Establishment and Legal Status
The Youth Board of Cyprus (YBC) was established by virtue of Law 33(1)/94, unanimously enacted by the House of Representatives in April 1994. The Youth Board of Cyprus is a legal entity of public law (Semi-Governmental organization) independent of the civil service, with its own structure and staff, mainly composed of permanent staff and associates employed on a contract basis. Its seven-member Governing Board consists of 4 representatives from the youth organizations of political parties which have a parliamentary team in the House of Representatives. The other three members are appointed directly by the Council of Ministers. The Minister of Education and Culture acts as the liaison between the Youth Board of Cyprus and the Council of Ministers. Within the frame of its advisory role, the Youth Board submits proposals and suggestions on youth related issues to the Council of Ministers through the Minister of Education and Culture.
The Board’s budget is covered by State subsidy.
The Youth Board of Cyprus aims at fulfilling the following goals:
- Securing progress and prosperity for all young people in Cyprus, irrespectively of their religious or ethnic origin,
- Providing all young people and youth organizations with the chance to participate and resume responsibilities for the social, economic and cultural welfare and progress of their community and of Cyprus in general,
- Creative occupation and entertainment of young people in Cyprus,
- Seeking immediate solutions to problems faced by young people nowadays
In order to fulfill the above – mentioned goals the Youth Board of Cyprus is divided in the following 5 Sectors:
- Prevention & Counseling Services Sector
- U “Erasmus+” Funding Program (Youth Chapter)
- Youth Infrastructure Projects Sector
- “Youth Initiatives” & International Affairs Sector
- General Issues Sector
Each sector develops and carries out a variety of Programmes whose common aim is the well-being of young people. All Youth Board Programmes take into account and encompass the following general topics:
- Evaluation of youth policy
- Youth information
- Positive lifestyle
- Prevention & Counseling for promotion of psychological health
International and European Affairs
The Youth Board of Cyprus (YBC) is active at both International and European level for the promotion of youth policy issues. Specifically, YBC participates in:
- Youth Working Party of the Council of the EU, which meets regularly, (usually 4 to 6 times per Presidency semester). In cooperation with the Member – States of the European Union, the Youth Working Party, prepares, processes and forms youth policy documents to be adopted by the Council of Ministers.
- Experts groups which deal with youth issues.
- The Council of Europe’s European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ), and the European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP)
On November 27, 2009, the Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) adopted the resolution on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the Youth field (2010-2018). The guiding principle of European cooperation is safeguarding the right of young people to participate in the development of policies that affect them through a structured dialogue with young people and their organizations. In this context, each Member – State of the EU has established a National Working Group that through open and structured dialogue will seek to diagnose the major problems facing young people today and to formulate ideas and proposals for solving them. The central aim of this initiative is to achieve the largest possible participation of young people in open dialogue, or through the organizations and bodies involved or through independent contributions.
The National Working Group, which is responsible for coordinating and organizing the structured dialogue, consists of the following:
– Cyprus Youth Council
– Constantinos Stylianou, Youth Board of Cyprus
– Marios Epaminondas, Ministry of Education and Culture
– Evangelia Mechanikou, National Agency of the “Youth in Action” Programme
Within the framework of the Structured Dialogue, the Cyprus Youth Council, in coordination with the National Working Group, organizes a series of public consultations in all major cities of the Republic of Cyprus as well as in rural areas. Also, in an effort to include Turkish Cypriots in the Structured Dialogue process, public consultations are organized in a venue on the Buffer zone. Moreover, in order to achieve greater outreach, on line questionnaires are created and relevant publications are posted in social media and by Eurodesk.
Other International Activities
Regarding international relations, the Youth Board has enacted the following:
Bilateral Agreements: The Youth Board of Cyprus has signed bilateral protocols with corresponding state agencies, which are responsible for youth issues with the aim of strengthening their cooperation as well as exchanging good practices on youth issues.
Bilateral Protocols of Cooperation: Bilateral Protocols of Cooperation have been signed with Greece, Spain and Cuba.
Commonwealth “Youth” Program: The Youth Board of Cyprus participates in the Commonwealth “Youth” Program and submits an annual subscription of €13.668.
Erasmus+ is the new European Program for Education Training, Youth and Sports. This new Program, which will run from 2014 – 2020, has replaced the current Lifelong Learning Program, the Youth in Action and other international programs, such as Erasmus Mundus and Tempus. Erasmus+ co finances activities carried out in the fields of Education, Training, Youth and Sports. According to the decision of the Council of Ministers dated 23/01/2014, the Youth Board of Cyprus will remain the National Agency for the management of the Youth chapter under the Program Erasmus +.
Erasmus+ is open to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It also provides funding for partnerships between educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in Member States to modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability. Moreover, Erasmus+ contributes to developing the European dimension in sport by helping to address cross-border threats such as match fixing and doping, and supports transnational projects involving organisations in grassroots sport, thus, promoting good governance, social inclusion, dual careers and physical activity for all ages.
The program consists of the following 3 Key Actions:
- Learning mobility opportunities of individuals in the fields of education, training and youth. In the field of youth, a mobility project can comprise youth exchanges, European Voluntary Service and Youth worker’s training and networking.
- Cooperation for Innovation and the exchange of good practices between different types of organizations involved in education, training and youth.
- Support for policy reform promotes dialogue between young people and policy makers in the field of youth through international or national meetings, which are based on the principle or the thematic priority of the Structured Dialogue.
Youth Card under 26 and EURO under 26 Student
The Youth Card Euro under 26 is a pan-European institution which operates in almost every European country and is supported by the Council of Europe. It is a discount card for young people aged 13 to 26 and provides discounts for hundreds of products and services in Cyprus and in 42 other European countries.
The aim of the card is to provide for the welfare of young people, their social, cultural and intellectual development as well as the encouragement of mobility. The Youth Card Euro under 26 can be acquired at a cost of only €10 annually.
Euro under 26 Student, which is now affiliated to the Youth Card Euro under 26, is issued free of charge by the Youth Board of Cyprus in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture for all students attending accredited courses of study, both in Cyprus and abroad.
“Youth Initiatives” Project and Research
The “Youth Initiatives” Project offers young people the chance for mobility and active participation in the cultural, political and social life in Cyprus. It aims at contributing to the creation of ‘active citizens’. These activities aim at achieving and maintaining a balance between personal development and collective activities in every sector of society, particularly those concerning young people.
It is the Youth Board’s firm belief that the best way to derive conclusions about the challenges that young people are facing, is through scientific research. For this reason, the Youth Board has conducted numerous research studies on youth related issues, such as leisure time, education, juvenile delinquency, living conditions and problems in daily lives, health, military service, employment and unemployment to name a few.
Youth Multicenters: for the moment, there are 3 Youth Multicenters in Cyprus: in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos. Children and young people aged 6-35 participate in the Youth Multicenters’ workshops/activities, passing creatively their leisure time. The workshops of the Youth Multicenters are free of charge and are given by professional Instructors. The aim of the workshops is to cover various fields of interest of young people, such as Music, Dance, Theatre, Gymnastics, Art, Computers and others. The Youth Multicenters’ halls have the necessary equipment and are often given to youth NGOs for their own activities (e.g. press conferences, seminars, exhibitions etc). Summer Schools for primary school children also operate at the Youth Multicenters during the summer. Participation is at a low cost. These Schools include various entertainment activities, such as workshops, excursions, visits, games etc and about 250 children take part in them every summer. It is estimated that the total number of participants in this school year’s workshops in all Multicenters will be around 2500 people.
Toy-Libraries: The Toy-library is a facility that includes carefully selected toys and functions like a library. Children aged 4 – 12 years old, as well as children/adolescents with special needs can spend their time creatively by playing either alone or in groups, with the participation of specialists and their parents.
Eurodesk is a European programme co financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus+, and operates in 33 other countries, as well. Its main goal is the provision of access, to young people and youth workers, to information on European policies and opportunities. It connects young people with high quality information, concerning: work, studies, mobility, volunteerism, subsidies, exchanges and non-formal education, for free. The information is direct, up to date, accurate and tailored to their needs.
Eurodesk is also supporting the European Youth Portal of the European Commission. The portal provides information and details of opportunities across all eight themes of the EU Youth Strategy. It contains feature articles, news items and events, with information at a European level and for all 33 countries that are part of the Erasmus+ Programme. The site is also multi-lingual, with content available in the chosen national languages of the countries, plus English where relevant.
Youth Information Centres: The Youth Information Centres operate on European standards and provide young people with general information and counselling services on issues that interest them. The information is provided in both printed and electronic form by the personnel of these Centres, through activities and by offering free access to the internet. Information on European policies and opportunities across Europe is also offered as the Youth Information Centres are the local multipliers of EURODESK, as well. At the same time, the following counselling services are provided: Career Guidance, Legal Advice and Psychological Support. Information Centres can be found in Nicosia, Larnaka, Kato Polemidia, Agros and Pafos.
Youth Hostel: The Youth Hostel in Nicosia is housed at a restored building in the Old Town of Nicosia. It can accommodate up to 20 persons, in 5 rooms of 4 beds each. All rooms have en suite toilets and showers. The Hostel features a 30 person conference room for use both by the Hostel’s residents and youth NGO’s. There is also an info-point, with free internet access and various information regarding Nicosia and Cyprus. Young people aged 18-35 can stay at the Hostel and the cost is €10 per night per person. There is 24hrs reception service either by our 4 Associates or by Security Services Company. The Hostel started its operation in late 2011. During 2012 the total number of people who stayed at the Hostel was 725 people, while during 2013 the number raised to 885.
Counseling & Prevention Section
“Mikri Arktos” Prevention Centres: “Mikri Arktos” Prevention Centres apply universal (primary) prevention programmes in the districts of Limassol, Nicosia and Larnaka. These programmes are applied to a variety of social groups, including young people, parents, teachers and members of the wider community. The main goal of the prevention programmes is the development of personal and social skills, the reinforcement of protective factors (personality, social skills and environmental and family factors) and the restriction of that factors that can lead to harmful or even offending behavior. All services are offered free of charge.
Communication Help Line 1410: The Help Line 1410 was introduced in 1991, while in 2008 it began to offer a wider range of services dealing with psychosocial matters. The Communication Help Line aims at providing support and information to callers on methods of prevention and on how to cope with harmful behaviour, as well as referring them to other relevant services and agencies. 1410 consists of specialized professionals who maintain secrecy and anonymity.
Counselling Services “Protasis”: The purpose of these services is to support and counsel young people, couples and families who encounter many forms of difficulties in their lives. These difficulties may concern relationships, stress, parenting, substance abuse, divorce, negative effect, decision making etc. The program has been in effect in the districts of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaka and Pafos and its offices are housed in the Youth Information Centres of Limassol and Larnaka, as well as in the Multifunctional Centers of Nicosia and Pafos. The program is staffed by Psychologists who offer their counseling services free of charge. Another service provided is “Counseling Groups” either for parents or adolescents. Two types of parents group are provided: the first addresses the issues raised by parents who are concerned by their children’s and youngsters’ misbehavior and the second concerns parents whose children are facing any form of handicap, developmental abnormalities or learning disabilities (including Autism Spectrum Disorders). Adolescents groups are also of two types: the first is based on CBT techniques and negotiate the issue of anger management and the second is concerned with more brad issues and its main purpose is Life Skills training (skills selected according to age of members). Other groups include Support group for unemployed and Support Groups for divorced mothers.
Strengthening of Youth Entrepreneurship
The Youth Board actively supports the above program which is managed by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (Industrial Development Service). The program aims at the development, support and promotion of entrepreneurship of both young men and women, through funding and educational seminars, so that new and viable small to medium enterprises are created. Great emphasis is also placed on the exploitation of new technologies, the use of innovative methods for the production and promotion of products and services, the enhancement of entrepreneurship in the environment and, in general, on the promotion of modern business activities which aim at the creation of dynamic, evolving and competitive enterprises. Participation in the program is open to young men and women who are over 20 years old but under 40 at the date of submission of the proposal, are unemployed, currently employed or freelancers and have not practiced any kind of business activity for at least one year prior to the date of submission of the proposal.
Television Program “We Are Here”
The television program “We Are Here” is sponsored by the Youth Board and is broadcast by CyBC 1. The show is the only youth oriented program and is addressed to young people in an effort to inform, entertain and make them aware of youth related issues. The main purpose of the program is to announce the activities organized by the Youth Board and other youth organizations. The program focuses on many issues, such as studies, employment / unemployment, education, family relations, violence, crime, delinquency, road safety, drugs, new talents, young people in remote and / or rural areas, cultural events and many more.
Municipal and Community Youth Councils
The improvement and upgrading of the Municipal Youth Council institutions continued over the last few years. This took place through the exchange of views and regular procedures of the youth associations and other relevant agencies. The various events and activities organized (cultural, athletics, informative campaigns, etc) aim at the engagement, entertainment and involvement of youth in public affairs. The Youth Councils constitute a new form of continuous contact between the youth and the local authorities, which allows the identification of problems and interests of young people.
Youth Board of Cyprus
Postal Address: 07 Evgenias & Antoniou Theodotou str,
Telephone number: 22 402601
Fax number: 22 402700
Email Address: email@example.com