Cooperation between “Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Centre and Total E&P Cyprus

“Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Centre (HFC) has signed an agreement with Total E&P Cyprus, which sets the establishment of a cooperation between the two. According to the agreement the latter donated to HFC the amount of 10,000 EUR to cover part of the expenses of the renovation of the building that will be hosting the children’s shelter “Home for Hope” which is in the process of establishment by Hope For Children.

The mentioned building is located in an approximately 5000 square meter area and will accommodate girls, unaccompanied minors, from 5 to 18 years old, offering to them much needed security and protection, as well psychological, social and legal support under the standards required by international and European law. Home for Hope is being established with the approval, funding, and close collaboration with the Social Welfare Services.

HFC is active in protecting and defending the rights of the child, and among others, provides psychosocial support to child victims of abuse or exploitation (physical, psychological and sexual violence) and unaccompanied minors.

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, who signed on behalf of the company has stated: “We value the partnerships we build with the communities of our host countries and our contribution to the establishment of this shelter will enable us to show our support to the society’s needs in Cyprus but also to children that come from neighboring countries and Africa where Total has operations.”

On the other hand, Mr. Joseph Varughese, Director-General of “ Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Center added that “Such gestures by companies acting a framework of social responsibility are always welcome and highly appreciated. Thus, HFC would like to warmly thank Total E&P for their kind contribution, helping us realize such a vital for Cyprus project. We are looking forward to a long term and constructive cooperation.”

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, "Hope For Children" UNCRC Policy Center.

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, “Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Center.

 

 The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, Mr. Antonis Stylianou Senior Advisory Board member and Ms. Andria Neocleous.

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, Dr. Antonis Stylianou Senior Advisory Board Member and Ms. Andria Neocleous, Director of  the Humanitarian Division.

 

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, "Hope For Children" UNCRC Policy Center.

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, “Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Center.

 

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, "Hope For Children" UNCRC Policy Center.

The General Manager of Total E&P Cyprus, Mr. Jean-Luc Porcheron, Mr.Joseph Varughese Director-General, “Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Center.

 

 

 

 

Children’s Rights : Representation of Cyprus at the High Level Conference of The Council of Europe

Republic of Cyprus was represented by Mr. Joseph Varughese, the Director-General of “Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Center and Ms. Stella Kyriakides, Cyprus, EPP/CD, PACE General Rapporteur on Children, at the High level conference “Growing with Children’s Rights” held in Dubrovnik, Croatia on 27 and 28 of March, 2014. The Conference was dedicated on the implementation of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child for the period 2012-2015.

The Conference was officially opened with speeches from Ms Milanka Opačić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Policy and Youth, Croatia, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Ms Ana Vukadinović, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Montenegro, Committee of Ministers. Mr. Jagland emphasized during his opening speech a phrase that should echo in all related actors’ minds in order for it to become a reality: “No child should be behind bars”. The plenary session that followed involved the presence of high level representatives who presented the progress achieved in their respective countries and their priorities for the years to come as well as the persisting and emerging challenges in protecting children’s rights in Europe.

The conference continued with roundtable discussions focusing on the following subject –matters: Children’s rights to child-friendly services: health and social services; preventing and combating sexual violence against children; promoting the rights of children in alternative care; juvenile justice: first resort measures first; violence against girls and young women under 18; and child participation: generating change. Further topics that were explored during the two day conference were the case-law of both the European Court of Human Rights and the European Committee of Social Rights and the compatibility of domestic law with children’s rights standards. The conference was concluded by Ms. Regína Jensdóttir who is the Council of Europe Co-coordinator on Children’s Rights and the Head of the Children’s Rights Division in the Council of Europe. Having these discussions as a benchmark, Hope For Children will produce its five year agenda and action plan.

 

Director-General Mr. Joseph Varughese with by Ms. Regína Jensdóttir , the Council of Europe Co-coordinator on Children’s Rights and the Head of the Children’s Rights Division in the Council of Europe.

Director-General Mr. Joseph Varughese with by Ms. Regína Jensdóttir , the Council of Europe Co-coordinator on Children’s Rights and the Head of the Children’s Rights Division in the Council of Europe.

Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Council of EuropeP1140838_mod

EUROPEAN LEVEL EMPLOYABILITY FOR ‘CULTURAL LEARNING’ PRACTITIONERS

Hope for Children” UNCRC Policy Center, a Cyprus based NGO, has teamed-up with 12 other European organisations to establish the European Cultural Learning Network (ECLN), a project funded by EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, over the period to September 2015. ECLN is exploring new ways to identify, support, and connect Cultural Learning Practitioners and Organisations across Europe. Artists and creative people who enable others to learn by engaging them in artistic practice are the focus of this project that aims at increasing the profile and connectedness of the cultural learning sector, and supporting its the vocational education and training needs.

ECLN partners have conducted research into each country’s specificities regarding the contexts in which cultural learning occurs. An analysis of the Cypriot results reveals, for instances, that artists/freelancers and cultural organisations who took part in the research have identified the top skills and Core-Competencies used to deliver Cultural Learning Support, the most relevant being: Creative Process; Artistic Techniques; Communication; Teamwork; and Cultural Context. These results are in line with data collected in the majority of the network members from which, Coaching; Training; Mentoring; and Self-awareness, also emerge as significant. The data shows that participants in Cyprus were highly qualified professionals (a significant number having studied abroad and having obtained degrees at Masters Level) coming from a variety of artistic and cultural backgrounds (visual arts, music, theatre, photography, performance art, art therapy); younger participants have no affiliation to professional bodies or any type of professional accreditation, while more experienced individuals reveal an interest in such liaisons. Cultural learning in Cyprus, from the participants’ point of view, needs to be more inclusive and address broader audiences, and should be developed outside formal education settings. The growth of the sector is small and slow, blocked by lack of funds, but it should be nurtured particularly in a time of crisis and social challenges. Regarding the importance of ECLN, participants’ highlight its role in Recognising their work at European level; in delivering further quality Training; and in Connecting artists/freelancers and cultural organisations across Europe.

The next steps will involve: Mapping & identifying new organisations and stakeholders in the sector; Developing appropriate professional training and development approaches to respond to identified VET needs; Testing these approaches for dissemination across the sector; Exploring new professional certification and qualification frameworks; Promoting, networking and communicating across the sector through a new European Cultural Learning Observatory (online multi-media platform); Testing the demand for, and the feasibility of, establishing a new European professional association – the European Association for Cultural Learning (EACL).

Updated information can be found at ECLN’s website: http://ecln-network.com/ and all those interested in Cultural Learning developments across Europe are invited to join the network by registering, and to follow updates on twitter @ecln_network or facebook.

Updated ECLN EU_flag_LLP_EN-01