(Nicosia, 22/06/22) The launch event of the new project titled “Rainbow Project” funded by the European Union under the Cypriot Civil Society in Action VII grant program and implemented by the Queer Cyprus Association was held at Grön Vegan Yard on 22 June 2022.
“The project team, which has set out to investigate in depth the rights violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and more (LGBTI+) are exposed to in the fields of education and health, to offer solutions, and to carry out studies to facilitate LGBTI+’s access to equal rights, aims to carry out activities that include LGBTI+s in the fields of education and health in the northern part of Cyprus. The Rainbow Project started in April 2022 and will continue for 30 months.”
The event started with Project Coordinator Dr Aycan Garip’s and Community Building Officer Ömür Ray’s opening speeches and continued with the speech of Civil Society Programme Manager of the European Union Programme Support Office Emilie Crozet.
Garip and Ray started their speech by thanking everyone for participating and giving information on the efforts of Queer Cyprus Association, which started out as “Initiative Against Homophobia” fifteen years ago. They also gave information about the Queer Cyprus Association’s difficult struggle against discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity in the northern part of Cyprus. After giving information about the project’s aims over the next two and a half years, which include increasing LGBTI+ inclusiveness in the education and health sectors in the northern part of Cyprus and the access of LGBTI+s to the rights to health and education, Garip and Ray remarked on how the project activities will work towards strengthening and expanding the Association’s connections within and beyond local and international LGBTI+ organizations and communities. Garip and Ray ended their speeches by inviting participants and stakeholders to cooperate and join in on the efforts to achieve the project’s goals in the upcoming months of the project.
European Union Programme Support Office Civil Society Program Manager Emilie Crozet started her speech by celebrating QCA’s success over the years followed by their achievement to criminalise hate speech towards gender, gender identity and sexual orientation in March 2020. After giving an overview of the project’s focus on the health and education sectors in relation to LGBTI+ community members, Crozet mentioned the project’s third-party financing or sub-granting activities, under the Rainbow Fund, stating “I believe it is a very important component of the project both for the QCA as it will contribute to its small grant management capacity building, and for the activists and CSOs that will benefit from these small grants. This is also a natural and welcome transition from the key role the QCA has so far played as support and mentor to other activists and CSOs in the Turkish Cypriot community.”
The launch event continued with cocktails and live music.