AR 2011/President Statement
2011 has been a challenging year for Future Worlds Center. The repetitive audits and the financial constrains created by the conflict we had with the Commission regarding the Safer internet project created significant delays in securing new projects. Only 4 new contracts were signed with a total value of less than 300,000 euro value. Nevertheless the yearly budget approached 1 million because of projects running from previous years. Although not a year of expansion, 2011 was a year of intense transformation. The organization implemented many successful workshops and re-engineered its operations starting its planning towards the 2020. We consolidated activities at national, European and international levels and successfully implemented the projects in collaboration with our partners.
The New Media Lab continued its island-wide safer Internet campaign, “CyberEthics”, engaging schools, media and all local authorities. It operated a Hotline to receive and investigate reports of illegal or disturbing content on the Internet and has now created a Helpline where children can report disturbing Internet sites. Our participation in EU Kids online gave us the possibility to play a role within Europe in the area of research that concerns the safer use of the Internet. In addition to the existing projects, the New Media Unit has also launched a number of research projects and social initiatives. Finally, a number of projects develop new approaches of integrating broadband technologies in education and examine the effectiveness of animations and visualizations in learning.
We continued to provide services to asylum seekers and refuges. The operation of the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture was made possible because of the support of UNVFT. The Development Education Unit continued to run Civil Society Acts Beyond Borders. This project takes place among Israeli and Palestinian citizens and aims to strengthen civil society using some of the methods that have proven most effective here in Cyprus as means towards peace. Furthermore, the unit has continued its projects promoting Development Education and the Millennium Development Goals. We have established close ties with a number of schools and teachers across the island, supporting the teachers in exploring and implementing the concept of Global Education. Our vision is for the introspective Cypriot society to evolve into a community of people that look towards the future of the planet with confidence and responsibility. We aspire to see Cyprus looking beyond its own political horizon and local problems, pioneering in international development programs hence fulfilling its geo-political destiny to serve as a crossroad of civilizations.
I invite you to read our Annual Report and come back to us with suggestions and ideas. This short introduction could not cover all our projects, which are described in more detail in the following pages. We are proud to have you as a friend and affiliate and we look forward to strengthening our relations, communication and collaboration within our network and with new partners.