EU grants funds to build youth centre in Kyrenia

SOS Children’s Village is preparing to launch a new EU-funded project targeting young people at social risk in the Kyrenia area.

The grant contract for the “Kyrenia Youth & Resource Centre” (GİGEM) Project was signed at the European Union Project Support Office (EUPSO) in Nicosia, on 10th October 2016.

The GİGEM Project, which aims to improve the employability and self-employment of young individuals at risk in the Kyrenia district, will receive 90% of its funding by the European Union, under the Innovation and Change in Education VI programme.

The total cost of the project will be €221,571, of which approximately €199,413 will be funded by the European Union for 28 months.

As well as offering services open to the public, the project aims to serve 150 young people (aged 16-26) at social risk, by providing education, training and employment opportunities.

Based on the needs of the young people, GİGEM will provide career guidance services, psycho-social support, education aimed at developing life skills, vocational training courses, internship and on-the-job training opportunities.

The centre will provide a range of services in collaboration with the North Cyprus Young Businessmen Association (GİAD), the Labour and Social Security authority, the Social Welfare department, the Kyrenia, Alsancak and Çatalköy municipalities, the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry (KTSO), the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), and SOS Kinderdorf International, to provide young people with new skillsets and encourage them to enter the labour force.

In her statement, SOS Children’s Village National Director Refika İnce said:

“Unfortunately, young people in the north of the island have few amenities available to spend their free time in a high quality and productive way,” she said.

“Due to the high membership fees of some existing centres, some young people are not encouraged to take part. This centre aims to provide young people with opportunities to create their own discussion groups, as well as create and participate in activities that will help their development.

“Young people will form the shape of the activities and will have input in their implementation.  Thus, by creating a space in which they feel they belong, they will be able to use the space effectively,” added Ms İnce.

The construction of the building, which is located next to the SOS Youth Home, is expected to finish by November 2016, and a launch event is planned for January 2017.

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