A grant agreement for the implementation of an interactive shared cultural heritage education programme for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youth was signed on Wednesday by United States Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Chief of Mission in Cyprus Jakhongir Khaydarov, during an event held at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia.
The event was also attended by representatives of the US Embassy, the European Commission, the UNDP, as well as the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.
In her speech during the event, Garber said that the two-year, 100,000-dollar award to create an interactive platform to promote shared cultural heritage “is representative of the long-standing US support to UNDP in Cyprus, as well as the fantastic work of the Bicommunal Technical Committee,” noting that “the beauty of this project is that it brings youth closer to their cultural heritage and contributes to their shared future, while filling a knowledge gap in the respective education systems in a very interactive way, something very important in today`s society,” and adding that it is also “a light in darkness” in this very time.
On behalf of the Technical Committee, Turkish Cypriot co-chair Ali Tuncay stressed that the creation of the educational programme “will help protect Cyprus` cultural heritage”, while contributing to the development of a “culture of peace, understanding, cooperation and dialogue between the younger generations of the island.”
Similarly, his Greek Cypriot counterpart Sotos Ktoris said that the creation of an online and interactive learning environment on the common cultural heritage of Greek and Turkish Cypriots “can be an important tool in the efforts to protect and preserve our monuments for future generations.”
Finally, on behalf of the programme’s implementing partner, Khaydarov thanked the Technical Committee for the trust it has placed in UNDP for the implementation of almost 100 heritage protection projects, as well as the US government for funding this educational project, noting that “the sustainability of our joint efforts depends on the success of our work with youth.”