The Dialogue and Capacity Strengthening Workshop organized by Voices of International Students of Cyprus (VOIS) organization at the Cultural Center on the 16th of May, brought together international students along with authorities from various organizations. The workshop dubbed ‘It’s About Time’ was organised with a specific purpose; to start implementing an action plan towards discrimination and stereotypes of international students in Northern Cyprus.
The European Union funded the event through the Grow Civic Program, an establishment that supports civil society organizations.
During the workshop, the heads of each of the VOIS departments; institutional discrimination, sexual harassment and the housing sector, provided the findings of surveys conducted on international students. The key point was to find the issues, both positive and negative, faced by the students and start acting towards improvements to be made where necessary.
“Solutions not Blame”
Emmanuel Achiri, President of VOIS Cyprus stated, “We are here today for solutions, not for blame” .
With the collaboration of academicians, journalists, representatives from police organisations such as Human shelter, Human Rights Foundation, Queer Association and Refugee Rights Association, the workshop was a passing success. Due to the presence of these authorities, students got empowered with the information about all forms of discrimination and got direct links with the stakeholders to address the problems they face.
This workshop is just one of a series of workshops in order to lead to further discussions and strategies. The next one due to take place during the summer period will take a step further from the recent event that highlighted the mutual problems,with the committees returning with solutions prepared with the relevant authorities to in order to make concrete steps towards the understanding between locals and international students.