A yearlong journey of exploring the Cypriot culture
Mission: Tradition was a European Solidarity Corps project run by eight young and passionate volunteers· Alessia and Gabriele from Italy, Oscar from Spain, Michaela from Czech Republic, Adina from Romania, Chloe from Martinique (France), Mario and Marko from North Macedonia. The project lasted for 12 months and was coordinated by YEU Cyprus (Youth for Exchange and Understanding Cyprus) in Nicosia, Cyprus. Mission: Tradition was funded under the European Solidarity Corps scheme, Volunteering projects. The European Solidarity Corps is the new European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.
The main aim of the project was to encourage young people to believe in themselves and improve their artistic and interpersonal skills by exploring, experiencing, recording and interacting with the traditions and culture of Cyprus. The volunteers organised events and workshops in order to involve more people in their journey of exploring the Cypriot tradition and managed to raise awareness regarding traditions that are slowly fading. Mission: Tradition was not only beneficial for the locals that participated in the events and followed the project’s social media, but was also very rewarding for the volunteers, as they felt that their work was meaningful and important.
Mission: Tradition aimed to promote and protect cultural heritage on a national and European level. Cultural heritage and tradition are considered as the inheritance of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and considered vital to be preserved for the benefit of future generations, like heritage sites, monuments, traditional activities and practices, language etc. During the project Mission: Tradition the volunteers and the locals had the opportunity to explore how all communities living on the island have contributed in creating and preserving the country’s traditional heritage.
ABOUT ESC VOLUNTEERING PROJECTS AND HOSTING ORGANIZATION
Volunteering projects are funded by the European Solidarity Corps scheme, which enables all young people legally residing in Europe, aged between 18 and 30 years, to carry out an international volunteering service in an organisation or in a public body in Europe, Africa, Asia or South America for a period ranging from 2 to 12 months. Through this experience, young people get the opportunity to volunteer abroad, contribute with their efforts to a cause they believe in – be it, solidarity with refugees and migrants, work on environmental issues, activities for children or the elderly, support for non-governmental organisations, work for cultural events or a number of other topics. Volunteering projects support individuals in improving their skills, enhancing their employability and
gaining cultural awareness by providing opportunities of structured study, work experience, job shadowing, volunteering, training and teaching opportunities to staff and learners.
The programme was managed by Youth for Exchange and Understanding Cyprus (YEU Cyprus) which is a non- political, non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Nicosia, Cyprus. It was established in 1995 with the aim to advocate for young people raising their voice in society. To do so YEU Cyprus promotes the fostering of close cooperation and better understanding among young people of the world through the exchange of information, experiences and ideas. YEU Cyprus strives to encourage young people to become active members of our society on a local, national and European level. It is one of the biggest youth organizations in Cyprus numbering more than 500 members and considered to be one of the most active organizations of the island realizing several activities both on international and local level, mainly based on non formal education. YEU Cyprus is a full member of the Cyprus Youth Council and is represented in the CYC Board. It is also affiliated with the YEU International platform which is under the European Youth Forum umbrella.
The mission of YEU Cyprus is to establish mutual understanding, acceptance and support among countries, communities and people on cultural, educational and social issues. It focuses on improving the relationships among youngsters coming from countries with different political systems, religious beliefs and traditions, thus fostering tolerance and mutual respect. It’s vision is to empower and engage young people to create the change they want to see in our societies and this world. In the past three years YEU Cyprus has focused on projects that deal with active citizenship, remembrance, volunteerism, intercultural education, cultural heritage, human rights education, mental health education, sustainability and peace building through the use of non formal methods and then implementation of a variety of local and International projects.
During the project, volunteers had the opportunity to organize their own events and workshops and improve their Cultural Awareness and Expression Competence, Citizenship Competence, Digital Competence and other key competences that are included in the YouthPass Certificate. Additionally, the volunteers had the chance to volunteer at Caritas Cyprus, where they provided support to people at risk, refugees, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, they attended Greek lessons which supported their integration in the Cypriot society. They organized and implemented movie screenings, cultural visits, language cafes, an online art exhibition, computer workshops, craft workshops, a Petcha Kutcha event, cultural nights, a shadow theatre night, interviews with locals through the research they did of traditions etc. All of the activities mentioned above helped the volunteers unfold traditions that are almost forgotten or unknown to many locals. More importantly, apart from all the knowledge the volunteers acquired during their ESC experience, they also gained new skills and enhanced the ones they had, which will help them in achieving their future professional goals.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information about the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call at +357 99573646 or through the project’s official pages: https://www.facebook.com/missiontraditioncyprus/, https://missiontradition19.wixsite.com/home