Last Seminar: “AWARE” Campaign for Refugees and Migrants:Take a stand against racism!

With continuous information messages and with the aim of fighting xenophobia, AWARE” campaign completes the actions of the period 2019-2020.

The program, co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund, lasted 18 months and coincided with the intensification of migration flows in Cyprus and submission of asylum applications.

“AWARE” campaign has contributed to the state’s efforts to keep the public objectively informed and to raise awareness among the local community about the experiences, problems and difficulties faced by refugees and asylum seekers. The message of mutual respect and understanding also concerned other communities of third-country nationals (TCNs) living and working legally in Cyprus, such as economic migrants.

The increase of migration flows in Cyprus is linked to the substantial closure of all other corridors to Europe via the Balkans following the Turkey-EU agreement on migration in March 2016.

During the intense activities of the “AWARE” campaign, informative meetings and seminars were held where journalists, citizens and young people had the opportunity to ask questions and inquiries about the policy implemented in the EU and in Cyprus in particular. “AWARE” campaign has given refugee and migrant communities themselves the opportunity to speak directly to the host community about their problems and expectations. From this recording, “AWARE” campaign finds how important it is to support the services of the state and local government in the process of first reception, hosting and implementation of key integration policies such as education, housing, access to the labor market, familiarization with society and language, the rights and obligations of each person. Also, particularly valuable is the reinforcement of mutual respect through media and the avoidance of rhetoric that intensifies insecurity and xenophobia.

“AWARE” team will remain active in the field of information through its website and social media @cyprusaware.

More information: 22875561-3 | 99024901 | [email protected]


“AWARE” Campaign for Refugees and Immigrants:Knowledge and information to fight racism and support the integration process

“AWARE” Campaign for Refugees and Immigrants:

Knowledge and information to fight racism

and support the integration process

With continuous activities for 18 months, “AWARE” campaign has sent messages of solidarity to refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants living in Cyprus.

The campaign started in January 2019 and will be completed these days (end of June 2020). Among many interventions of “AWARE” campaign, the visits and the organization of informative seminars in dozens of schools throughout Cyprus (high schools and universities) stand out. More than 300 young people had the opportunity to talk to refugees and understand their experiences. The activities in the schools were carried out in collaboration with the teachers. “AWARE” team also provided continuous information about the lives of refugees in Cyprus through announcements and posts on social media @cyprusaware and on other media such as TV and radio.

At the same time, “AWARE” campaign organized in collaboration with other organizations, emblematic events and interactive discussions on the importance of the social integration of refugees and migrants. The events around the experiences of women refugees in collaboration with the Ombudsman Commissioner, the contribution of young people to the creation of a tolerant society in collaboration with other NGOs and the event for the role of journalists in the fight against racism stood out.

The message “AWARE” – raise the awareness about refugees, take a stand against racism was highlighted by the presence of refugee artists on the stage of the Youth Festival 2019, in collaboration with ONEK and live streaming broadcast on the occasion of World Refugee Day 2020.

The “AWARE” campaign also participated in the Road Festival 2019 in Faneromeni Square with Cyprus Refugee Council and the refugees and immigrants’ organizations.

“AWARE” campaign is co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.

More information: 22875561 | 99024901 | [email protected]


Press Release



With messages of solidarity to all refugees around the world, need to raise the fight against racism, but also with the respect of the host society of Cyprus, refugee artists presented their program on the occasion of World Refugee Day 2020 as part of the “AWARE” campaign.

The event took place on Thursday, June 18, in Nicosia, in the form of a live Streaming Cultural Event, due to the restrictive measures of the pandemic.

The event was welcomed by the Public Information Officer of UNHCR in Cyprus Emilia Strovolidou, stressing the great need to strengthen solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers, especially during the period of pandemic where their problems are exacerbated. She also said that many recognized refugees living in Cyprus and around the globe are at the forefront of dealing with the pandemic as they work in roles in key areas such as nurses, caregivers, teachers.

The cultural program included music, dance, songs, and poetry, such as modern rap music, traditional songs from Palestine and other refugee countries, dances and more. Some artists also sang Greek pop songs or their own adaptations in the Greek language.

Participants sent messages against racism, referred to racial discrimination that is taking place in the United States these days, talked about persecution in their countries of origin, and invited Cypriots to continue showing mutual respect and solidarity with refugees and migrants. They all spoke with words of appreciation and respect for Cypriot people, expressed their gratitude for the help offered to them and invited Cypriot citizens to get know them and not to exclude them from social life.

Participants were Jumana Al Shami, a Palestinian singer, Da Vini singer from Cameroon, Michael Nwandoh, Cameroonian poet, Saanu Douaya from Guinea, Ibrahim Kamara, Gambian musician, Tiasso Nicholas Weadeck, singer and dancer, Cameroon, and Irfan Manzoor Khakhar from Pakistan.

The event was presented by Rema Beshtawy, Palestinian from Syria

The “Aware” campaign is co-funded by the Asylum, Immigration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.

Photos are attached

For more information: AWARE 22875561 team | 99024901 |[email protected]

Opening remarks on the occasion of World Refugee Day by the Public Information Officer of the UNHCR in Cyprus.

Good evening everyone.

Thank you for organizing this special event on the occasion of the World Refugee Day. A day dedicated to the courage and resilience of millions of forcibly displaced people worldwide.

The numbers are overwhelming:  Nearly 80 million women, children, and men around the world have been forced from their homes as refugees or internally displaced people. Even more shocking: ten million of these people fled in the past year alone.

Today, 1 per cent of the humanity is displaced.

Behind these shocking numbers, there are people whose lives have been torn apart, leaving their homes, family, jobs and schools behind; for reasons beyond their control

In 2020, we mark World Refugee Day against a backdrop of dramatic social change. Not only have record numbers of people fled their homes to find safety – but the entire world is struggling with the devastation of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This global health crisis is evolving into an economic crisis, and in turn, has exposed raw social inequalities in our societies.

Racial discrimination and related intolerance are common causes of flight, which unfortunately do not end after flight; but can threaten the protection of asylum-seekers and refugees at all stages of the displacement cycles. More needs to be done in the fight against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.

These are challenging times. Yet, we have seen how the pandemic and the protests have created a connectedness that transcends borders. We have seen how ordinary people have become heroes by stepping up to make a difference. And refugees are contributing on the frontlines of the pandemic, despite living in extremely vulnerable conditions.

From camps in Bangladesh to hospitals in Europe, refugees are working as nurses, doctors, scientists, teachers and in other essential roles, protecting themselves and giving back to the communities that host them.

In Cyprus, refugees have been working together with humanitarian workers in helping the needy of any nationality or religion; informing their communities on how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19; sewing masks to donate to needy groups of the population,

In the time of COVID- 19, we have witnessed how everyone can make a difference and how every action counts.

In many refugee hosting countries, the pandemic presented a crisis on top of a crisis, where conflict and persecution continued to uproot families who, at the very same time, needed to isolate. This has been a devastating task for countries that are already struggling to care for their own citizens. Almost overnight, ensuring hygiene, and building adequate shelter and isolation space became essential.

Over the years UNHCR has often found itself on the frontlines of emergencies, yet the challenges we face today are of an entirely different magnitude.

Our priority is to stay and deliver for the refugees, internally displaced and stateless people we are mandated to protect.

This World Refugee Day, UNHCR is appealing to everyone to continue this global movement of solidarity and action we witnessed last December at the Global Refugee Forum; so that refugees and host communities receive the support they need.

Dear friends

We will now have the pleasure to experience the music and cultural performances by asylum-seekers living amongst us. They’re poets and musicians who fled their countries seeking asylum from war and persecution; leaving everything behind, but their dreams and hopes. Tonight, they’re hoping to make their voices heard; and remind us that behind refugee numbers, there are individuals with talents and skills. Individuals- who if given the chance they can contribute and give back to their hosting communities, economically and culturally.

Let’s listen to them with open hearts and open minds.
Let’s stand in unity and solidarity with refugees and recognize our fundamental obligation to shelter those fleeing war and persecution.

PRESS RELEASE Live-Streaming event for World Refugee Day 2020 #WithRefugees #everyonecanmakeadifference

On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2020, “AWARE” campaign organizes a Multicultural Event with Refugees and Asylum seekers Artists.

The event will take place on Thursday, June 18th 18:30-19:30 and it will be broadcasted via “AWARE” facebook page .

The event will include cultural program by musicians, dancers and poets. Participants from Palestine, Cameroon, Gambia and Guinea, some of them with their traditional clothes, will send their messages against racism, xenophobia and the need for mutual respect between the hosting societies and refugees.

Those interested can only attend the event via live-streaming due to the restrictive measures for the pandemic.

Master of Ceremony: Rema Beshtawe, Palestinian from Syria

“AWARE” campaign is co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.

For more information: 22875561 | 99024901 | [email protected]

WEB – PRESS CONFERENCE “Meet refugees, listen to their voice”

on the occasion of the completion of the AWARE Campaign and the WRD 2020 “AWARE” CAMPAIGN TEAM invites you in a Web – Press Conference via ZOOM with Refugees and Asylum Seekers and with the participation of UNHCR Representative in Cyprus Katja Saha


Tuesday, 2 JUNE | 10.00 | DURATION 60 minutes

JOURNALISTS can participate by following this link

Meeting ID: 992 8687 4059

Password: pressaware


Join “Aware” team! Discuss with refugees and asylum seekers  all issues related to their living conditions, the difficulties during the COVID 19 pandemic, their expectations and their efforts to integrate (housing, education, jobs, health, discriminations etc)

Programme – Coordination by Kyriakos Pierides, Journalist, AWARE Campaign team

Introduction by Katja Saha, Representative of the UNHCR in Cyprus

Mr Mazen Beshtawy, a recognized refugee, Palestinian from Syria will address the current situation especially during the pandemic period.

Q&A by journalists and Refugees and Asylum Seekers:

Mr Sepehr Sarafraz – Iran, Mrs Badran Ahmed – Somalia, Mr Divine Michael Okenyi – Nigeria, Mrs Shiraz Ali – Iraq, Mrs Wedad Albanna – Gaza, Palestine, Mrs Ma Tabi Tambong Fedelia – Cameroon, Mrs Clara Dabbakh – Syria, Mrs Wafaa Alfares – Syria,  Mrs Nforlem Βihwimaurine – Cameroon, Mrs Ehsan Harmoush – Syria

Final remarks by UNHCR and AWARE team

For further information: AWARE team – Rema Beshtawy 99024901 | [email protected]


Anti-Racist Journalism and the fight against Hate Speech

The AWARE campaign with the partnership of Multipurpose Municipal Centre of Nicosia successfully lead an interactive workshop on ‘’anti-racist journalism and the fight against hate speech’’ on the 18th of December 2019 at the Multipurpose Municipal Centre of Nicosia.

Journalists, one of whom was an asylum seeker, conveyed their experience in covering the stories of refugees and asylum seekers in Cyprus. Journalists Costas Constantinou from ‘’Politis’’, Olga Constantinou and Maria Tsaggari – Alpha TV and the Iranian journalist Behzad Ahmadinia shared openly their professional experiences and discussed them with the young participants interested in anti-racist reporting.

Following the discussion, the young participants interviewed refugee and asylum seekers from Cameroon, Syria, Somalia and Palestine. They conducted investigative journalism around their living conditions, the difficulties they face in Cyprus, their dreams and aspirations in the society that welcomes them.

The workshop was accompanied by authentic Syrian food cooked by the family of one of the asylum seekers.

More information: ‘’AWARE’’ Team
Email: [email protected]
Phone number: 22875561-3 / 99024901

PRESS RELEASE Anti-racist journalism and the fight against hate speech

The AWARE campaign, in collaboration with the Multipurpose Municipal Centre of Nicosia, organizes an interactive workshop on “anti-racist journalism and the fight against hate speech”.

The event will take place on Wednesday 18 December 2019, on the International Immigrant Day, at 18. 00 pm at the Nicosia Multipurpose Municipal Centre, Nikiforou Foka 40, Nicosia 1016 (Famagusta Gate).

In the workshop, young participants will have the opportunity to meet journalists dealing with refugee and migrant issues. Journalists Costas Constantinou from ‘’Politis’’, Olga Constantinou and Maria Tsaggari – Alpha TV and the Iranian journalist Behzad Ahmadinia, will convey their experiences to the participants, from their experience in the coverage of events.

Then the young people themselves will interview refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants from Syria, Somalia, Cameroon, Palestine and Gambia. They will conduct investigative journalism around their living conditions, the difficulties they face in Cyprus, their dreams and aspirations in the society that welcomes them.

The young participants will be offered authentic food, prepared by a refugee family from Syria.

Registration (limited number of available places) και information:
AWARE group – [email protected] 2875561-3 | 99024901
Ηλεκτρονική εγγραφή

“AWARE” SEMINAR AT LEFKARA LYCEUM – Young people for a world without discrimination and prejudices

The “Aware” campaign team organized a seminar at Lefkara High School, aiming to provide a better understanding of the migration and refugee phenomenon as well as starting a dialogue with young people about combating xenophobia.

The seminar took place on Wednesday, November 6, in collaboration with the management of the Lyceum.

The “Aware” team organized first an informative presentation which was followed by an experiential workshop and different interactive applications on the Internet. The students participated actively in the seminar, raised questions and developed their thoughts on issues that relate to acceptance, empathy and practical support for the process of integrating refugees and migrants in school and society.

The team presented the global migratory flows and the increased flows of the last two years in Cyprus, the ways in which the asylum function operates and explained in further detail the reception and integration processes. Later they had the chance to observe a Greek language strengthening class aimed for children with an immigrant background, whom they had the chance to be acquainted with.

“Aware” information and awareness campaign is co-financed by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.

For more information regarding the seminars in Universities and for the campaign contact us at 22875561 or [email protected]

Photos attached

Press Release – NEW “AWARE” SEMINAR CYCLE IN UNIVERSITIES Together with young people for a world without discrimination and prejudices.

While refugee crisis being one of the most important issues in public debate in
Cyprus and the rest of the E.U., ”AWARE” team launches another round of seminars in universities on the occasion of the start of the new academic year.

The campaign aims to inform and raise the awareness of young people about refugees and immigrants, the difficulties they face especially in the early stages of their arrival in Cyprus, as well as striving for smooth integration.

The” AWARE” team seeks to provide a better understanding of the contemporary
migration phenomenon in Cyprus and the need for effective management
of the increased flows of asylum seekers and the integration of refugees into the Cypriot society.

The “Aware” Campaign, which runs for 3 years, has been to over 50 schools and universities throughout Cyprus. It has managed to turn the slogan “Be Aware” into engaging students to take in real action against prejudice and racism against hundreds of young people.

During the seminars, the “Aware” team presents objective data, explains the framework of obligations and responsibilities of the host society of immigrants and refugees, opens the dialogue with young people and answers their questions.

Seminars at the universities, are specifically targeted related to the direction of each course in collaboration with academic staff.

The” AWARE” information and awareness campaign is co-funded by European
Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.

More information on seminars at Universities and about the Campaign at
22875561 or at [email protected] .