- Financier: European Commission
- Start year: 2013
- Duration: 2 years (completed in 2015)
- Financing: € 28.500
- People helped: 500
In partnership with the Italian NGO GSI: Gruppi di Solidarieta Internazionale Italia, AKTI is launching a new and exciting, multi dimensional program
“INTERACT: Inclusion Through Environmental Activities”
Using a cooperative and hands on approach, INTERACT’s projects will be as diverse as its participants. Using the environment as a discussion platform and a tool to facilitate conversations, workshops, street activities and skill building opportunities, INTERACT aims to promote integration between locals and immigrants.
Drawing on a common passion for our environment, INTERACT appeals to the shared humanity in all of us, crafting opportunities for the self creation of a sense of empowerment, opportunity and involvement in our communities, country and the larger world around us.
Made possibly by the funding of the European Commision within the Europe for Citizens Programme, INTERACT project is one of many programs within with EU using the environment as a means to create a unified sense of community and identity between the multicultural layers of European society.
Multiple program elements will be incorporated into INTERACT to appeal to as many interests and needs as possible!
What has been done
- Project #1: Survey of European immigrants living in Cyprus and Italy to assess immigrant knowledge, perception and view on environment, employment and democracy.
- Project #2: Workshop on participation rights and local decision making related to the environment and quality of life for EU citizens.
- Project #3: Training Workshop on composting, organic cultivation, community gardens, and material reuse as tools for improving integration and standard of living.
- Project #4: Public Events Dedicated to World Environment Day that will include graffiti competitions, awards for children, interactive theatre acts and presentations and activities at school.
- Project #5: Street Activities for Children that will raise environmental awareness for local and immigrant children.
- Project #6: Stakeholder Workshop to exchange experiences and good practices on how to further promote integration and unite EU citizens through environmental events and activities.
- Increasing environmental awareness, enhancing intercultural dialogue and tolerance among indigenous and immigrant women both in Cyprus and in Italy, involving mainly women and children.
- Decline in social exclusion and discrimination and development of a sustainable European economy.
For more information on our partner organization GSI check out their website at: http://www.gsitalia.org/?q=en
For more information or to get involved with other Europe for Citizen projects in the EU go to: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/citizenship/
For more inrmation about the project go to: http://www.akti.org.cy/portfolio/interact/
View the INTERACT’s documentary here
- Six events have been carried out within interact project
- Event 1
- Common survey report
- GSI Italia report (IT)
- Event 2
- Final poster
- Leaflet in 6 languages
- Event 3
- Evaluation report event 3
- Lavori alternativi verso una green economy
- Event 5
- Press release
- Il Resto del Carlino 03.12.2014
According to Eurostat (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu), 3.6 million people immigrated to or within the EU in 2006. A significant group within this population are persons from EU Member States immigrating to a Member State not their own. Cyprus saw approximately 23 000 immigrants in 2011, with 13 000 coming from other EU nations. The increasingly open boarder brought forward by Cyprus’ entrance into the European Union, and the ever-growing movement of people enabled by travel and communication technology as well as a drive amongst younger generations to seek higher levels of employment opportunities and life experiences, have all contributed to the mobility of people across its boarders.
Ethnic diversity and multiculturalism bring with them, opportunities for cultural exchange, increased learning and growth, tolerance and acceptance, and sharing of values amongst diverse populations. However, there is also the darker side of communities with immigrant populations. As economies dip, as seen in Cyprus in recent times, jobs once seen as undesirable amongst the local population become necessary opportunities when unemployment reaches all time highs. Immigrants once applauded for taking on the role of domestic help, service industry employee and agricultural worker are seen as ‘stealing’ jobs from the now unemployed nationals. There is racism, scape-goating, intolerance, inequality, gender imbalance, unequal employment opportunities and cultural ethnocentrism to name but a few of the negative attitudes that pass back and forth between groups who see themselves as different, without shared values or identity. It is in attempt to move away from these negative tendencies and towards the goals of the positive that AKTI’s project, INTERACT, focuses its goals.
INTERACT: Inclusion Through Environmental Activities (Decision No 2013 -2474/001-001), is a European for Citizens EU funded project that utilizes the common ground of environmental consciousness to bring together multiple stakeholders from different ethnic, social, political, religious, economic, racial, and age backgrounds.
Running from October 2013 through to December 2014 and involving a partnership with GSI: Gruppi di Solidarieta Internazionale Italia in Italy, INTERACT uses information, educational, discussion and skill based workshops to encourage dialogue, discovery of shared interests and the creation of a common European identity. In addition to workshops, events and activities will also be programmed with a focus on engaging women and children, some of the most vulnerable populations, immigrant and national, to participate. Composting and community gardening activities, graffiti competitions, and theatre based events will be used to draw involvement from the marginalized members of our society to encourage their integration into a positive, strong and vibrant sense of place.
A need for increased awareness, protection and involvement in our responsibility as stewards of the world and environment around us demands involvement from many levels of society. As such, stakeholder workshops will be organized to involve NGO’s, press, and local and national authorities on the exchange of knowledge and experiences for increased integration of environmental programming as a means to involve European citizens in their communities.
The use of the environment to facilitate discussions and connections amongst the various groups in society in an attempt to increase a shared sense of understanding, common identity and genuine respect and care for one another as living beings appeals to our shared humanity. By projecting our dialogue outside of our individual selves, families and communities, to something larger for which we have a shared responsibility towards the care and preservation of, we are able to move beyond our perceived differences and into an arena of awareness of what is truly important in life. We move towards a connection with one another and a connection to the earth that supports our lives – all of our lives – and we are capable of realizing that it is through positive interaction that we can achieve these goals.
For more information and specific dates on INTERACT project or to contact us please see our website at: www.akti.org.cy
AKTI Project and Research Centre