EVS in YEU Cyprus - Mission Tradition
The project brought seven young and passionate volunteers from sex countries to Nicosia, Cyprus to work on a yearlong project called Mission Tradition. Alessia and Gabriele from Italy, Oscar from Spain, Michaela from Czech Republic, Adina from Romania, Chloe from Martinique (France), Mario from North Macedonia and Marko also from North Macedonia who joined the project as a short-term ESC volunteer after Chloe was forced to return to Martinique due to force majeure reasons. The project was funded under the European Commission / Key Action 1 projects of the programme Erasmus+, which focuses on mobility through Youth Exchanges. The aim of Key Action 1 projects is to fund opportunities for young people to improve their skills, enhance their employability and increase their knowledge on other cultures.
The main aim of our project is to encourage young people to believe in themselves and improve their artistic and interpersonal skills by exploring, interacting, experiencing and recording the traditions and the culture of Cyprus. A big part of the project was to research, discover and promote traditions of Cyprus. Some were more forgotten than others so the volunteers had the opportunity to expose them to the community. As a result, they were able to bring awareness and, in some cases, show to people how a tradition has become the main source of income for some families and that it is and has been passed on from generation to generation. Mission Traditions was not only beneficial for the knowledge that was shared with the Cypriot community, it was also very rewarding for the volunteers as they felt that their work was meaningful and important. By gaining this knowledge, they will be able to achieve an interesting integration between folk and modern art, while also ensuring that all the knowledge gained will be available to everyone from now on.
The project’s aim was to involve actions for encountering, promoting and protecting cultural heritage on a national and European level. level. Cultural heritage and tradition are considered as the inheritance of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and considered vital to be preserved for the benefit of future generations, like heritage sites, monuments, traditional activities and practices, language etc. The volunteers were able to detect that all communities living on the island had contributed in creating the beautiful culture of Cyprus.
People from many parts of the world are and have been residing in Cyprus for numerous years. This multi communal aspect has made the island gradually become what it is today.
During the duration of the project volunteers had the opportunity to meet, work and interact with locals. This helped them improve some of their competences like cultural awareness and expression and citizenship competence which are only two out of the eight competences that are under the Youth pass certificate. The volunteers had the chance to volunteer at Caritas Cyprus. They were dealing with people at risk, refugees, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, they were able to organize their own events, workshops, daytrips, screenings and language cafes and attend Greek lessons which were helpful in aiding them intergrade in the Cypriot society. All of the activities mentioned above helped them unfold all the traditions that were forgotten or unknown to many locals. More importantly, apart from all the knowledge the volunteers acquired during their ESC experience they were also to gain new skill and enhance the ones they had which will help them in their future working career.
Project officer Ekaterini Kotzia said: “It was an honour working with the volunteers for this project. They helped me discover things about my culture I never knew.”