Home for Cooperation
28 Marcou Dracou Street
- Democracy and community development
- Human rights
- Youth and education
The Association’s overall mission is to contribute to the advancement of historical understanding amongst the public and more specifically amongst children, youth and educators, by providing access to learning opportunities for individuals of every ability and every ethnic, religious, cultural and social background, based on the respect for diversity as reflected in Recommendation (2011) 6 on “Intercultural Dialogue and the Image of the Other in teaching history” adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in June 2011. More specifically the AHDR aims: - To create opportunities for educators, youth and children to be benefited by the latest developments in history teaching and learning - To advance knowledge on the issues of history, historiography, history teaching and history learning - To collect and share resources on history and history teaching - To nurture a critical understanding of the linkages between perceptions of history, attitudes and behaviors towards the “other” and history education - To gather and make available archival materials on certain aspects of Cyprus history. - To develop educational materials for educators and students. - To increase public awareness on the importance of dialogue and multiperspectivity on the issues of history, historiography, history teaching and learning
Since its formation, the AHDR’s efforts have centred on providing opportunities for educators, historians and researchers to become better equipped to handle the complexities of history in Cyprus, including the training of educators and the development of supplementary educational materials. Such activities have involved dedicated members of the AHDR, as well as co-operation with international and local partners, such as the Council of Europe, EUROCLIO and teacher trade unions across the divide. In co-operation with the Council of Europe (CoE), a new project on “Developing a culture of co-operation” was launched on 22nd and 23rd June 2012. This project was built on the results achieved within the activities which have been organised by the AHDR in co-operation with the CoE since 2004 and resulted in the preparation of the first trilingual (English, Greek and Turkish) pedagogical set of materials on history of Cyprus. This publication was introduced in May 2011 at the inauguration of the H4Cand reached Cypriot schools across the divide. Through the phase I of the Multiperspectivity and Intercultural Dialogue in Education (MIDE I) project supported by UNDP-ACT from July 2008 – November 2011, the AHDR has successfully expanded its programmatic scope to include extensive research, diverse public outreach, and has also diversified the range of materials and trainings it offers to its core target groups. In November 2011, the AHDR has commenced the second phase of the MIDE project, which run for a period of two years and concluded in the summer of 2013. This second phase sought to leverage the valuable resources that the AHDR created within the first phase of the MIDE project and to allow the AHDR to continue in its pursuit of exciting and comprehensive initiatives that focus on promoting innovative approaches to history education, with the focus on the following areas: • To further develop efforts to engage the general public on issues related to history and history education in Cyprus as a means to promoting greater sensitivity to the importance of multi-perceptivity. It is the aim of AHDR to promote critical thinking and historical understanding and thus contribute to the development of a culture of cooperation in Cyprus. • To extend educational and research programmes to ensure that key actors – educators, young people, researchers and policy makers – have sustained opportunities to engage with AHDR’s specialized focus. • To Continue working in partnership with organizations such as the Council of Europe, teacher trade unions across the divide, EUROCLIO, PRIO, CCMC, the International Centre for Transitional Justice and the Elders, as well as developing new relations with other institutions both locally and internationally. In addition to the aforementioned projects, the AHDR has undertaken a grand initiative of renovating a derelict building in the UN controlled Nicosia buffer zone into a “Home for Cooperation”. This forms an integral part of its wider vision of transforming what is currently referred to as the Buffer Zone or Dead Zone into a zone of cooperation. The H4C aims to break the common perception of the buffer zone through: • Enabling young people, educators, historians, researchers and activists and other agents of change, to develop knowledge and critical thinking through hosting programmes on education, training and research; • Providing opportunities for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and individuals to design and implement innovative projects for the empowerment of civil society and the enhancement of intercultural dialogue; • Encouraging Cypriots to demonstrate the benefits of cooperation across the existing divide; • Enhancing awareness of the complexity and diversity of history and support the conservation of the cultural heritage of Cyprus. Since its opening on 6 May 2011, the H4C has been providing a shared space aiming to foster intercultural cooperation and dialogue. Due to its location in the ‘dead’ zone, the H4C is accessible from both sides of the divide without having to cross the checkpoint of the other community and thus provides a neutral and shared space that can be used by all communities in Cyprus. A number of conferences, panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions and film screenings have been hosted at the H4C. These have been organized by the AHDR, as well as other NGOs across the island. The H4C currently hosts a number of non-governmental organizations, as well as a library and archive, conference and exhibition spaces. As such, it is the first centre in Cyprus to promote collective efforts of civil society in engaging in historical inquiry, contemporary understanding and peace building. Since the opening of the H4C, the AHDR has been effectively running the Home, maintaining the building, offering office space, as well as promoting the usage of its spaces amongst NGOs and individuals across the island. The H4Cwas made possible by the major donors Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein through the EEA and Norway Grants; by Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands and also by the Government of Cyprus, as well as individuals, organizations and authorities in Cyprus and abroad. United Nations Development Programme –Action for Cooperation and Trust through funding from the United States Agency for International Development is providing support through the Multiperspectivity and Intercultural Dialogue in Education (MIDE) initiative. The support of the Council of Europe also played an important role.
The AHDR can contribute in the following ways: • The design, implementation of Research and dissemination of research findings • Organization of Teacher training seminars, discussions, conferences • Development of Supplementary educational materials • Organization of on-site visits and walls • Development of tools for outreaching campaigns (video blogs, announcements, public events, etc) • Establishment of Synergies between individuals and organizations at a local, European and international level.
The purpose of the Anna Lindh Foundation is very much in line with the mission and aims of the AHDR, in regards to the bringing together of people and providing platforms for intercultural dialogue, dialogue and critical thinking. The Association is keep to maximise its efforts and the Network seems like a perfect platform in which to do so. The AHDR strongly believe that being part of the Network will be invaluable in regards to the sharing of knowledge and experience, as well identifying potential partnerships for the undertaking of future project initiatives.