The Christos Stelios Ioannou Foundation is a donation of the Stelios and Elli Ioannou couple, in memory of their son Christos. The Foundation operates in Nicosia, from October 1983 with Government expenses, thus the latter participating in the Board of Directors. It is a legal entity of private law registered in accordance with the Societies and Institutions Law of the Republic of Cyprus.
Despite the fact that in 1983 it came into operation as a Social and Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, today it has been expanded to a multidimensional organisation for the provision of services and a model centre offering high standard specialised programmes and services to around 200 adults, with moderate and mild mental disabilities from all over Cyprus.
Apart from the personal fulfilment, vocational rehabilitation and social integration, the Foundation has been a leader in the introduction of pioneer institutions and beliefs, which have upgraded the standard of services to people with mental disabilities in Cyprus.
The Christos Stelios Ioannou Foundation has attained many accomplishments over the years such as the Special Olympics, the Very Special Arts programmes and the Portage system for early intervention. Moreover, the foundation realised exchanges with other countries, enlightenment of society, support and guidance of parents, further education of its personnel, promotion of legislation, improvement of the quality of life of the people with mental disabilities and residence of its trainees in small units integrated into society.
The philosophy upon which the Foundation is based on is to approach people with mental disabilities as individuals with needs, feelings, rights, abilities and interests, as well as responsibilities.
Over one hundred adults with moderate and mild mental disabilities from all over Cyprus attend the Ioannou Foundation on a daily basis.
Other 75 people approximately, former trainees of the Foundation, who work in the free market, benefit from the support and follow up services of the rehabilitation group.
In general, all people attending the Foundation, are people who take care of themselves, do not face serious behaviour problems, and are in a position, with the suitable education, to acquire knowledge and skills which will allow them to become financially useful and be integrated without problems into their immediate and wider social environment.