AR 2009/Activities

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Activities

Intercultural Dialogue & Linguistic Diversity via MobLang

Language barriers between individuals of different ethnic groups living in the same country, or Europeans visiting other countries for business or pleasure, hinder natural interaction. Communication in a foreign language can hold back the development of friendships and closer relationships, thus preventing fruitful intercultural exchange and dialogue. Basic language knowledge of one’s conversational partner is usually appreciated and creates a comforting atmosphere. Today’s Europeans are too busy to attend a language class. Exploiting technology and especially the recently emerging developments in mobile learning could offer a viable alternative. Mobile phones are optimal learning tools that could enable people to learn any time, anywhere, and at their one own pace, even during leisure time. The proposed project applies Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) to support minority and/or less-frequently used and less-taught European languages (LWULT). The aim is to promote intercultural dialogue especially in former European conflict regions or regions with many minority groups through promotion of linguistic diversity. The focus is in Cyprus (Turkish), the Basque country (Basque), Northern Ireland (Gaelic), and within as well as around Greece (Albanian, Turkish). The project will develop the open-source mobile learning environment 'MobLang' in which users can design and publish their own prototype micro language courses. User specific micro courses will be embedded in a social and cultural context, which will include activities such as lectures, exercises, games, quizzes, as well as access to a live tutor. Throughout the life of the project and beyond, MobLang will be designed, developed, published, and disseminated to children/pupils, teachers, parents, students, business people, travellers, and individuals who want to build strong and long-lasting friendships and relationships with individuals from an ethnic minority group.

ACID – Active citizens for intercultural dialogue

The specific objectives of the project proposal are to support citizens' panels in all participating countries which enable the active interaction and discussion among citizens on the importance of intercultural dialogue at European level; To collect the opinion of citizens on a key European challenge for the future such as the intercultural dialogue in a multicultural Europe; To create mechanisms that enable European citizens to develop civic competences, to formulate their views and opinions on the European integration process in the form of recommendations for policy makers at European level; To encourage the dialogue between European citizens and the institutions of the EU, empowering citizens as regards EU policies and their impact, and ensuring appropriate follow up of citizens' opinions by the EU institutions. The project ACID intends promoting the concept of intercultural learning. “Intercultural learning” can be one tool in our efforts to understand the complexity of today’s world, by understanding others and ourselves a bit better. Moreover, it can be one of the keys to open the doors into a new society. “Intercultural learning” may enable us to better face the challenges of current realities. We can understand it as empowerment not just to cope personally with current developments, but to deal with the potential of change, which can have a positive and constructive impact in our societies. Our “intercultural learning capacities” are needed now more than ever. In this context, intercultural learning is a personal growing process with collective implications. It always invites us to reflect why we want to deal with it, which visions we have, what we want to achieve through it. Not just taken as a personal acquisition or a luxury for a few people working in an international environment, intercultural learning is relevant for how we live together in our societies. Building up confidence is a cornerstone of intercultural learning in order to achieve the openness necessary for a mutual process. It is a prerequisite that we feel comfortable to share different viewpoints, perceptions and feelings, to arrive at acceptance and understanding. It requires a lot of patience and sensitivity in order to create such a learning atmosphere which enables us to listen to each other as equals, to empower each individual’s self-confidence. This means that we need to give space to everybody’s expression; to value all experiences, talents and contributions; our various needs and expectations. When the big part of what we might share is about values, norms and strong basic assumptions, we will need a lot of confidence in the ones we share with. Mutual trust goes hand in hand with mutual respect, honesty in our sharing. The project ACID, though its methodology, will impact the way of communication and expressing values of European citizens participating in the panels. The empowerment of citizens’ self-confidence in having intercultural communication and applying intercultural attitudes, will contribute to the development of skills that can be applied to active citizenship. Active citizens are more attentive and conscious about impacts of regional, national and European polices, and thus can influence their improvements. In terms of long-term effects, we foresee that the project can support local partnerships among Local authorities, schools, youth associations, non-profit organisations and NGOs for the implementation of local strategies and ad hoc projects addressed to the local community, in order to improve their active participation in the definition of local policies to promote intercultural dialogue in their community.

JUMPSTART Youth Peace Campaign in Cyprus

Overall Objectives: 1. Increase confidence building between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot youth (18-30) 2. Create opportunities for youth to actively engage in reconciliation activities 3. Promote inter-cultural dialogue and its methods and language as a concept and as the means for envisioning a future Cyprus 4. Enable Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot youth to challenge their own stereotypes and perceptions as well as to develop the capacity to challenge those of the community at large

Specific Objective: Increase the number of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youth actively participating in the Cyprus reconciliation process. Expected Results: Higher participation rates of youth in the reconciliation process Increased dialogue, collaboration and communication among youth in Cyprus Increased dissemination of reconciliation-related information Pool of youth leaders trained in life skills Strengthened trust between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youth

Simsafety –Flight simulator for Internet safety

The general aim of the project is to develop skills, concepts and knowledge that will facilitate the targeted groups to develop a new mentality, that of using the Internet safely. To achieve this aim, it is the consortium’s belief that targeted groups should be involved in the actual application of all the information they receive through various sources (e.g. awareness nodes), in ways that will not be perceived as another school “lesson” or simply as “theoretical information”. Game playing is a well known method for its learning benefits. It is the scope of this project to confront the issue of developing a “culture” in using the Internet Safely through a Role-Playing Game (RPG) approach.

Overall Objectives: - addressing target groups which have not attracted the focus of exhaustive research so far - creating a gaming environment which will expose its users to potential risks but “safely” - the conceptual game model is innovative as compared to existing games in this area which are either “quiz-like” or do not entail interaction between game players and/or do not facilitate learning through experience - customising the platform to create game scenarios, addressing dynamic online user groups and exposing them to contextualised game settings, actions and events. The foreseen gaming experience will reveal risk but at the same time will not harm the sensitive, inner world of young children - developing challenging game rules (e.g. scoring, game awards) that will ensure re-playability and scalability of game levels as far as complexity and difficulty is concerned - training potential users towards enabling their involvement in such an approach (e.g. by improving their Internet literacy) - reinforcing the role of the “Chaperon” during child participation in Internet activities (i.e. parents “escort” their children and teachers escort their pupils during Internet activities) - eliminating the “digital distance” between different generations (i.e. parents/children, pupils/teachers) - supporting and facilitating the communication between targeted groups from different countries and enabling their co-participation in some of the games - setting specific research questions at the cutting edge of research in this area, as a main objective of the project final validation/evaluation report.

From the above objectives, the scope of this project is to address pupils, their parents and their teachers, inform them about the issue at stake, train them to enable their active involvement in the gaming approach and engage them in challenging game playing. It is the scope of the evaluation of the project to investigate the “impact” on players from their involvement to the project, the level of Internet safety awareness achieved in relation to the different scenarios and settings for playing the game, the rate of success in overcoming the digital gap between parents and children / teachers and pupils, Internet literacy achieved by teachers and parents as well as the effect on the parent-child relationship.

CyberEthics GII: Island-wide combined Safer Internet Awareness Node, Hotline, Helpline

CyberEthics concerns the safe use of Internet in Cyprus, and serves the needs of all people that live on the island (i.e., also Turkish Cypriots and other minorities) addressing not only issues of pornography, but also racism (currently on the rise in Cyprus), gender discrimination and inappropriate use of peoples’ images. It operates as a combined Awareness Node and a Hotline. The project also aims to engage actors from the government and the civil society, thus contributing towards the eradication of cyber crime through informed actions of European citizens and public institutions that aim to change behaviours, mentality and attitudes, giving special emphasis to rural and less developed areas of the country.

Objectives: - Act as node of awareness network in Cyprus. - Devise a cohesive, hard-hitting and targeted awareness campaign using the most appropriate media, taking into account best practice and experience in other countries. - Establish and maintain a partnership (formal or informal) with key players (government agencies, press and media groups, ISP associations, users organisations, education stakeholders) and actions in their country relating to safer use of Internet and new media. - Promote dialogue and exchange of information notably between stakeholders from the education and technological fields. - Where appropriate, cooperate with work in areas related to the Safer Internet plus programme such as in the wider field of media and information literacy or consumer protection. - Inform users about European filtering software and services and about hotlines and self-regulation schemes. - Actively cooperate with other national nodes in the European network by exchanging information about best practices, participating in meetings and designing and implementing a European approach, adapted as necessary for national linguistic and cultural preferences. - Provide a pool of expertise and technical assistance to start-up awareness nodes (new nodes could be ‘adopted’ by a more experienced node). - Take an active part in European-level events and in the organisation of national, regional and local events for the Safer Internet Day. - Cooperate with the hotline present in the country, if any, and Europe Direct.

Accessing Development Education

This project aims at promoting Development Education within the educational sector across Europe, focusing specifically on Lithuania, Cyprus, Scotland and Ireland.This project acknowledges the fact that highly valuable Development Education material has been developed, however it recognises the difficulties of teachers and educators to access the existent material, as well as to apply these recourses to their local or national educational context. More specifically, the project addresses the lack of access to, as well as the need for, Development Education material by teachers, educators, youth trainers and other actors across Europe, and especially in those countries that have joined the EU only recently.

Overall Objectives: 1. Raise awareness in Cyprus, Lithuania, Scotland, Ireland and Bulgaria about development issues and about the interdependence of EU countries and countries of the developing world; 2. Engage educators and youth to take action in support of the developing countries; 3. Build capacity among educators to integrate Development Education in their lesson plans.

Specific Objectives: To engage educators and schools in Development Education activities and equip them with relevant training and materials, thus making them promoters and multipliers of national campaigns that aim to create awareness about Development and about global interdependencies.

Expected Results: 1. Development Education material adapted to local needs, in accordance with educational curricula in Cyprus, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Scotland and Ireland 2. A European collection of case studies, best practice and general Development Education materials reviewed, modified and adapted by an international educational advisory committee and made accessible through the web 3. A trans-national network of schools and educators jointly working to integrate Development Education into schools Schools and teachers trained to use Development Education material in their lesson plans, thereby serving as multipliers.


Youth Ambassadors for Millennium Development Goals

This campaign aims to raise awareness about the MDGs, first, among young people and on a second level among general public in the target countries namely Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Cyprus. Taking into consideration that the EU new member states have recently started the implementation of their development policy and therefore still face significant weaknesses, there is a great need for educational and promotional activities which aim at building public support for MDGs (according to Eurobarometers). As these countries become responsible actors in international development field, their societies also should be informed about the needs of developing countries and mobilize support for effective development cooperation as agreed in the last few years by the donor countries. This project will mainly focus on youth ensuring that young people (future leaders) will take part in this educational and awareness raising process.

The project is planned for 2 years. During that time all the activities such as: trainings of MDGs Ambassadors, festivals, events, competitions, debates, happenings as well as internet radio and platform, will take place simultaneously in all the project’s countries ( the activities will be adapted to the needs in each country). All the activities are planned in this way to ensure that maximum amount of young people will be involved in each stage of the project. Another important aspect is, that all the activities that will be implement in the project, will have a multiplayer effect.

The lead agency is the association “SMVS Youth for the World” from Poland. The main aim of the project is to raise public awareness on development issues and MDGs through active participation, discussion and different events which will involve youth from project’s countries. All the project’s activities will respond to the result that are planned to achieve.


Strengthening Asylum for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Cyprus

As implementing partner to the UNHCR representation in Cyprus, the Future Worlds Center is responsible for monitoring the access of asylum seekers to the asylum procedure of the Republic of Cyprus as well as the access to rights by asylum seekers and refugees, provide individual advice, support and counselling. The purpose of the particular action is to reduce the difficulties of asylum seekers to get access to general information on the refugee concept, rights and obligations under the national asylum procedure, the provision of legal advice and counselling as well as the necessary well targeted interventions with the relevant staff in the ministries to address shortcomings in policy and practice. In practical terms the legal advisors of the project also provide assistance to asylum seekers with deserving cases to prepare their appeals for the Reviewing Authority. The current project is also responsible for facilitating the local integration of recognized refugees and raising awareness over the plight of refugees within the local community.

Results of the action: Strengthening Asylum in Cyprus is an ongoing process of awareness raising, and legal support services. Nevertheless the expected impact concentrates on the protection of the beneficiary population, with particular sensitivity towards women refugees and children, including adolescents. In addition, associates, volunteers and friends working with the action have carried clothes and gifts drive for asylum seekers, refugees and their families while solid outcomes of the action also include a booklet with information for Asylum Seekers and Refugees on applying for Asylum in Cyprus.