Education for a Culture of Peace as a Vehicle for Reconciliation in Cyprus.

Our aim is to use Education for a Culture of Peace to bring about structural changes in society. Through trainings and other activities, we hope to encourage the implementation of a Culture of Peace within school curricula, thus transforming the current status-quo through a bottom-up approach by engaging educators, young people, parents, community members, and civil society in an educative and transformational process.

The importance of this project is paramount since the conflict between the two communities in Cyprus is still on-going. Cypriot society faces great challenges when striving to attain a Culture of Peace, given that the main agents of change continue to perpetuate a Culture of Violence. We believe that Education is the tool that will ensure that Peace can be cultivated and sustained, and that real social change can be acheived through transforming the educational systems across the divide.

The specific objectives of the action are to:

  • Engage educators from both communities in a dialogical process where the needs for implementing Culture of Peace initiatives will be identified and analysed;
  • Engage 80 educators and 160 students across the divide in workshops on Education for a Culture of Peace;
  • Provide opportunities for educators to apply Education for Peace methodology in their educational settings;
  • Provide participants the opportunity to spread the message of peace to their peers, their families and the community (an estimated 1600 students will be involved in Education for a Culture of Peace activities);
  • Produce joint educational material, including lesson plans and a guide on the methodology of Education for a Culture of Peace, for immediate use in classrooms (a trilingual manual to be distributed to all public and private schools in Cyprus);
  • Bring youth together through the organisation of a theatre camp in order to promote reconciliation;
  • Establishment and launch of a Peace Education Centre and Library to meet the educational, information and entertainment needs of educators, students and other members of the society;
  • Provide data on how the infusion of Education for a Culture of Peace in the school curriculum can develop societies;
  •  Set Cyprus as an example for future initiatives in Europe and elsewhere through the organisation of an International Conference on Education for a Culture of Peace and a publication on how to integrate Education for a Culture of Peace in divided societies.

The project, initiated on July 6th 2014, is being co-implemented by POST Research Institute (POST RI) and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), and financially supported by the European Commission through the Civil Society in Action IV Program opened for the Turkish Cypriot Community.