‘Imagine’ is an Educational Program on Anti-racism Education/ Education for a Culture of Peace launched in October 2017, after many months of efforts and with the agreement of the leaders of the two communities on the island.
As per 2019, 4595 students, accompanied by 497 teachers were trained in the Imagine Project. Another 254 teachers were trained in Peace Education both mono-communally and bi-communally.
The program aims to increase contact between the two communities in Cyprus and promotes peace, understanding and anti-racism on the island in the context of a holistic understanding of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence inspired by UN documents, resolution and plans of action. Initially, our trainers visit classes interested in participating in the bi-communal activities and create safe spaces for discussion about stereotypes, discrimination and racism as components of the prevailing culture of violence. An important aspect of this activity is also to prepare students for contact with fellow students from the other community.
At a second stage, classes from the two communities are paired and asked to choose between two options of activities in the UN buffer zone: 1. “Visit at the Home for Cooperation and Anti-racist Workshop”, where children in mixed groups engage in experiential activities related to anti-racism under the umbrella of Education for a Culture of Peace; or 2. Sports activities with NGO Peace Players International (PPI) – Cyprus, where children develop skills for teamwork, tolerance and trust through sports activities.
The ‘Imagine’ Project is under the auspices of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Education and is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany. The project is also supported by the United Nations Peacebuilding Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).