Friday, 26 June 2009

Jumpstart featured on CyBC Radio B’s ‘Round and About’

The two coordinators of the EU funded project ‘Jumpstart Youth Peace Campaign in Cyprus’ Marcia Kammitsi (Future Worlds Centre) and Huseyin Kursat (Youth Centre Union) were invited to CyBC Radio B’s ‘Round and About’ show on Wednesday 24 June at 6.30pm local time on 91.1 FM. with Rosie Charalambous. Please click here to listen to the interview or go to Look for the "Rosies interview with Marcia Kammitsi" on 17/06/09.

‘Round and About’ is a daily radio magazine with interviews, short talks and view on Cyprus, Europe and the world presented by Rosie.

The coordinators spoke about the Teambuilding and Leadership Workshop that took place on 19-21 June and brought together approximately 25 youth, aged 18-30 island wide for the first of a series of workshops to get to know each other in a comfortable and fun atmosphere.

The coordinators explained the aims and objectives of the project which are to not only to increase confidence building between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot youth but also to create opportunities for the youth to actively engage in reconciliation activities. The project aims to enable the youth to challenge their own stereotypes and perceptions as well as to develop the capacity to challenge those of the community at large.

The 18 month long project will involve a series of bi communal trainings, an on line interactive platform, youth action teams, public peace marketing visual campaigns, publication of booklets and a peace and reconciliation boat tour around the island.

The presenter, Rosie, asked the coordinators which methods did they use to select participants. The coordinators answered that in the North it was easier to find participants due to the close relation of the youth centre to youth groups whereas in the South an application procedure was used and was disseminated to youth networks and groups.

Rosie raised the challenges that the project might face in recruiting new people, outside the bi communal networks. Even though this is indeed a challenge the coordinators will use the existing networks to reach new people using increased dialogue, collaboration and communication among youth in Cyprus.

Follow up to "Jumpstart" Teambuilding and Leadership Workshop

The training brought together approximately 25 youth, aged 18-30 island wide for the first of a series of workshops to get to know each other in a comfortable and fun atmosphere. The training is part of the activities of the EU funded project Jumpstart Youth Peace Campaign in Cyprus. The project’s duration is 18 months and started in mid March 2009.

The training took place in Famagusta at the Mimoza beach hotel. Two trainers who are experienced in the Council of Europe trainings started with ice breaking games and get- to –know- each other games.

The second and third part of the training was focused on interactive and playful activities that aim to develop teambuilding and leadership skills for effective social change directed action.

The Project ‘Jumpstart’ Youth peace Campaign in Cyprus was presented to the participants. The project cycle and overall project objectives and activities were presented. The participants exchanged views with the coordinators and the trainers on the project activities. They suggested ways to attract more youth to participate in this project but also activities that could take place under this project. Some of these activities are music concerts, pick-nicks, cultural events, newsletter, magazine, camping, environmental awareness activities etc.

The group developed a great dynamic and team building spirit and has already started planning the upcoming activities.
For more information check the Facebook group JUMPSTART THE PEACE IN CYPRUS.

Peaceful Nature Summer Programme 2009

"For a Peaceful Mind at Peace with Nature"

A big hello to all young people in Cyprus! Do you want to be part of a growing movement of the younger generations trying to make a more peaceful, united society in Cyprus, one that also respects the environment of this beautiful island that we share? Are you frustrated with the slow progress of the politicians to address these vital issues, whilst we the people stand around as helpless spectators? Here’s a chance to join a new movement for change and show that you really mean business!

Turkish Cypriot organisation KAYAD Community Centre and Greek Cypriot organisation The Environmental Studies Centre are co-organising a summer camp between the 2nd and 8th of July 2009. It will be located in Kyrenia for the first 3 days and Kritou Terra (Paphos District) for the following 3 days.

The programme will include workshops on Environmental Sustainability and Peace Education, along with environmental trips island wide. It’s also a great chance to meet other young people, and particularly to challenge the unnatural division of the island by making new friends from the other community. Together anything is possible!

The camp is open for all Cypriots between the ages of 17 and 24 (i.e. born between 1 January 1986 & 31 December 1992). Participants will be sharing accommodation with other youngsters in this age range.

This summer programme is part of a wide range of activities for young people set-up co-operatively by the member organisations of the Cyprus Network for Youth Development. It is funded by Action for Cooperation and Trust. As a result, a contribution of only €20 per person is payable by the participants. We will send you more about this when you apply.

Download an application form from: or , or email us at

Tel. for info: Nick on 26 332532 or Mine on 0392 2270751

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Teachers review and adapt Oxfam Teaching Resources to promote Global Education in Cypriot Schools

In the context of the EU-funded Accessing Development Education project, Cypriot Elementary School and Secondary School teachers, together with Mrs Anne Kane from Oxfam Scotland and Future Worlds Center staff explored a variety of Oxfam Teaching Resources on Global Education and Global Citizenship. The aim of the 2-day workshop (16 and 17 June) was to become more familiar with Global Education activities for schools, to explore entry points for Global Education in the Cypriot school curriculum, and to select relevant resources to be translated to Greek. Oxfam has produced a large variety of teaching resources, activity packs and teachers’ guides, helping teachers to introduce a global approach into their classrooms.
The Cypriot teachers selected several of the activities and activity packs to be translated, and began to link those to specific school subjects in Cyprus. Additionally, the project will translate and adapt two of the introductory guides for teachers, suggesting approaches and links to the local curriculum. The translated materials will be made available on the project’s online depository (, and can also be obtained from Future Worlds Center.
In addition to the translated Oxfam resources, the project is developing an introductory manual for teachers, serving as a first overview of Development Education/ Global Education and suggesting methods and activities for the classroom.
For more information about the project, or about future events for teachers and schools on Global Education, please contact Kerstin Wittig.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

FWC engages Citizen's of Lefkara in Intercultural Dialogue

As part of the Active Citizens for Intercultural Dialogue Project (ACID) FWC was invited by the mayor of Lefkara, Andreas Sossilos, to participate in a panel discussion with citizens of Lefkara about intercultural relations in Cyprus. Also in attendance was Giorgos Tsiakalos, President of the Scientific Committee for the Reform of School Curriculum in Cyprus. The event was held at the local school in Lefkara on Thursday 18 June. There were over 240 citizens who took part in the evening's event. Each participant answered two questions "What prevents us from having Intercultural Dialogue in Cyprus? and "Which activities of an Intercultural character could we host in our village? The results will be presented to the project partners in Lisbon, Portugal on July 20.

For more information about the project please join our wiki here.

FWC engages Citizen's of Nicosia in Intercultural Dialogue

As part of the Active Citizens for Intercultural Dialogue Project (ACID) FWC was invited by the mayor of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, Eleni Mavrou, to participate in a panel discussion with citizens of Nicosia about intercultural relations in Cyprus. The event was held at a town hall in Kaimakli on Tuesday 16 June. There were over 50 citizens who took part. Each participant answered the question "What prevents us from having Intercultural Dialogue in Cyprus? The results will be presented to the project partners in Lisbon, Portugal on July 20.

For more information about the project please join our wiki here.

Monday, 22 June 2009

FWC's Jumpstart featured on Cyprus bi-communal TV show

Jumpstart coordinators Marcia Kammitsi (FWC) and Huseyin Kursat (Youth Centre Union) participated in the bi-communal television show Biz/Emis for an interview about the Jumpstart project. You can also view the video if you go to our You Tube Channel.

FWC's URVT featured in the Cypriot media: Lack of funding hampers work for torture victims

This article originally appeared in the Cyprus Sunday Mail on Sunday, June 21, 2009.

Lack of funding hampers work for torture victims
By Simon Bahceli

FRIDAY will mark the 22nd anniversary of the coming into effect of the United Nations’ Convention against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The agreement, signed by all member states in the UN, was an unprecedented attempt to address the issue of torture on a global scale, and the anniversary of its signing will be met with events and celebrations around the world. This year, there will however be no events to mark the day in Cyprus.

“This year we do not have the sufficient funding to hold celebrations,” says Corina Drousiotou, a legal advisor at the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (URVT) in Nicosia. The lack of funding, Drousiotou says, is primarily a result of the government’s failure to place its application with the EU’s European Refugee Fund (ERF) on time.

“Cyprus lost this year’s budget, so we have been operating on a shoestring,” she says. Drousiotou adds however that the URVT, an NGO set up to help immigrants who have suffered torture in their home countries, managed to secure emergency funding from UN that will allow it to continue operating this year.

Despite the lack of funding, 75 per cent of which is meant to come from the ERF, Drousiotou and her colleagues at the URVT have nevertheless managed to provide vital services for around 120 torture victims that have come to their attention since the body was set up in 2006. The victims come from a surprisingly wide range of countries, but perhaps unsurprisingly the largest groupings are made up of Turkish and Syrian Kurds, Iraqis and Iranians.

The URTV’s mission is to help these victims overcome the physical and mental wounds of torture and to rehabilitate them for life and work in Cyprus. This they do through the provision of psychological counselling, medical support, legal advice and social support, which includes helping victims to access welfare and work.

Apo (not his real name) was one of the first torture victims to be assigned to the URTV more than two years ago. Captured as a Kurdish activist, Apo was branded a terrorist by a Turkish court and served eight and-a-half years in prisons across Turkey. Apo alleges he was physically and psychologically tortured before his sentencing by police seeking a confession and the identities of his compatriots. These allegations have been confirmed and corroborated by the URTV and other human rights bodies in Cyprus and Turkey.

Since gaining help from the URTV, Apo has been making steady progress and now speaks fluent Greek and works as a technician in the capital.

“I’m more relaxed now,” he says but adds: “I haven’t totally gotten over what happened to me, but at least I can think about the future now and not only the past.” Despite his apparent recovery, Apo still pays weekly visits to a psychotherapist assigned to him by the URVT.

Drousiotou says rehabilitation is of vital importance to torture victims who are often plagued with depression, low self esteem and even thoughts of suicide. One of the best things one can do for a victim, she adds, is to find them employment.

“Status is very important, and work gives them higher self esteem,” she says.

The URTV’s funding problems are perhaps indicative of Cyprus’ slowness in coming to terms with the problem of mass migration. The country is also yet to set up a screening mechanism to establish if immigrants applying for asylum suffered torture in the native lands.

“It can take two to three years until the asylum service pick up on the fact that an applicant has been tortured, and that means we lose two to three years of therapy,” Drousoitou says.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

FWC participates in Fish Animation Workshop in Spain

FWC associates Dr. Yiannis Laouris, Tatjana Taraszow and Lawrence Kalogreades participated in the 2009 Fish Animation Workshop in Costa Brava, Spain. The workshop lasted 3 days and focused on innovations in cognitive science and their possible implementations in future educational technology. Although previous meetings focused exclusively on the understanding and replication of fish physiology and motion, this meeting also included presentations of pioneering multi-touch displays, analyses of the cognition of motion recognition and expertise, and the use of the same principles on horse motion.

FWC co-organises a two day training course on International Refugee Law

The International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) in cooperation with KISA –Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism and Future Worlds Center offer under the aegis of the Pancyprian Bar Association a two days training course for lawyers and members of NGO staff working with refugees on International Refugee Law 4-5 July 2009 at the Goethe Institute from 9 am – 5 pm. The training is free of charge.


The course will provide a two day introduction to international refugee law for legal practitioners and NGO staff working with refugees. The course will focus on the definition of refugee and refugee rights contained in the Convention relating to the status of Refugees of 1951, the international standards governing the legal processes by which refugee status is determined and the role of international agencies such as UNHCR in the protection of refugees. No familiarity with refugee law is required.

Trainer: Martin David Jones, Director of Research and Training, Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network, Oxford (United Kingdom)

For more information contact Larry Fergeson at his email address here or at 22 873820

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

FWC and EU Kids Online: European research on cultural, contextual and risk issues regarding children and the Internet

FWC representatives will attend an international one-day conference to address the latest policy issues and research findings about children and the Internet to be held on Thursday June 11th 2009, London School of Economics, London, UK.

The anticipated audience includes researchers, policy makers, industry, child welfare, educators, NGOs and government.

Conference theme:
Are all children benefiting equally from the internet and if not, why not? How strong is the evidence for the risks to children of going online? Are these risks changing, and why do they differ from one country to another? How can parents and policy makers achieve a better balance between online opportunities and risks? What do children themselves think of the internet? What new literacies are they developing?

The conference will report the final results and recommendations from three year's work by EU Kids Online, a network of over 60 researchers in 21 countries, funded by the EC's Safer Internet plus Programme. See

FWC supports the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

There is a special day to focus on helping torture victims and ending torture -- the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture -- to be observed every year on 26 June. Cyprus has only one treatment centre and it is run by FWC. It is called the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (URVT). The Unit’s mission is to assist victims of torture by providing multidisciplinary treatment and rehabilitation services, and to raise public awareness of issues concerning torture and rehabilitation. This is achieved by utilizing a treatment approach which integrates a full range of services including medical treatment, psychological support, legal counseling, and other social services. The Unit works closely with a network of volunteer service providers, medical professionals, and language and cultural translators to help victims and their families rebuild their lives.

This year FWC will help raise awareness about the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26th with a public event in Eletherias Square.

Torture is one of the most profound human rights abuses, taking a terrible toll on millions of individuals and their families. Rape, blows to the soles of the feet, suffocation in water, burns, electric shocks, sleep deprivation, shaking and beating are commonly used by torturers to break down an individual's personality. As terrible as the physical wounds are, the psychological and emotional scars are usually the most devastating and the most difficult to repair. Many torture survivors suffer recurring nightmares and flashbacks. They withdraw from family, school and work and feel a loss of trust.

Thirty years ago, there were no treatment centres or services to treat torture survivors. Today there are some 200 centres or programmes all over the world. There is now profound knowledge of torture methods, the effects of torture, and how to diagnose and rehabilitate torture victims.

Over 100 programmes treating torture victims in more than 50 countries -- from the United States to Nepal -- receive funding from the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, which was established in 1981.

For more information about the URVT please contact Larry Fergeson, Head of Social Justice.

FWC elected to Management Committee of Cyprus Community Media Centre

FWC's Head of Social Justice, Larry Fergeson, joins 6 other Cypriot Civil Society Organisations on the Management Committee of the new Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC). The expected outcome of the CCMC is a more pluralistic, vibrant and diverse media landscape through an integrated and networked community media initiative led by Civil Society. Larry has been working with other members of Cypriot CSO's for over a year to bring this project to fruition and is honored to be part of the Management Committee.

The specific objectives of the CCMC are: to build the capacity of Cypriot CSOs and civil society actors across a number of media areas, especially through joint actions across Cypriot communities; to ensure wider and better dissemination of issues and concerns of CSOs among the wider population; and to organically build a Web based CSO Platform that will grow as the needs and capabilities of Cypriot civil society themselves grow. Furthermore the Community Media Centre aims to enhance relationships between the mass media and civil society through the provision of community media generated products contributing to social inclusion, multiculturalism and diversity. The media output will be posted on the community media centre web portal and be accessible in various forms such as podcasts, blogs, vodcasts, etc. At the same time, every effort will be made to broadcast on television and radio, through formal agreements with print media, TV and radio stations. CCMC will give opportunities to CSO’s island-wide to establish a network for media production.

Jumpstart featured in Cyprus Sunday Mail

The Sunday Cyprus Mail featured an article about the Jumpstart Youth Peace Campaign.

Jumpstart - Teambuilding and Leadership Workshop

The Future Worlds Center and the Youth Centre Union invite you to spend a weekend at the beach with other youth to build leadership skills and have fun along the way.

June 19-21, FWC and Youth Centre Union will bring together approximately 30 youth, aged 18-30 island wide for the first of a series of workshops to get to know each other in a comfortable and fun atmosphere at the beach. We will do interactive and playful activities that will develop team building and leadership skills for effective social change directed action. Accommodation is included and all the costs are covered by the European Commission Funded project.

The project “JUMPSTART” Youth Peace Campaign in Cyprus is funded under an initiative of the European Commission to strengthen civil society in Cyprus. The emphasis is on supporting civil society organisations representing the public interest in line with EU policy priorities. Civil society has a critical role in addressing issues of trust, conflict and peace building.

Application process:
If you would like to join the program please complete the application form attached and send it to or fax: +357 22873821

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

FWC featured by the International Society for the Systems Sciences

FWC was highlighted on the International Society for the Systems Sciences website for its upcoming educational opportunities offered in conjunction with the Institute for 21st Century Agoras.

* 2nd International School for Structured Dialogic Design (SDD) in Cyprus, July 1-3

Please see for more details.