, the blatant violation of human rights and the displacement of 200,000 refugees from their homes. Along with other associations, “Lambousa” organised and participated in many events at the United Nations and in Washington. It also maintains relations with US members of Congress and senators and tries to influence members of the Congress to exert pressure on Turkey for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.
“Lambousa” organises various social and cultural events every year, such as the cutting of the Vassilopitta and the traditional “Lemon Dance”, in memory of the event that was held in our unforgettable Karavas. The proceeds from these events are used for various charity and national causes. In the earlier days, the “Lambousa” association financially and morally assisted towards building the Ayios Petros chapel at the Karavas cemetery, and granted the bell for the Evangelistria church. Significant grants were also made to the Kyperounta sanatorium, the Greek fund for the relief of German occupation victims, the Karavas junior schools, the US Red Cross and the Cyprus Struggle Committee. In March 1988, under the leadership of tireless chairman and fighter of our national cause Mr. Kontos, Lambousa organised a cultural event, the proceeds of which, being about 6,000 dollars, were given to an anticancer centre in New York, where Greek and Cypriot children suffering from various forms of cancer are treated from time to time. Part of the proceeds was given to the Cyprus Children’s Fund, which helps refugee children, victims of the Turkish invasion.
The fund has also contributed to erecting the Karavas Cultural Foundation in Cyprus.