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School Competition Against Racism Calls for the Best Student Newspapers

poster ENPress Release issued by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus:

A school competition against racism and xenophobia has been launched by the UN Refugee Agency in Cyprus, the Ombudsman’s office and the European Commission Representation in Cyprus. With the slogan “Talk about racism and xenophobia: silence is not a solution”, the competition is looking for the best student newspapers.

The competition invites public and private secondary schools to create a newspaper with articles, reportages and researches as well as opinions on asylum and migration, racism and xenophobia. Objective and unbiased coverage of these issues is one of the criteria that will determine the winning newspapers.

With regards to the overarching aims of the competition the organisers explain: “We aim at dispelling stereotypes and prejudices against migrants and refugees and to emphasize both the necessity and the benefits that the integration of persons with different backgrounds can yield on the Cypriot society”.

Identifying and addressing racism at schools, with reference to tensions with a racist overtone that occasionally takes place at schools, lies also behind the competition: “The effective management of such incidents by the school community strengthens the resistance of students, and future citizens, against racism; it also responds to the needs of the multicultural society and wider diversity that characterizes Cypriot schools and the society at large,” the proposal reads.

An interview with a refugee or migrant or with an organization that advocates for their rights; an anonymous research within the schools to detect potential racist incidents; the coverage of an event – organised by the students – that brings together migrants and locals; are a few of the 15 suggested stories that students can tackle as young reporters.

In order to support the students’ efforts, the organisers stand ready to provide sources and educational material on the issues of xenophobia, racism and refugees; and to visit schools to discuss with students on these topics.

Six successful newspapers – three from Gymnasiums and three from Lyceums and technical schools – will be selected by an ad hoc committee. School winners will be awarded – at a special ceremony to be announced later – laptops, cameras, video cameras as well as symbolic placards with the inscription “Schools against Racism”. The cost of the awards, including the placards, will be borne by the European Commission Representation.

With the aim to enhance a thorough and critical discussion on the competition’s themes, the organisers expect schools to work as a team and submit one group entry to the competition. Based on this rationale, the awards will be placed at the winning schools for the mutual and common benefits of the students.

Deadline of the competition is the 29th March 2013. All interested schools must submit their newspapers in an electronic format. Check out the event on Facebook and YouTube!

Call the youth of Cyprus! Define your own Future!

image001Call the youth of Cyprus!

Do you think that quality youth work can contribute to growth, prosperity and social inclusion of all young people?

If you are young and want to express your opinion join the public consultation, organised by the Cyprus Youth Council (@CyprusYouthCoun) to be held on Wednesday January 23 at 6pm at the Home for Cooperation.

The consultation will be carried out in preparation for the European Union Youth Conference of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and will be in English.

To complete the electronic questionnaire click here.

For more info you can contact Nikolas Christofi on +357-22-878316, or by email at info@cyc.org.cy.

Development in Theory, Development in Practice

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We told you they were busy!

Development seems to be all the buzz at the moment! The NGO Support Centre, in organising an open discussion on «Development in theory, Development in practice» to be held on Monday, 21 January, 18:00, at the European University of Cyprus, Room 203.

During the event two books will be presented, written within the framework of the «Knowledge Makes Change!» project.

The first book, «Development theory and Development in Practice: A Dialogue», was written by Dr. Alexander Apostolides and Mr. Stefano Moncada, and looks at the synergies emerging between, on the one hand, theoretical analysis, and the practical aspects of development on the other.

The second book is entitled «Working Together to Reach Our Goals», and was written by Mr. Marios Antoniou. The book aims at providing a basic understanding on the concept of international development, introducing the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and presenting the progress that has been made in achieving them.

Keep an eye out for more exciting development events and much, much more coming up next week!

“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.

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

Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage announces the implementation of emergency measures on cultural heritage sites

image009Text from a press release issued by the United Nations Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF) project (12 December 2012):

The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage has announced the start-up of emergency works at the Mosque of Deneia/Denya, as well as emergency measures to prevent further damage to the building which is in a precarious condition. This will include a general cleaning of the mosque and the courtyard, removal of loose parts, consolidation of the internal arch and improvement of the courtyard fence. The works are expected to be completed by early March 2013.

Steps are also being taken for similar measures on Prophitis Elias Church at Philia (Serhatköy) and other monuments included in the project’s First Cycle Programme list.

Additional cultural heritage sites will benefit from similar interventions in the months to come. All the activities are funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP-Partnership for the Future in collaboration with the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

The startup of these activities marks an important moment in the Committee’s efforts to protect and preserve the island’s rich cultural heritage.

Young Cypriots celebrate EU Nobel Peace Prize

NobelPeaceCyprus

Text from a press release issued by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus (10 December 2012):

Nearly 200 school children from Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot and international schools as well as members of bi-communal youth organizations came today at the EU House in Nicosia to celebrate the award of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the EU and watch live the Awards Ceremony from Oslo.

In an informal setting, the pupils had the opportunity to air their views on the European Union and its contribution to peace as well as on issues of more direct interest to Cyprus. The discussion was moderated by TV presenters Kyriakos Pierides (CyBC) and Aysu Basri Akter (Sim TV) and the young audience engaged in a mature dialogue with the invited guests. Former President George Vassiliou, Lellos Demetriades and Mustafa Akinci, prominent Cypriots who have made a contribution to bi-communal understanding, were amongst those who engaged in the conversation with the pupils.  Committee of Missing Persons members Gülden Plümer Küçük and Aristos Aristotelous as well as representatives of the bi-communal civil society organisation for the missing ”Together we can” Christina Solomi and Sevgül Uludağ also took part in the event. MEP Ioannis Kasoulides delivered a video message from Strasbourg.

The Bi-communal Choir for Peace in Cyprus performed at the event which was hosted by the Representation of the European Commission and the European Parliament Office in Cyprus.

”We are very happy to be co-hosting this vibrant and lively event today. We are certain that the next generations of Europeans, the next generations of Cypriots, whom we have here with us today, will be inspired from what the EU has achieved over the last sixty years and will lead the way to promote peace and prosperity in the coming sixty years,” said Georgios Markopouliotis, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus.

On 12 October 2012, The Nobel Committee announced the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, recognising that the union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament received today at Oslo, Norway, the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the European Union.

It is noted that The European Union has decided to grant the Nobel Peace Prize monetary award (930 000 euro, 8 million Swedish krona) to projects that support children in war and conflict zones. More specifically, the European Union has decided to double the funds awarded and give 2 000 000 euro in total to the cause. The projects that will receive the funding will be selected in line with normal procedures for funding EU humanitarian actions.

Civil Society as a vehicle for Active Ageing

This article was first published on page 16 of The Cyprus Weekly (16 November).

The European Union (EU) designated 2012 as the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, and has identified civil society as an important actor in support of active ageing. Through its various programmes it is improving the accessibility to mobility for individuals involved in adult education, as well as assisting people from marginal social contexts to attain alternative access to adult education.

Europe’s population is living longer. The average life expectancy at birth in the 53 countries in the European region of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is over 72 years for men and around 80 for women. “Promoting healthy behaviour and ensuring age-friendly environments for all populations and age groups are important steps to add life to years,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe.

A Eurobarometer survey in 2011 on Active Ageing revealed that 95% of Cypriots think that people over the age of 55 can “contribute greatly” to society by taking care of their grandchildren. While this may come as no surprise, the fact that just over half of the population thinks that the over 55s can contribute as volunteers is indicative of general attitudes of involvement in civil society activity. Whether a cultural trait or not, in the midst of an economic crisis that shows no signs of relenting such attitudes may be about to change as to how Cyprus’, and by extension the European Union’s, ageing population participates later in life.

Throughout the year of Active Ageing, a number of initiatives have been taking place with Cypriot participation. The DigiMe Photo and Film Competition, now in its second year and supported by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, has decided to focus on active ageing in order to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society. Run jointly by the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) and the NGO Support Centre, it offers the opportunity to everyone to submit short films and photos, with the winner of each category in line to take home their very own iPad. However, judging is not just based on the entries themselves, but also on the way they are promoted online, measured by the number of people who “tweet” about it, “like it” on Facebook, and “view” it on YouTube.

The EU’s Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Programme is currently supporting two initiatives with Cypriot involvement. Raising Horizons is a project which facilitates the exchange of 12 senior volunteers between the NGO Support Centre, based in Nicosia, and Community Action Dacorum, a community service charity active in Hertfordshire, UK. Just this week a group of volunteers are in Cyprus working with Cans for Kids, a charity which collects and recycles aluminium cans donating all proceeds for the purchase of medical equipment for children’s wards at Cypriot hospitals. Young and Adults for a Better Life, coordinated locally by Euroculture, is bringing together young people and seniors from 11 European countries from various backgrounds with the aim of finding ways to bridge the generation gap and help people create better lives for themselves.

Check out these initiatives online to see what you can do in support of Active Ageing!
DigiMe: http://competition2012.digime.org.cy/en/
Raising Horizons: http://www.ngo-sc.org/
Young Adults for a Better Life: http://youngandadultsforabetterlife.blogspot.com/

 

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