‘School Bullying and Acceptance of Diversity’ programme launched

The humanitarian organisation " Hope For Children " CRC Policy Center and Christina A. Apostolou Foundation have announced the official launch of the ‘School Bullying and Acceptance of Diversity' educational programme.

According to an announcement from the two organisations, the programme is a comprehensive and targeted action aimed at students aged 4-18 and is to be implemented in schools all over Cyprus following the approval of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth.

The educational programme uses techniques and tools of critical analysis within the art of cinema, and has been formed in collaboration with the ‘Athens International Film Festival for Children and Adolescents,’ which is already implementing a similar campaign in Greece. Through the programme, children and teenagers, as active viewers, will learn to read between the lines, separate fake from real events and reject manipulation, while strengthening their critical thinking. At the same time, through this action, the cinema can educate, sensitise and awaken children in the most creative way, towards the acceptance of diversity.

Based on the general theme of ‘School Bullying and Acceptance of Diversity,’ the films that will be used for this programme have been carefully selected by Hope For Children’s 's specialised staff in collaboration with the Athens International Film Festival for Children and Adolescents. Short films are considered to be an ideal medium for students of all ages, the announcement notes. In conjunction with the screening of the films, meanwhile, Hope For Children's instructors will conduct experiential and interactive non-formal education activities.

Speaking in the context of a 12 September press conference , the Minister of Education, Sports and Youth , Dr. Athena Michaelidou said, "The non-acceptance of diversity and school bullying circumvent rights such as protection and care, education, respect for privacy, participation and freedom of expression. As a Ministry, we have prioritised the implementation of programmes to prevent violence, but also to empower children from a preschool age. At the same time, we promote policies to protect children from all forms of violence, but also to strengthen mutual respect so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of education, without discrimination and intimidation".

In the above context, added the Minister, "We support the work of non-governmental bodies and organisations that join us in this effort. We welcome the initiative of the Christina A. Apostolou Foundation and the Hope for Children – CRC Policy Centre for conducting the ‘School bullying and acceptance of diversity’ educational prevention programme. The purpose of the experiential workshops included in the Programme is to create a culture of acceptance of diversity, with the ultimate goal of reducing and eliminating bullying."

Presenting the programme on behalf of "'Hope For Children' CRC Policy Centre , the Executive Director of the organisation, Andria Neocleous, said, "Over the last 15 years of the organisation's operation, we have contributed to the implementation of dozens of educational programmes in schools, with the continuous support and cooperation of the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth, seeking to effectively inform children about the phenomenon of school bullying, as well as the timely management serious incidents. Taking into account the incidents of violence and school bullying found in schools, such actions as the one we are announcing today in collaboration with the Christina A. Apostolou Foundation, are imperative and we thank the Ministry and especially the Minister of Education for making these issues a priority.”

On his part, speaking on behalf of the Christina A. Apostolou Foundation, Andreas Apostolou added, "For us at the Christina A. Apostolou Foundation, it is a basic obligation to carry out actions that empower and support our children. We are fully aware of our role in this and have proceeded to support the programme, which aims to convey to children, teachers and parents the importance of cooperation so that we can transmit the messages of love and acceptance and fight the phenomenon of school bullying. As a Foundation, we will be in continuous cooperation with our partners and the Minister of Education herself, whom we sincerely thank, so that we can achieve the goals of the educational programme."

Explaining the philosophy of the programme, Kalliopi Charalambous, Director of the Athens International Film Festival for Children and Adolescents, stated, "Today, more than ever, democracy and human rights are intertwined with the ability to recognise the subjective view of the narrator in a news, an event, or any audiovisual work. The students, watching a film during film education class, encounter protagonists who share their age and the same concerns. Through the development of this experiential relationship, students better understand themselves and the world around them. That is, they can expand their perception of the world, develop their language skills and find themselves in a creative relationship with themselves and others. In particular, on the topic of school bullying and the acceptance of diversity, cinema - as the most influential means of storytelling - is a good medium to open a meaningful discussion in the classroom and, by extension, at home."

Visit the website www.uncrcpc.org.cy for more information regarding all the activities and programmes of the Hope For Children CRC Policy Centre.

Read More

Cyprus MPs to attend PACE summer session
Schools awarded for their documentaries at Synekpaidefsi 2023-2024
Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs to pay official visit to Cyprus
Health Minister to represent Cyprus at EU Health Council
Cyprus to host 225 meetings and conferences during its EU presidency
Government introduces scheme for implementation of ISO standard against corruption
Work remains to be done before Cyprus can join US visa waiver programme
President backs Von der Leyen and Metsola
President expresses great satisfaction with Strategic Dialogue agreement with the US
War in Ukraine must come to an end, President tells Peace Summit (video)