The Centre for the Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET) in collaboration with INNOVADE LI and the UNESCO Chair of the University of Nicosia, have successfully implemented the annual International Conference of the Mediterranean Migration Network(MMN) which is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.
The conference was held at the University of Nicosia in the Cine-studio conference on Friday, October 26th, 2018, from 8:00 to 14:00.
MMN conference focused on the areas of social inclusion and integration of Third Country Nationals in Cyprus as well as in the Mediterranean region with particular emphasis on the challenges faced by stakeholders, as well as opportunities and exchange of ideas and practices from Cyprus and the EU.
Particular emphasis was made on developing concrete policies and practices proposals on how all involved stakeholders should work together to address migration and integration challenges. During the conference there were several presentations of good practices taking place in Cyprus and the EU.
Participants of the conference included representatives of Cypriot public services, embassies, civil society organizations, academics, international organizations and agencies, educators, policy makers and general public. MMN had also invited key note speakers from the EU member states as follows:
- Ms Anastasia Pyrini, YOYO Coordinator, 1st Primary School of Rafina, ICICTE Founder & Director, Greece
- Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Founder and Director of the IARS International Institute and the RJ4All Institute, UK
- Dr. Theodoros Fouskas, Sociologist and Scientific Associate of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) in Greece
- Ms. Erica Caredda, Project Manager at CESIE, Italy
During the inauguration of the conference, Dr. Charalambos Vrasidas, Executive Director of CARDET – Professor of Learning Innovations & Policy, University of Nicosia, highlighted that "We have organized a network of more than 300 members from all over Europe and especially from the Mediterranean region. We have exchanged experiences and good practices on issues related to the integration of migrants. Drawing on the experience of the Network members, we have made particular suggestions to the Republic of Cyprus, many of which have already being implemented".
In addition, as pointed out by the Director of the European Funds Unit of the Ministry of Interior - Responsible Authority of Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020, Mr. Constantinos Kyprianou, the Migration Integration Network's action are exceptionally important not only for Cyprus but for the wider region as well.
The MMN conference was split in two main parts. During the first part, Ms Kyriaki Yiakoupi Project Manager – Researcher – MMN management committee Officer of CARDET, provided a reflection on the achievements and potentials of the Mediterranean Migration Network, followed by the first panel discussion with the invited key-note speakers from the EU.
The second part of the conference demonstrated a range of presentations focusing at:
- The Migration Status in Cyprus by Dr. Stefanos Spaneas, Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Nicosia; and
- Policy recommendations and future steps in migration management by Dr. Sotiris Themistokleous, Director of Strategic Development, CSI.
Finally, during the second part of the conference selected good practices from Cyprus were presented such as:
- The Greek Language Learning Program for Third-Country Minors (Geia Xara): an effort towards integrating smoothly TCN children into the school environment and Cypriot society by Dr. Pavlina Hadjitheodoulou Loizidou, Head of In-service Teacher Training Department, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute; and
- Greek Language Leaning in adults from third countries: an action that promotes social inclusion in the Cypriot community (iLearnGreek) by Mr. Petros Stylianou, General Director of the Kes college.
All conference presentations can be accessed here (registered users only).
Further to the scheduled agenda of the conference, participants had the opportunity to attend 3 specialized parallel workshops, relevant to the migration and integration topics presented within the conference. The subject of the 3 workshops were: "MMN: Building bridges towards migrants’ integration", "SportID: Why we need intercultural dialogue; Sport for social integration and cohesion." and "SIMILAR: Supporting Integration of Migrant Learners, Asylum Seekers and Refugees."
If you wish to learn more information on the Mediterranean Migration Network’s actions and activities you can register to the MMN platform.