Intercultural Centre Nicosia

The “Intercultural Centre” is a program ran by the Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation. It offers various classes as well as counselling and guidance for adult immigrants (European Union Citizens and Third Country Nationals), residing in Nicosia municipality area. The centre also operates as an internet café.

Project start date: 2008
Project end date: it is still running
Contributing country: Cyprus

Summary: social inclusion for immigrants in Cyprus

The Intercultural Centre was established by the Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation in 2008 with the aim to provide quality social care services which support immigrants in terms of professional and social inclusion. The program targets all legal immigrants who reside within Nicosia Municipality area. The main objective is to create new networks of support as well as to mobilize members of the Intercultural Centre for volunteer services. The immigrants have the opportunity to receive the necessary cultural elements which support their social adjustment while, at the same time share their own cultural elements thus enriching the cultural context of the Cypriot society.

Issue: Nicosia has highest amount of immigrants

Nicosia is amongst the areas of Cyprus with the highest percentages of foreign people who live and operate in the city boundaries with their families. The highest concentration of immigrants especially Third Country Nationals (TCN) is in the walled city (approximately 44% of walled city population- RAI Consultants for NMP -2005). Keeping this in mind, Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation introduced programs specially designed for the integration of the foreigners (Europeans and TCN) who reside in Nicosia. The main objectives are to:

  • Develop their linguistic and computer skills, in order to be adopted and included in the Cypriot society, and in the labour market.
  • Provide a meeting place where the foreigners will be able to organize special events in relation to their own culture, customs and gatherings.
  • Create local networks between NGO’s, local authorities and foreign organizations.

Approach: services to immigrants

The Intercultural Center offers a range of services to immigrants such as:

  1. Greek Lessons
  2. Training in the use of computer and multimedia
  3. English language courses
  4. Free internet access (Internet Café)
  5. Guidance in vocational rehabilitation
  6. Counseling services by a professional social worker
  7. Psychological support from a special consultant on various issues
  8. Guidance workshops concerning housing, transport, communication, work, health and welfare
  9. Interactive seminars / workshops on the history and culture of Cyprus
  10. Chinese language classes, Go Chess classes, Chinesse art classes, activities especially designed at the request of the Chinese team who reside in the area of Nicosia in order to promote and preserve their cultural heritage

Results: immigrants are equally part of local community

During the last 4 years about 250 people have had the opportunity to receive one or more services from the centre. Especially the language courses as well as the computer training helped many of them to improve their chances of finding either a better job or enter to the labour market. Many of the participants feel for the first time that they are equally part of the local community. They are very glad to have the possibility to communicate directly with the local authorities and to impart their own perspective of things.

Resources used
  • The program is funded by the Nicosia Municipality and the Social Welfare Services of the republic of Cyprus, since 2008. 
  • The activities targeted to the group of TCN are implemented within the framework of the European Integration Fund for TCN 2010 and are co-financed by National and European funds, as part of various actions addressed to TCN children, adolescents, adults and parents by the partnership of Nicosia Municipality, Ayios Dhometios Municipality Limassol Municipality, Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation and the consulting company D&G Social Lab.
  • Integration Funds have been crucial for the expansion of the services and for the creation of  local networks with the partners of the project coming from local authorities, NGO’s, migrants organizations etc.

EU involvement

The services offered to TCN (a) Greek, computer classes, workshops, counselling services and guidance (b)  Chinese language, Go Chess, and Chinese art have been offered within the framework of the European Integration Fund for TCN 2010 and is co-financed by National and European funds.

Beneficiaries: Adult immigrants (Europeans and TCN)
Organisation: Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation
Contact person: Mrs Stavroula Georgopoulou
Function: Head Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation
Phone: +357 22797850