There are no formal or mandatory orientation programmes for refugees and asylum-seekers upon their arrival in the country. However, there are several programmes being run by municipalities and other organisations to support the integration of refugees and asylum-seekers, some with funding support from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the Republic of Cyprus and the European Union. Some projects and programmes are offered in the Nicosia area, and others are offered in other towns and cities across the island. For more information see below:
Colourful Societies (Κοινωνίες με Χρώματα) is a programme of integration activities led by the municipalities of Aglandzia, Strovolos, Latsia and Dali, in the Nicosia area. The programme aims to support the integration of third country nationals in Cyprus, including refugees, asylum-seekers and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. Among the activities are language courses, first aid courses, as well as support services, information and advice to help people become oriented and familiar with their rights and with the related services available to them such as health, education and labour. The programme is made possible with funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) as well as the Government of Cyprus.
Contact the Colourful Societies Support Team at the Aglantzia Municipality:
Artemis Koursari Tel: 99 188135
Alexia Solomonidou Tel: 99 178544
More information: https://www.facebook.com/colourfulsocieties
New Channels of Integration
New Channels of Integration (Νέοι Δρόμοι Ένταξης) is a programme of activities running throughout 2017 by the Municipalities of Nicosia, Ayios Dometios, Engomi and Lakatamia. The programme of activities includes the following:
- Cultural identity preservation programme for Arab-speaking children – Nicosia Municipal Multifunctional Foundation and Cypriot-Arabic Cultural Centre
- The social worker on the side of third country nationals – Counseling process for the integration of third country nationals in the local community – Ayios Dometios Municipality
- The role of sports in the integration of third country nationals – Cooperation of Local Authorities with groups of third country nationals for the creation and development of a cricket tournament – Lakatamia Municipality
- Culture and Tradition as a tool for the integration of third country nationals in the local community – Engomi Municipality
For more information, see:
The Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation (Polidinamo)
The Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation runs the following projects and services. Click here for more information regarding projects and services offered at the Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation.
- Daily care and employment services to children of working or unemployed parents who are third country nationals.
- Developing multiculturalism through creative and educational children’s activities
- Providing psychosocial support services through the Immigrant Information and Support Centre (KEPLYM)
- Supporting migrant community groups to organise cultural and sports events within the municipality infrastructure.
- The organisation of cultural identity preservation programs every weekend for children of Chinese and Arabic origin, including: Chinese Language, Chinese Art and Calligraphy, Go Chess, Table Tennis, Arabic Language, Arab Art and Culture, Arabian Kitchen, Athletic activities and the operation of the Immigrant Networking Office at Plateia Solomou on Sundays.
- A series of workshops named Re-bE have been created to help participants feel accepted and welcome in Cyprus. These experiential workshops aim to cultivate a sense of belonging through music, personal expression and creativity through these areas such as Music, Art, Storytelling, Creative Movement, Creative Curiosity and Environment – Acoustic Ecology.
Get to know my city by playing
Organised by the Cyprus Federation of Mountaineering and Sport Climbing and Orientation (KOOAAP), groups are guided by an assistant and using simple tools such as map and compass. The aim is to navigate safely through the city, while getting to know its history through this orientation game.
Education for developing social skills
The Nicosia Municipality in partnership with Hope for Children is running an education programme for developing social skills. This programme provides:
- Greek and English language courses, computer classes, dance, theatre and art workshops to unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors, as well as tailor-made courses that address topics such as history and culture, customs, services, sex education, and teenage integration
- Training for asylum-seekers, refugees, third country nationals and unaccompanied minors on the following topics: the European Union and the Republic of Cyprus, Cypriot culture and European society.
For more information: www.uncrcpc.org
Island-wide (Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Pafos, Paralimni)
BLEND-IN is a 24-month project running from November 2016 to November 2018 that aims to assist young refugees to settle into a new community, country and society and move towards independence, self-sufficiency, active citizenship and participation, and at the same time enhance the role and efficiency of refugee integration workers. It is a project funded by Erasmus+ taking place among partners in Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Greece and the United Kingdom.
For more information: www.blend-in.eu
Cyprus Aware is an information and awareness campaign about refugees and asylum-seekers in Cyprus.
E-EVALINTO is a project tackling early school leaving. Young people with a migration background are at great risk of ESL from school. To this extent, the gap between nationals and young people born abroad is still very high. The E-EVALINTO project aims to promote peer mentoring actions addressed to both reduce early school leaving in the migrant student population in secondary school, and to acknowledge the value of interculturalism. The project also aims to develop an ICT framework for assessing, managing and developing activities for intercultural contexts.
For more information: https://evalinto.eu/
The INTEGR8 project aims to empower migrant women to become local leaders of integration through the design and delivery of appropriate training materials and supports. The INTEGR8 project is funded by AMIF running from December 2016 until November 2018 and taking place among partners in Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Italy, Austria and the United Kingdom.
For more information: integrateproject.eu
Mi-HUB Migrant Information Centres
Operating in four cities – Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Pafos – Mi-HUB works with asylum-seekers, refugees and other vulnerable migrants to identify their needs, and provides information. Mi-HUB helps with access to services and resources and in building new skills to adjust to the Cypriot cultural and social environment. Mi-HUB’s services are offered to semi-urban and rural areas by a mobile unit (InfoBus) that every week visits a different region in order to serve migrants residing in different areas of the country.
Telephone: 22 080350
Fax: 22 842222
The NiceR Project
The NiceR Project is run by several partners in different European countries including Cyprus, and aims at developing new approaches to the integration of refugees at the local level. The project works to foster a greater respect towards refugees, starting from young individuals and through their cultural and local integration, without forgetting the awareness-raising of the local population. Various activities are organised for youth participation, and through creative means to counter discrimination.
For more information: nicerproject.eu
Supporting Integration of Migrant Learners, Asylum-Seekers and Refugees (SIMILAR)
SIMILAR is a project that aims at fostering integration of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers through a multi-dimensional approach, including through social welfare. SIMILAR aims to raise and strengthen awareness of professionals working closely with migrants in the fields of social cohesion, intercultural dialogue and equality. These include educational staff, social care staff, municipal police and volunteers. It is a project funded by Erasmus+ taking place among partners in Cyprus, Poland, Germany, Slovenia and Hungary.
For more information: www.similarproject.eu
United to End Female Genital Mutilation
This project will implement concrete initiatives fostering the integration of migrant women, including asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, in the receiving society within urban agriculture practices, including educational and recreational activities, vocational training, help to access to the labour market, anti-discrimination projects and cultural initiatives that promote inter-cultural dialogue and a culture of welcoming communities. It is an AMIF-funded project taking place among partners from Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, France, England, Greece and Austria.
For more information: www.urbagri4women.com