The Intercultural city aims at building its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource for the development of the society.

The first step is the adoption (and implementation) of strategies that facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges, and promote equal and active participation of residents and communities in the development of the city, thus responding to the needs of a diverse population. The Intercultural integration policy model is based on extensive research evidence, on a range of international legal instruments, and on the collective input of the cities member of the Intercultural Cities programme that share their good practice examples on how to better manage diversity, address possible conflicts, and benefit from the diversity advantage.

This section offers examples of intercultural approaches that facilitate the development and implementation of intercultural strategies.

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To get acquainted with cities’ good practices related to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, please visit Intercultural Cities: COVID-19 Special page.

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Limassol: One city, the whole world

- To support and facilitate the smooth and effective integration of third country nationals (TCNs) in the local community - To improve the capacity for social integration, cohesion and socialisation of TCNs; - To prevent social exclusion and racist behaviour
Two years from February 2016 to January 2018 (with the possibility of renewal for an additional year).
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The action is being implemented for the second consecutive year and fifth year in total. Its renewal for an additional year is planned on January 2018. Limassol municipality is the lead partner and co-ordinator of the action.

The action consists of several activities around the following six pillars:

  1. Intercultural events/festivals to facilitate the interaction between the local community and the TCNs;
  2. Training and education programmes to facilitate the personal and professional development of TCNs through the upgrading of their skills;
  3. Social support programmes to serve and facilitate the daily life of TCNs, children and parents in order to inform them about daily issues and address any problems they face;
  4. Actions to develop a sense of acceptance and understanding of citizens in diversity and tackling racism and discrimination;
  5. Actions for exchanging views, good practices and know-how;
  6. Implementation of awareness-raising and information activities.

Intercultural Events/Festivals

A total of six events/festivals were planned in the context of the action. Events included cultural exchange activities of gastronomy, music and dance, as well as interaction between TCNs and the local community through sport, parades and interactive children’s activities. The events were organised by all partners of the action based on their experience from the implementation of the action in previous years and were publicised widely through the dedicated website and social media. 

Training and education programmes

The training and education programmes consist of computer lessons, cyber security seminars, art lessons and entrepreneurship seminars provided by highly competent experts. These experts were appointed by the municipality through an open call which privileged diverse applicants and was widely publicised on the city’s website.

Participants in the training are selected following an open call for applications disseminated through the action’s website and social media, local media and the city’s networks and associations of migrants and refugees.  At least 50 participants from diverse backgrounds (migrants, refugees and/or asylum seekers) are expected to be trained this year.

Social Support and Social Orientation Programmes

In the context of the action, child care and student support services are provided for free to facilitate the TCN children and parents. A street social work initiative is also implemented throughout the action to inform and direct TCNs about Cypriot society and everyday issues such as housing, transport, communication, work and health services. Additionally, the highly experienced social workers provide personalised psychosocial support and have a constant presence in the places where TCNs frequently meet.

The social workers are appointed by the municipality through an open call widely publicised on the city’s website, which privileged diverse applicants. More than 50 beneficiaries are expected to avail of the aforementioned social support services.

Furthermore, the partners of the action also organise educational trips to cultural and historical places of Cyprus for TCNs to help them better understand and learn about their host society.

Actions to Develop a Sense of Acceptance and Understanding of Citizens in Diversity and Tackling Racism and Discrimination

These activities are mainly focused on children and their interaction. Specifically, the activities consist of the implementation of children’s workshops with the use of technology and the implementation of interventions in schools with a large number of TCNs. These activities create a sense of acceptance and understanding among children regarding diversity. Approximately 200 students from diverse backgrounds (including from the host country) have participated in these activities.

The workshops and interventions are implemented by highly competent experts (university professors and social workers respectively) who were appointed by the municipality either directly or through an open call.

Actions for Exchange of Views, Good Practices and Know-How

Limassol Municipality is in the process of forming an Intercultural Council that will consist of both Cypriots and TCN representatives who live in the Limassol district. The council will be responsible for consulting the municipality on issues related to the needs of its citizens (locals and migrants), increasing their sense of acceptance in the local community.

Through the initial intercultural mapping and the implementation of a series of meetings, the aim is for an “Intercultural Declaration of Limassol” to be adopted.  At the same time, the challenges caused by migration will be identified and an action plan of the Intercultural Council, as well as an Intercultural Strategy of the Municipality, will be proposed for 2018.

Activities also include the implementation of an informative seminar/workshop addressed to volunteers and youth of Limassol Municipality, as well as other stakeholders, on the effective tackling of racism, discrimination and xenophobia. The seminar/workshop will be both informative and interactive in order to retain the interest of the participants. 

The seminar/workshop will be implemented by highly competent experts directly assigned by the responsible partner.  Participants are selected following an open call for applications disseminated through the action’s website and social media, the local media and the networks and associations of the municipality and other stakeholders.  Approximately 15 participants with diverse backgrounds are expected to be trained this year.

Implementation of Awareness-Raising and Information Activities/Campaign

Amongst others, activities include the preparation of informational and promotional material (flyers, posters, roll-up banners), organisation of press briefings and networking with the media and specific journalists, dissemination of press releases, announcements and invitations through social media, email marketing campaigns and other media. Furthermore, the dedicated website and social media pages are constantly updated, whilst “below the line” activities and side events also take place. Finally, in the context of the awareness-raising campaign, anti-rumour activities were also implemented with the production of an anti-rumour video and flyers. The anti-rumour material was promoted through the action’s social media pages, website and events.

The impact of the action will undergo an evaluation process by an external evaluator, as well as the city’s audit team. Furthermore, social research on the effectiveness of the school social worker who implements the school’s interventions on the prevention and tackling of social exclusion is also being implemented. The results of this research will facilitate the improvement of services offered in the future.

Co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (90%) and the Republic of Cyprus (10%), this action is implemented with the four municipalities of Limassol district, together with affiliated entities and experts in the fields of communication and migration. Furthermore, all the partners co-operate with networks and migrant/refugees organisations in the implementation of their activities.

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