Implementation of educational “Imagine” project aiming to promote a culture of peace and anti-racism will continue in Cyprus during 2018-2019 school year brining together Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot schoolchildren of primary and secondary education. The first meetings of the schoolchildren are expected to take place in early November, Greek Cypriot head of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Education, Michalinos Zembylas has told CNA.
Zembylas noted that that "Imagine" will be upgraded this year and children will be able, in the framework of the project, to choose to have more bicommunal contacts and attend more bicommunal activites, as well as activities of schoolchildren of their own community.
Furthermore, he noted that for the first time, this year teachers will be able to attend, in the framework of the project, courses on educational methods and activities promoting anti-racism education and education promoting peace and the implementation of human rights, in line of “Imagine” pillars.
Participation to the project is voluntary both for schoolchildren (requiring the written consent of their parents/guardians) and for teachers. The project runs under the auspices of the Technical Committee on Education and is implemented by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and the Home for Cooperation (H4C) at Ledra Palace UN controlled buffer zone, in Nicosia.
Funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and supported by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP),the “Imagine” project is based on a holistic understanding of a culture of peace and non-violence, and aims to increase contact and cooperation between students of the two communities in Cyprus. Among other things, the project aims to tackle racism, discrimination and xenophobia, while promoting equality and tolerance.
A total of 2000 schoolchildren and 200 teachers participated in the project during schoolyear 2017-2018.