Category Archives: civil society

Lifelong Learning Programmes Info Sessions

EU_flag_LLP_ENThe Foundation for the Management of European Lifelong Learning Programmes (IDEP) is organising information meetings for interested organisations on the Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig programmes. The purpose of the meetings is to provide the necessary guidelines and information on how to fill in and submit applications to these programmes.

The events organised are:

Wednesday 16/01/2013 – Leonardo da Vinci – Partnerships
10:00, Premises of IDEP

Wednesday 16/01/2013 – Grundtvig – Learning Partnerships
16:00, Hotel Kleopatra – Nicosia

Wednesday 16/01/2013 – Comenius – School Partnerships
16:00, Hotel Kleopatra – Nicosia

Wednesday 23/01/2013 – Grundtvig – Workshops
16:00, Premises of IDEP – Nicosia

Thursday 24/01/2013 – Comenius – Regio Partnerships
10:00, Premises of IDEP – Nicosia

Wednesday 20/02/2013 – Grundtvig – Senior Volunteering Projects
16:00, Premises of IDEP – Nicosia

CCMC is currently working on two projects funded under Lifelong Learning:

logo2Media Hackers aims to provide a flexible and basic training for journalists so that they are better equipped to cope with emerging new technologies. We are working with European partners to identify the current skills and training needs of journalists, and to create state of the art training material that will ultimately increase the employability of journalists by offering new and innovative ways of media training. You can follow us on the project’s Facebook page!

LOGO_mComSimilarly, through the m-Com  project, CCMC and its partners are develop educational approaches in a community-driven context with the aim of empowering Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) through Community Media literacy. You can track our activities on Facebook, or you can tweet about m-Com on the hashtag #mcomeu.

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Join the Discussion about Climate Change at the Goethe-Institut!

Goethe_Institut-logo-057F9CB607-seeklogo.comOur neighhours and close colleagues at the Goethe-Institut Cyprus are holding a series of events this January on the issue of climate change.

On Monday 14 January a poster exhibition about environmental issues by the famous German artist Klaus Staeck will be opened in the Goethe-Institut’s hall at 6.30 pm, followed at 7.00 pm by the screening of “The Age Of Stupid” (UK; 2009; 92 min. Dir: Franny Armstrong), the first of five international documentary films to be shown from 14-18 January at the Goethe-Institut about the environmental challenges mankind faces. All films are with English subtitles and admission is free. The complete list of the films can be found here.

On Wednesday 23 January at 6.30 pm, the Goethe-Institut Cyprus and The Cyprus Institute will hold a public lecture by the eminent scientist and climate researcher Prof Jos Lelieveld of Max Planck Institut Mainz in Germany and Institute Professor at The Cyprus Institute, on the issue of “Climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East”. The lecture will be in English and will be followed by a small reception.

On Thursday 24 January at 7.00 pm film director Stephen Nugent and the cameraman Chris Lewis, who have been working for Greenpeace to document the organisation’s activities in the arctic against industrial exploitation and environmental destruction, will present their films and inform us about planned activities to prevent the melting of the polar ice caps and the deterioration of the arctic environment.

For more information call Elena Petrou on +357-22-674608.

“Awaken the African Giant” Kapuscinski Lecture, Wednesday 16 January 2013

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For the second year running, CCMC member the Cyprus Island-Wide NGO Development Platform (CYINDEP) is hosting a Kapuscinski Development Lecture on Wednesday 16th January 2013 at 18:30, at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia.

“Awaken the African Giant” will be the topic of a lecture by Nick Moon, a winner of several awards for bringing together the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor, innovative tools and technologies, and the power of the marketplace, developing a cost effective and sustainable way to help families lift themselves out of poverty. He is a co-founder of KickStart and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Georgios Markopouliotis, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus will offer a welcoming speech on behalf of the organisers, the European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The event is also supported by the NGO Support Centre.

The lectures honour the name of Ryszard Kapuscinski, a Polish journalist and writer, who died in 2007. Kapuscinski, whose books were translated into many languages, was often named the “Third World Chronicler” or the “Voice of the Poor” for his famous reportages and books describing developing countries on all continents. Among other books, he was famous for: “The Emperor” on Ethiopia, “Shah of Shahs” about Iran, “The Shadow of the Sun” about Africa, “Another Day of Life” about Angola, and “Imperium” about the Soviet Union.

You can register for the event on Facebook  and you can follow the discussion on Twitter@CYINDEP @kapulectures

Alternatively you can contact Natasha Apostolidou Efthymiou at natasha.apostolidou@cyindep.eu or by phone +357-99-551699 .

Simultaneous translation will be available in Greek and Turkish.

Could you be a volunteer?

ngo_logoCCMC member the NGO Support Centre (NGO SC) is looking for people who are ready to try out new challenges and experiences in life. If you have a willingness to learn, adapt and to share new ideas, then this volunteer experience might be right for you.

The NGO SC will send 3 senior Volunteers to Hemel Hempstead in May / June 2013 from Cyprus. They are looking for inspirational people who have had some experiences of volunteering and who want to try volunteering in another country. The experience is open to those people aged 50 years and over and who are willing to work and live with other people they have not previously met with.

They are looking for the following qualities in our volunteers:
–    Current passport holder
–    Good Health
–    Interest in community wellbeing
–    Willingness to learn new skills, culture and language
–    Ability to adapt to living in new country for 3 weeks
–    A good ambassador with sound knowledge of our local area
–    Be proactive and ready to find solutions to everyday problems

For more information contact Lorraine at the NGO Support Centre on lorraine@ngo-sc.org or call  +357-22-87509.

Civil Society’s New Year’s Wish List

This article was first published on page 19 of The Cyprus Weekly (4 January 2013).

2013, dubbed by many as the most difficult year for Cyprus since 1974, is likely to be a year when the general public, and by extension civil society organisations, will increase their demands on the political leadership in light of economic austerity.

Here’s to wishing (and working) for a Happy New Year 2013!

1) Greater transparency and access to information
Writing in The Cyprus Weekly back in November, Maria Kapardis, Chairperson of Transparency Cyprus, spoke of the urgent need for greater transparency in political party funding, as highlighted in the Council of Europe’s GRECO report in 2011. In December, the presidential candidates who had put forward recommendations for fighting corruption all pulled out of an open discussion organised by Transparency Cyprus on the issue. However, going into 2013, there is a momentum generated behind a move for greater openness at the political level, and with the austerity measures likely to bite hard this year, the demand for transparency and accountability will grow. 2013 will also be a good time to implement the recommendations of the Access Info Cyprus project, which include, amongst others, adopting a law on access to public information, as well as full and proactive publication of information about the structure, policies, functioning, and budget of each public, to be presented in a way that is members of the general public can understand.

2) Protection and support for society’s vulnerable and marginalised groups
“During the economic crisis people with special needs and especially those with severe disability, face bigger problems due to their disabilities. The weight of these measures will affect people with special needs who are living on the poverty line even more.” A statement by the Cyprus Paraplegic Organisation, issued last November condemning impending cuts to government spending on benefits received by people with special needs. Nevertheless cuts went ahead as planned; cuts which will also affect other vulnerable groups in society including recognised refugees and asylum seekers. It appears that the time has come to close ranks in civil society around the issue of social policy and support. No longer are organisations fighting separate causes, and there must be a realisation that there is both a common cause to fight for and a value in the strength in numbers.

3) Establishing a functioning legal framework for civil society
There is a risk that we sound repetitive… However back in August we highlighted the fact that the process for reform of the Cyprus law as this relates to non-governmental organisations was stuck and in urgent need of a kick up the backside. We spoke with both the Ministries of the Interior and Finance, both of whom assured us that progress was being made and that we should expect “movement” in the process by the end of the calendar year. While both ministries may point to more pressing economic concerns, the majority of the groundwork has been done, and what is needed now is more of a ‘political’ push. We hope that after the presidential elections in February progress can be made towards seeing this process through to an acceptable conclusion for all.

4) Effective participation in the Cyprus peace process
Another process which came to a grinding halt last year, but is expected to be resuscitated in the post-election period. Whichever of the candidates assumes the Presidency they will be faced with a population that is frustrated by the lack of clear progress towards a solution. According to research conducted by the bicommunal think-tank Cyprus2015, there is an increasing trend towards a “no” vote: 51% amongst Greek Cypriot and 42% amongst Turkish Cypriots. In light of this, we believe that the leaders of the two communities would do well to consider Cyprus2015’s “five principles” for redesigning the peace process, and in particular to “develop mechanisms of public consultation, to ensure two-way communication between the leadership and society at large, thus creating a peace process which is owned by the grassroots”.

Anna Lindh Foundation to hold media debate ahead of Mediterranean Forum

ALF New Logo - 2012

The Anna Lindh Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue (ALF) an organisation which promotes knowledge, mutual respect and intercultural dialogue between the people of the Euro-Mediterranean region, working through a network of more than 3,000 civil society organisations in 43 countries, is holding the third Preparatory Meeting of the Anna Lindh Forum 2013 from 28 February to 1 March in Barcelona, Spain. The theme of the meeting will be ‘Media facing tensions and transitions in the Mediterranean’.

The meeting is a preparatory event of the Anna Lindh Mediterranean Forum 2013, which will be a landmark gathering of 1,000 leading civil society actors and policy makers following the Arab Awakening and the crisis in Europe. The Euro-Med Media Meeting will shape the Forum’s media track debating and developing actions aimed at supporting journalists in facing the challenges of the new social and cultural landscape which is emerging in the region.

The Meeting will be co-organised with the ALF Head of the Spanish Network, the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean with the media partnership of France 24, RFI and Radio Monté Carlo Doualiya.

The event will gather participants from ALF Networks, existing regional platforms/networks, experts and grassroots level representatives working on media related issues. Twenty participants will be identified through the call for participation, and around 30 experts from the field of media will be invited from the host country and the other Euromed countries.

The deadline for application is Thursday 10 January 2012 (00:00 Egypt Time – GMT+2).

EC Active Ageing Photo and Film Competition Winners Announced

The winning photo "Ageless Joy" by Salih Bahceci

The winning photo “Ageless Joy” by Salih Bahceci

C3A, the Cyprus Third Age Association was one of the winners of the 2012 DigiMe digital photo and video competition, sponsored by the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus and taking as its theme the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. C3A received an honourable mention – and a 100 euro voucher for electronic gadgets – for a series of photographs showing the group’s educational activities which, as the judges said, illustrated vividly Active Ageing in Action.

The overall winner in the photo category was “Ageless Joy”, taken by Salih Bahçeci, a student of digital media at London Metropolitan University, while the short clip “An ordinary life of my grandparents” by Andreas Psaltis, a final year pupil at the Grammar School, Nicosia, won the video prize. The two category winners each received an iPad.

There were also honourable mentions for Elly Rousou for the photo entitled ‘Youth has no Age’, and for Yetin Arslan with ‘Fairy-tale Cycle’.

EllyRousou received an honourable mention for "Youth Has No Age"

EllyRousou received an honourable mention for “Youth Has No Age”

Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony held at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia’s Buffer Zone, the Head of Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus George Markopouliotis said:

“This is the second year of the DigiMe digital video and photo competition. We at the Representation are happy to support this online event and we do hope that it will carry on with the same success for a few more years to come. Our intention was to to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society and I think that the entries to the competition do this quite admirably. It is also clear that these issues, like the environment and climate change in last year’s competition, are obviously of concern to all communities in Cyprus – two-thirds of this year’s entries come from Greek Cypriots and approximately one-third from the Turkish Cypriot community.”

Entries in the DigiMe competition are not judged on artistic merit alone but also on relevance and, crucially, on the impact they have online. This impact, the buzz, which this year’s entries have generated, has been considerable. There were more than 100 entries in all which attracted nearly 3,000 votes on the DigiMe website, more than 2,000 YouTube views and nearly 4,000 likes and comments on Facebook.

The DigiMe competition is managed on behalf of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus by the NGO Support Centre and the Cyprus Community Media Centre.

You can see all the entries at the DigiMe website: http://www.digime.org.cy

Cyprus Friendship Programme 2013 Application open!

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The Cyprus Friendship Programme (CFP) has announced its application process for 2013!

CFP aims to create bonds of friendship and trust among the youth of the communities of Cyprus. Each teen from one community is ‘paired’ with another of the same gender from the other community. Each pair is then hosted in July for four weeks by a family in the United States.

To find out more click here to download information.

The Cyprus Friendship Programme (CFP) is modeled on the all-volunteer Children’s Friendship Project for Northern Ireland (CFPNI), a peace and friendship building programme that successfully brought more than 2,000 Protestant and Catholic teens (as well as their families and their friends) in Northern Ireland together throughout its 21 year existence. CFPNI came to its successful completion in 2007.

The bi-communal Cyprus Friendship Programme started in 2009 as an initiative of HasNa, a small US non-profit organisation in cooperation with a Cypriot team of coordinators. Currently, the US leg of the programme is managed by the Cyprus Friendship Programme Incorporated (CFP Inc.), a new non-governmental, non-profit organization based in the US. The Cyprus leg of the programme is managed by a bi-communal team of Cypriot coordinators. The two groups cooperate harmoniously and driven by the same passion to promote a culture of peaceful coexistence.

CFP aims to create bonds of friendship and trust among the youth of the communities of Cyprus. Each teen from one community is ‘paired’ with another of the same gender from the other community. Each pair is then hosted in July for four weeks by a family in the US.

All the coordinators of the programme in Cyprus and the US as well as the board members of CFP Inc. offer their services on a purely voluntary basis. No one gets paid. This also applies for the host families in the US who cover all the expenses of hosting the two teenagers.

Check out their activities on Youtube, or read about them on the Huffington Post!

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