Women’s Development Centre Cyprus (WDCC)
Empowering women=strengthening societies.
Aim: To create a powerful network that will provide continuous opportunities for the development of women of Cyprus. This network will help women discover and actualize their potential and promote their talents and skills through promoting a culture of Peace, Understanding and Appreciation of the “other”.
To this end, WDCC will organize a series of activities for the development of women and will build and expand an island-wide network that will support and empower women from the marginalized sectors in the wider social realm.
WDCC will be both an Institution and a physical space that will initially bring women from the 2 main communities together, Turkish and Greek Cypriots from different areas and backgrounds, (young and older women, women from rural and urban areas, housewives and professionals etc.) The Centre will start with women from the main 2 communities and will embrace all other communities as the project evolves. The goal is to establish an inclusive process open to all interested women irrespective of ethnic background.
The idea is to use the available Technology efficiently and effectively in order to connect women, create possibilities for communicating, and also promote and sell products they produce, or handicrafts they create, through a website. Besides communication and sales, the website will be a tool for training, lifelong learning, promoting entrepreneurship, networking with women in neighboring countries as well as with organizations and educational institutions doing work similar to ours. We can learn from best practices around the globe, we can also disseminate information about our work, allowing the invisible to become visible, the unheard to be heard, in aspiration to give the opportunity to the women of Cyprus to act and participate as global citizens; The ‘private to become public’.
In this project we want to be practical and effective. We can hold discussions on matters of common interest but the aim is to move ahead and create our own space in the social realm of Cyprus; to build social constructs interconnected with the various already existing ones, build alliances with the socio-political structures, exchange knowledge and experiences, develop entrepreneurial skills to help women professionals to develop further and help those who are not yet, to become professional.
Phase 1: Create a strong Network of women from the 2 main communities of Cyprus. Recruit members through media (press, social media, etc.), open calls, functions, festivals, contacts with individuals and organizations, visits to municipal and community authorities, etc.
Extend the call to expand the Network from all the communities of Cyprus, through an inclusive process that will enable women from all ethnic backgrounds to become members.
Phase 2: Institutionalize the idea of the WDCC as a registered NGO to enable it to function legally and within the framework of clarity and transparence.
Phase 3: To provide a physical home to the WDCC in Nicosia. Organize meetings and trainings for all the women of Cyprus, from all geographical areas. Trainings will include among others: language courses, (English, Turkish and Greek), Soft Skills (Management, Marketing, How to sell), Computer skills, Cooking lessons, Embroidery, Photography, Life Coaching courses to empower and support women to take on challenges to improve the quality of their life and to have an active role in their society. The space of the WDCC will include a space with access to computers (could also be used as an IT training room) and a small library with books, magazines and up to date literature and information relevant to women. Social issues are also an area to be explored, as awareness helps eliminate suppression and violence exercised on the more vulnerable sectors of the society. Research on these matters by young scholars will be encouraged and supported.
Phase 4: Creation of the website through which women will get to:
a) Know and learn about each other especially those women from distant areas, (ex from Pafos to Karpaz).
b) Advertise their products, (sweets, knitting, and handicrafts) as well as enhance their soft skills. Through the website, the members will advertise to the larger society and learn how to sell and expand their sales, (a remedy to unemployment).
c) Be motivated to engage in joint businesses. WDCC will provide advice on entrepreneurial schemes for women published in Cyprus and the EU.
d) Receive and give training to others on a variety of subjects (art, cooking, languages, life coaching, management skills etc.), on a small fee.
e) Improve their IT knowledge and skills.
Training can also be taking place in rural areas in community buildings, trade unions, coffee shops or even houses etc., to enable women to attend if they cannot drive to Nicosia and/or other main towns. It can help build inter-communal bonds and promote positive social transformation.