On the 11th of April, our partners from HUB NICOSIA hosted one of the mobilities foreseen during the NEUEYT project in their premises in Nicosia, Cyprus.
A total number of 9 young people and stakeholders were selected by PISTES SOLIDAIRES (France), E-Trikala (Greece) and HUB NICOSIA (Cyprus) to participate to interactive sessions with local stakeholders that primarily work on youth participation, youth engagement and youth policy.
The participants had the opportunity to visit the premises of the Youth Board of Cyprus (ONEK), a public legal entity which offers young people multiple opportunities for active participation in social activities in Cyprus and abroad. Particularly, the participants engaged in discussion with representatives from the Youth Policy department which coordinates the implementation of the National Youth Strategy in Cyprus. As the representatives mentioned, one of the basic principles of the Strategy is the participation of young people in decision-making, on issues that concern them and the close cooperation between all bodies that implement programs and actions for youth.
The participants learned more information about the role of the department in putting forward policy proposals, for the empowerment of young people;in conducting specialized research to identify the needs of young people; andin carrying out consultations and open discussions with young people, using multiple tools, such as the operation of Advisory Bodies, the Youth Conference and the National Group on EU Youth Dialogue. In that sense, the participants had the opportunity to actively discuss with the ONEK representatives and actively share how the implementation of their own initiatives helped them to understand the importance of actively engaging in civic affairs and democratic life. Participants explained elements of their initiatives to the representatives and exchanged opinions and ideas for furthering the benefits that they had harvested during the implementation of their initiatives.
Following that, the participants visited the Home for Cooperation, a unique community centre located in the middle of the dividing lines in Cyprus, in the Ledra Palace area, UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia. The participants had the opportunity to learn more about this landmark building in Nicosia, that is currently acting as a bridge-builder between separated communities, memories and visions through its physical presence and its peacebuilding programs benefiting from the transformative power of arts and culture.
Starting from the Home for Cooperation the participants enjoyed a tour within the walled city of Nicosia (old historical centre) that allowed the exploration of different and diverse corners of the city that are often unknown to visitors. The city tour allowed for raising questions around the possibility of actively engaging in democratic processes in a divided capital city, and the participants learned more about non-formal and informal groups working in the heart of the city.
Finally, the participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas, insights and lessons learned derived from their experience with the design, participation, and implementation of the initiatives in their countries and local communities. It was interesting to see the results achieved, but also the obstacles that the participants came across.
Overall, it was a very rewarding and joyful experience for us all!!