The “European Project” that have taken place in this cultural center “Politistiko Ergastiri”, have expanded the horizons and minds of hundreds of children, youth and adults over the years, and this have gave life to this place.
Ergastiri Politistiko opens new doors annually, and connect the culture of Cyprus with many European countries, providing fantastic opportunities to grow and learn. Through participation in various projects, local and European, the Center becomes a comprehensive platform for young and adults to develop their ideas and generating a movement that unites increasingly Cypriots to their culture through the unforgettable experiences.
This week, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Panayiotis and Marina, two of the promoters of the idea of this space, to learn about how the Cultural Centre is connected with Europe. I was very surprised about the initiatives that have been developed, and currently, continue to be developed in Ergastiri.
- Ocarina Project “Cultural Program.
A project of cultural fusion, music and dance. (Italy, Romania, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Cyprus). A musician and a dancer of each country, some belonging to the traditional dances and others to the world of contemporary dance, met in Portugal with the aim of creating a fusion of their cultures, learning from each other, for ten intensive days, until create a show and premiere it in each of the countries of origin. What a wonderful idea! Union of the traditional with the modern.
A mini summary of the experience here:
- “Comenius Project”
It was one of the first projects in which Ergastiri Politistiko has been involved, in cooperation with the neighborhood school, Agion Omologiton. Comenius is an international schools meeting, primary in this case, and the current edition it is integrated for four different countries: Portugal, Spain, the UK and Cyprus. Along two years, teachers and students visit the four countries and conduct an intensive cultural exchange. They have focused the project on traditional games of each country and major cultural activities, but learning goes far beyond.
Luckily I have shared a week with participants from the four countries, and has been an unforgettable experience to share with teachers and students many of the activities conducted during the week. One of the activities was to attend a traditional Cypriot dance class and dance. Another day was devoted to traditional games, surprisingly, even with the distance of this island to the Canary Islands, almost all the games I was more than familiar: sack race, alert to the number, … No doubt for all participants in this project, and especially for children, these experiences are of those who they never forget.
- “Body Language”
Hearing impaired children from three countries: Cyprus, Czech Republic and Hungary had to spend seven days intensive around dance and theater. It was necessary to unify the language of signs because usually varies between countries. To the surprise of the participants, at the end of the week acted before an audience of two hundred people. The experience opened and strengthened the minds of children, for some of them it was the first trip of a lifetime. Others, as a Hungarian girl, following his participation in the project, decided to study dance, and is currently working in this field.
- GRUNDTVIG (is divided into two projects):
- QUILT (Quality in Learning and Trainning)
Six countries have given life to this project: Italy, Romania, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia and Cyprus. As the name suggests, QUILT aims to promote continuous improvement of educational quality through the relentless trainers learning, studying new techniques and skills training. Following this project, the six countries have been interconnected through a network of mutual support, trust, availability, easy cooperation to open new projects, … have created a family, and learn from each other.
Within Grundint, it was created a program for cultural diffusion, mainly focused on older people look forward to continue learning. One of the many activities conducted were visits to the tunnels in this city, Nicosia, built five centuries ago by the Ottoman Empire. The guides did not see, was blind, whose mission was to teach the rest to perceive and discover the world as they felt. And the rest were blinded everyone to develop awareness and knowledge beyond the vision. In the darkness we must enlighten the mind.
- Youth in Action
The Cultural Center carries out youth exchange projects (Youth Exchange) and the European Volunteer (EVS), from many years ago. Politistiko Ergastiri is also sending organization and hosting organization, and also carries Training Courses on the Island, for volunteers, trainers and other participants of Youth in Action.
A very important thing to note about these programs is the possibility offered to unemployed youth to carry out ideas and proposals. Currently there are several unemployed people who gather here every day and devote their time to generate new projects, the cultural center opens up a world of possibilities and offers the space and means to move in search of new horizons. As says Panayiotis, both for themselves and for the center, this is a time spent usefully, in which young people aware of the complicated European reality, take the initiative. As the name says, this is … Youth in Action
EVS Y POLITISTIKO ERGASTIRI
Marina, how many applications do you receive for an EVS? , and more and less, how many people (EVS) have participated in Ergastiri?
As hosting organization, we receive almost 10 EVS applications per day from different countries, especially from Spain.
Last year, was first year that we hosted three volunteers, but we decided from this year to host in our organization four volunteers, 2 girls and 2 boys from different countries.
Also, we applied for an EVS project, for a month, during summer. In this project the number of volunteers will be 12 and main theme will be the environment!
Politistiko Ergastiri is coordinating organization, as well, we applied for organization about disabled children and from September in cooperation with this organization, we will help in hosting 2 volunteers for their project with “Giving hand” as theme.
Do Politistiko Ergastiri send volunteers abroad or colaborate with them for participate in EVS?
In Cyprus, EVS is something new, youths start now to want to learn more about it, and I thing the main reason is the crisis.
So, as sending organization we try to find volunteers to participate in EVS projects because the people in Cyprus don´t know so many things and they don’t have examples for ex-EVS. We send last September a girl, in an EVS project in Italy and she was excited.
Do people know EVS in Cyprus?
People in Cyprus, don´t know what is EVS, just 8% or less. For this reason, as organization, we start with our EVS volunteers to promote it. It´s a quiet difficult to convince people to take part in an EVS project.
Do you think that EVS helps youth people? Their formation? or for get a job? Do you know some examples?
Of course, the EVS helps youth people, I think with EVS,people can motivate and develop their personal skills!
Also they can learn things about their self that never know and understand.
I think, yes, people after an EVS project, because they know more about their self and what they want to do in their life they can get easier a job. As example, I have on mind, our ex-volunteer from Romania, who studied sociology but she decided to stay in Cyprus and work as a freelancer photographer. And she has job!!