6, Diogenous Str, 2404 Engomi, Nicosia
P.O. Box: 22006, 1516 Nicosia-Cyprus
DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES
Τhe Occupational Therapy Program of the European University of Cyprus launched a pioneering program for refugees and asylum-seekers aiming at facilitating their integration in the local society. Following extensive consultations with the UNHCR office in Cyprus, the four-month program started in February 2019 as part of the clinical practice program of the University’s occupational therapy degree. It is implemented with the support of the UNHCR, the Social Welfare Services, the Cyprus Refugee Council, the Kofinou Reception Center and the Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation.
Occupational Therapy is a profession aiming at helping individuals to regain the ability that they lost, namely to engage in daily routine activities. When applied to refugees, the overarching objective is to help them overcome their trauma, develop their potential and rebuild their lives. The program consists of group and individual interventions implemented by students under the guidance of their clinical supervisors; and aims at enhancing the refugee-participants’ ability to participate in everyday activities by taking into account the challenges they face in adapting and integrating into the social, cultural and economic fabric of the host community.
The program has rolled out at four separate places in an effort to reach out and address the needs of different groups of the refugee community. At Kofinou Reception Center adults are encouraged to engage in groups with activities of their interest while children can take part in art and play groups to help them to acknowledge, manage and express their feelings, and strengthen their psycho-social skills.