Diversity Festival brought different cultures together at Bedestan, Nicosia
The European Commission supported a "Diversity Festival" as part of European Action Week Against Racism on 21 March at Bedestan, Nicosia. The festival aimed to bring together various cultural groups in order to celebrate cultural diversity within the Turkish Cypriot community. The French Cultural Association, German Cultural Association, Akova Women’s Association, Palestinian Students’ Group, African Students’ Group, East & South East Cultural Association, Cyprus Folkdance Group (TUFAD), OneWorship,Turkish Cypriot Journalists’ Association, Queer Cyprus, and Universal Patient Rights Association hosted information tables where food of different cultures was also served. In addition to this, there were music and dance performances by different cultural groups. The opening speeches of the festival were made by Mr. Arttu Makipaa, Mr. Mehmet Harmancı and Ms. Çiçek Göçkün Bayramoğlu.
Between 16-24 March, the European Action Week Against Racism is marked by activities all around Europe to combat racism and prejudice, bringing people with diverse backgrounds and stories face to face. Coordinated by UNITED for Intercultural Action, the pan-European network of antiracist NGOs, this annual campaign sees civil society groups, educational institutions and city governments come together to protest against racism and stand up for inclusive European societies.
As part of the EU Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community many projects addressing discrimination and human rights have been supported. This includes Youthopia: Empowering young Cypriots to promote and protect their rights by MAGEM, the Cypriot Intangible Cultural Heritage project by the Nicosia Folklore Association, Human Rights for All by Refugee Rights Association, and Unspoken: Creating Dialogue on LGBTI Rights in the Turkish Cypriot Community by Cyprus Community Media Centre Co. and Queer Cyprus. In December 2018 the European Commission signed contracts in the amount of €2.3 million with 8 civil society organisations as part of Civil Society in Action VI Grant Scheme with an aim to strengthen their capacities and impact in promoting and defending democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, cultural diversity and reconciliation. The projects will address the prevention of domestic violence against women and children, LGBTI+ rights, and strengthening journalists’ and media institutions’ capacity to promote press freedom and fundamental human rights.
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