Every time an emergency situation occurs, one of the most critical obstacles that arises is the ability of different groups of people living in an area to communicate. Therefore, the inclusion of all these groups in a response plan is not an easy task. Young people, older people, families, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and groups, as well as long-term residents are just some of these subdivisions any given population of an area.
The EM-CITY project was designed precisely with this aim in mind. The aim to promote social cohesion between the different groups in local communities in case of an emergency. And it does so by recognising a crucial parameter: the fact that young people in particular, once engaged and with the right guidance, can play a key role in strengthening these ties in each region and local community.
This week sixteen young people, from high school teenagers to university graduates as well as others, all actively involved in volunteering but with a keen interest in what EM-CITY aspires to strengthen, are coming together in Cyprus – since CERIDES / European University Cyprus is one of the four members of the consortium of this EU-funded project.
What is of additional interest is that in this four-day training project in Nicosia, one of the other three partners is the Innogo Language, Science and Ideas Laboratory from Turkey and this is wht five young volunteers from the neighbouring country travelled to Cyprus for this purpose. Especially after the tragic events with the recent earthquakes and apart from the political obstacles which usually make such exchanges difficult, the presence of these young volunteers is in itself a starting point not just to provide knowledge to this particular group but also to gain knowledge from their own experience. The two other partners, the European Project Consulting SLR from Italy and the organization Community Crisis Intervention from Greece, also transfer through the participants their own valuable experience.
Co-founder and co-director of CERIDES and EM-CITY project manager Dr. Christos Dimopoulos undertook the task of training the young people involved and creating synergies between the teams.
CERIDES team participating in the implementation of the project also consists of Dr. Georgia Solomonidou and Mr Vangelis Katsaros who act as project managers