Cyprus, located in the eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, north of Egypt and west of Syria, has been divided by a patrolled UN buffer zone since 1974, with Turkish-speaking Muslims on the north and Greek-speaking Christians on the south. The Cyprus Friendship Program (CFP) brings together teenagers from both Cypriot communities to promote peaceful interaction and understanding between the two groups. CFP is a year-long peace-building and leadership training program in Cyprus, with a four week cultural exchange component in the United States in the summer. By developing cross-cultural friendships, the teens build mutual respect for each other, breaking down the historical stereotypes and mistrust that exist. Upon return to Cyprus, the teens are in a position to share the message with family and friends of their own communities that Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking Cypriots can live together peacefully. Indeed, many of the students who have participated in the program are doing just that – working together for peace.
“We are tomorrow’s adults, and we’re seeking support from the whole world.” Idil speaking at the House of Commons, London with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (from the video from The Elders.org, which can be viewed at “The future is in our hands”).
CFP Teens to Attend 2016 European Youth Parliament
For the third year in a row, CFP has been invited to provide a delegation of teens to the European Youth Parliament in Strasbourg. This year our delegation will consist of 24 teens and 3 chaperones, the equivalent delegation of a Cypriot school. The Youth Parliament will be held on the 28th of October.
2016 CFP Teen Applications Reach All Time High
The Cypriot Coordinators have reported that over 200 teen applications have been received for the 2016 CFP program compared with 160+ for the last two years. Interviews Day is Saturday, March 5.
New Host Area in U.S. – San Francisco, California
San Francisco, CA will be a new hosting area in the United States this year under the leadership of Area Coordinator, Becky Stirn. Anyone wishing to help in the South Bay area should contact Becky at BeckyS@cyprusfriendship.org .
CFP Gains Access to Public Schools in southern Cyprus
To read the entire Cyprus Mail article, please click HERE.
CFP Teens Participate in UNYSA Model UNs
The United Nations Youth and Student Association of Cyprus will send 18 delegates to participate at the 62nd Harvard National Model United Nations in Boston, Massachusetts to take place from the 11th to the 14th of February 2016. To read the entire article, please click HERE.