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Education for a Culture of Peace as a Vehicle for Reconciliation in Cyprus

 

Project Title: Education for a Culture of Peace as a Vehicle for Reconciliation in Cyprus

 

Funded by: European Commission

 

Project Partner: POST Research Institute (leading partner in the project)

 

Programme Period: July 2014 – July2017

 

Education for a Culture of Peace as a Vehicle for Reconciliation in Cyprus is a three-year project initiated on July 6, 2014. The project is being co-implemented by POST Research Institute (POST RI) and Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and financially supported by the European Commission through the Civil Society in Action IV Program opened for the Turkish Cypriot Community. 

 

The current project aims to use education as a platform where one can depart to bring structural changes in society.  It will be applied in Cyprus, a country with a long history of inter-ethnic conflict.  In such a context, Education for a Culture of Peace can provide the means through which a transformation of the educational system and society can be achieved, and a Culture of Peace can be cultivated and sustained. Thus, the main aim of the project is to bring a societal change and transform the current status-quo through a bottom-up approach by engaging educators, young people, parents, community members, and civil society into an educative and transformational process. 

 

The project is considered vital since the conflict between the two communities in Cyprus is still on-going, while the Culture of War is maintained, with the major agents of change (i.e.: educational system, faith representatives/bodies, media, and other) currently perpetuating it, and thus, rendering Cypriot society unable to transform it into a Culture of Peace.

 

The overall objective of the project is to use Education for a Culture of Peace as a vehicle to bring structural changes and transformation in the Cypriot society across the divide in order for a Culture of Peace to be cultivated and sustained.

 

The specific objectives of the action are to:

o   Increase the capacity building of members of NGOs and the applicant organizations in promoting practices supporting a Culture of Peace;

o   Engage educators from both communities in a dialogical process where the needs for implementing Culture of Peace initiatives will be identified and analysed;

o   Engage 80 educators and 160 students across the divide in workshops on Education for a Culture of Peace;

o   Provide opportunities for educators to apply Education for Peace methodology in their educational settings;

o   Provide participants the opportunity to spread the message of peace to their peers, their families and the community (estimation of 1600 students involved in Education for a Culture of Peace activities);

o   Produce joint educational material with lesson plans and a guide of the methodology for the Education for a Culture of Peace for immediate use in classrooms (a trilingual manual to be distributed to all public and private schools in Cyprus);

o   Bring youth together through theatre in order to promote reconciliation;

o   Establish and launch of a Peace Education Centre and Library to meet the educational, information and entertainment needs of educators, students and other members of the society;

o   Provide data on how the infusion of Education for a Culture of Peace in the school curriculum can develop societies;

o   Set Cyprus as an example for future initiatives in Europe and elsewhere through the organization of an International Conference on Culture of Peace and a publication on how to integrate Education for a Culture of Peace in societies with conflict or post-conflict societies.

 

To find out more, please visit the project website.

 

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