Today, the 6th of May 2021 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Home for Cooperation.
It has been a decade since this unique community centre located in-between the dividing lines in Cyprus, opened its doors; a decade filled with innumerable friendships and memories; a decade dedicated to challenging all physical and mental barriers between the communities of Cyprus; a decade of supporting a vast number of artists, academics, students, NGOs, and initiatives which brought the communities of Cyprus closer together.
The Home for Cooperation was established in 2011 by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) as an educational and research centre. Through the years, the Home transformed organically into an intercommunal community centre, with its own multicommunal team. Today, the Home is a hub welcoming all communities of the island in the buffer zone, while at the same time running artistic and cultural programs contributing to the peacebuilding efforts on the ground.
The Home for Cooperation is committed to working towards positive peace for Cyprus and its people, built upon the values of diversity, respect, and human dignity. As such, it is not enough to measure the impact of our work quantitatively. Numbers of participants, and visitors, of partnerships and collaborations must also be seen in combination with the thousands of experiences and new memories people shared, and the hundreds of lasting personal relationships established due to the Home’s existence.
For us at the Home for Cooperation, the true meaning and reward lies behind the decision of countless people to visit the ‘other side’ of the divide for the first time to attend an event organized by the Home for Cooperation; behind the stories of people who started new initiatives together with the support of the Home for Cooperation; and behind the stories of people who fell in love and could only meet at the Home for Cooperation because of the limitations in crossings based on their origins and many more.
As we reach the 10-year milestone, we restate our determination to continue working tirelessly towards reconciliation and towards cultivating a sustainable peace for the people of Cyprus, freed from the traumas and stigmas of the past. And while we take this moment to take pride in all that has been achieved, we cannot celebrate as we would have planned as the crossing points’ closure keeps many of our friends and family away.
In the past decade, the Home for Cooperation has created a microcosm which reflects what the future of Cyprus could look like. It has shown that the people of Cyprus can overcome the barriers in their minds and hearts, work together and learn to live together once again.
This proof is 10 years old today and we are looking forward to celebrating our 10-year anniversary together with the Home for Cooperation family and friends, as soon as the restrictions on the crossing points are lifted.
Lastly, we would like to thank everyone starting with our founding organization AHDR, our Governing Board and our past and existing staff who created and sustained the Home for Cooperation till this day. We appreciate the ongoing support of the EEA and Norway Grants, and the Active Citizens Fund, our local and international partners, the diplomatic community in Cyprus, and of course the local community whose support and contributions are vital for the existence of the Home for Cooperation.