CYBER KIDS was a nation-wide experiment launched in 1992 in Cyprus by Yiannis Laouris, George Vakanas and Maria Symeonides who all returned from the US to Cyprus with the vision that introducing advanced computer technology in the lives of a critical number of young children using an educationally relevant and socially responsible, peace-enhancing curriculum would allow them to “transcend” the country’s educational and political life and move the new generation a decade ahead. Many young scientists and visionaries soon joined what the inventors called the CYBER KIDS Dream. Dinos Georgiades joined as a full partner in 1993, Evros Alexandrou and Harry Anastasiou in 1996, and the Cyprus Development Bank in 1997. By 1999, the number of children in Cyprus alone, who benefited from their curriculum exceeded 15,000, which is approximately equal to 20% of the country’s youth population (ages 6-15). During the same period, the organization trained and employed 186 young and talented university graduates, thus combating brain drain while simultaneously spreading the CYBER KIDS Philosophy in many more spheres of social life.
The CYBER KIDS Dream was supported by a well-defined strong CYBER KIDS Vision, the CYBER KIDS Philosophy, and simple and well documented CYBER KIDS Procedures in the context of the first ever franchising launched by Cypriots in Cyprus with the name CYBER KIDS Franchising.
By 1999 CYBER KIDS expanded in 7 countries:
- Cyprus (36 Branches)
- Greece (Master Franchise by CYBER Interfranchise AE; 7 Branches)
- Israel (Master Franchise by Danny Lange who opened 2 Branches)
- Lebanon (Master Franchise by Kyriakos Schizas who opened 3 Branches)
- Jordan (1 Branch)
Towards the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000, CYBER KIDS opened its first Branches in two new continents:
- USA, Portland (1 Branch)
- India (3 Branches opened by the Indian Master Franchisee)
Under the leadership of the Cyprus Development Bank, in 2000 CYBER KIDS merged with 11 other companies to form a public, high-tech company known as CYBER GROUP. Unfortunately, the crash of the stock markets in combination with a number of unconstitutional laws passed repetitively by the Cyprus Parliament allegedly to "protect" the rights of investors, led dozens of entrepreneurial companies to forced bankruptcy.
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