Queer Cyprus Association: “Helix Project” has been launched.
The launch event of the Helix Project funded by the European Union under the Cypriot Civil Society in Action VIII Grant Scheme and implemented by the Queer Cyprus Association (QCA) took place on June 21st 2023 at Grön Vegan Yard, Nicosia.
Building up on the previous EU-funded projects implemented by QCA, the Helix Project aims to contribute to better protection of the human rights of LGBTIQ+s in the northern part of Cyprus. The project will follow a process that will increase the resilience of the LGBTIQ+ community in general, and particularly Queer Cyprus Association and its activists. The project, which commenced on March 15th, 2023, will last for a duration of 30 months.
The event started with the opening speeches of the Project Coordinator Reşat Şaban, the Project Assistant and Psychologist Yaren Müezzin, and European Union Program Support Office Civil Society Program Manager Mihai-Florin Stoleru. The speeches were followed by a cocktail party and live music.
In their speeches, the project team highlighted that “in 2007, a group of intellectuals founded the Initiative Against Homophobia to combat discrimination faced by LGBTIQ+s, and since 2012 the movement has been working as the Queer Cyprus Association.”
The project team expressed that, “Facing difficulties after difficulties in the journey to reach equality for all, the association continues its struggle against discrimination based on gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and gender identity.”
It was stated that the helix symbol that inspired the project represents a commitment to continuous improvement and growth, as well as the willingness to adapt and change in response to new challenges and opportunities, while emphasizing the importance of learning from past experiences, taking calculated risks and striving to reach new levels of competence.
In the statement made, it was underlined that through the Helix Project, Queer Cyprus aims to contribute to better protection of the human rights of LGBTIQ+s in the northern part of Cyprus. It was shared that with the project, a process will be followed to strive towards increasing the resilience of the LGBTIQ+ community in general, as well as Queer Cyprus Association and its activists.
The academic research that will be carried out aims to provide information about the impact of COVID-19 and the economic crisis that followed within the LGBTIQ+ communities. The activities that will be held within the scope of the Project will aim to promote the culture of psychological well-being in Queer Cyprus and the psychosocial and physical well-being of Queer Cyprus activists. The project will also operate to increase dialogue and solidarity among LGBTIQ+s along the Green Line.
Mihai-Florin Stoleru, Programme Manager with the European Commission, stated that the project will bring an important contribution in implementing in the Turkish Cypriot community the actions of the European Commission LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025 and it is also perfectly aligned with the provisions of the European Commission Communication on the Global EU response to COVID-19.