Refugee and Humanitarian Initiatives

The ongoing European migrant crisis has multiple dimensions. It is, first and foremost, a humanitarian crisis for the refugees and migrants involved, but it also has shown areas for improvement in European infrastructure and services.

Our initiatives in this area focus on both dimensions, supporting individual refugees and migrants, while also working with public bodies to improve support services.

As part of its core CSR initiatives, UNIC has awarded a series of scholarships to refugees and immigrants, which Mr Damtew Dessalegne, Representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cyprus, characterised as being “of immense value for the particular individuals, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue higher education”, during his recent visit to our University.

 

The UNHCR Representative in Cyprus, Mr Damtew Dessalegne, visited UNIC in January 2017

In addition, the Medical School’s Mobile Clinic travels around the country twice a month, offering free diagnostic tests and examinations to people in need such as residents in remote areas, senior citizens, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as the general public at charitable events. Furthermore, medical students raise awareness among teenagers on specific health issues (effects of smoking, sex education and eating disorders) through presentations.

The Medical School Mobile Clinic on one of its expeditions

UNIC is the coordinating institution of the “Migrant Information Centres”, a project aiming to design and establish four Migrant Information Centres in Cyprus. These will provide supportive services and information to migrants, in facilitating their active integration in the local society.

Further, under the scope of Erasmus+, UNIC is participating in the “Digital Tools for Inclusion of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants” project, which focuses on the current refugee crisis in Europe, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy. The project aims to provide refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with digital tools for education and training of new arrivals, so as to improve their basic skills and key competences for be er inclusion to the EU society on the basis of transnational cooperation.