The Doves Olympic Movement, which is part of UNDP’s initiative, Action for Cooperation and Trust (ACT) in Cyprus, brought together 113 young people, aged 12 -16 from all communities across the island. The village of Agros was the venue for 9 days of sporting and educational activities, which enhanced multicultural interaction, global citizenship, communication and problem solving skills. Campers were able to play soccer, basketball, volleyball and learn martial arts, as well as engage in discussions on human rights, environmental awareness, technology, health and well-being and conflict management. According to one 15 year old camper “The future belongs to the teenagers, and the Olympic Doves Camp is an incredible step for future peace and cooperation in Cyprus. It has enabled the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to come together through sports and fun, and become friends, realizing that they have fewer differences to worry about and more things in common”.
The Doves Olympic Movement is one of a number of youth camps being run during this summer. Between 2 July and 9 July the Peace Centre ran a camp in Larnaca, bringing together 20 Cypriot teenagers aged 16-18 years, who learnt about peace education and conflict resolution. The camp was held in collaboration with WINPEACE (Women’s Initiative for Peace) and 20 young people from Greece and Turkey also participated. One participant said of the experience, “Only a few teenagers gain the privilege I had, to meet so many people in such a short period of time - people who share the same intellectual and emotional understanding, but who are also representatives of their different cultures.”
The Environmental Studies Centre held two separate camps in the village of Kritou Terra, in the beautiful area of Akamas region between 7-13 July and 16-22 July. Together the two camps attracted over 50 young Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, who explored together the opportunities for inter-communal cooperation on protecting Cyprus’s unique and rich environmental heritage. Leni, a trainer who participated in the camp said: “You could literally see people coming out of their shells and integrating into the wonderful Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot soup that just kept getting tastier and more aromatic, finding their own harmony in a peaceful and inspiring natural back drop”.
The 2006 Youth Camps Programme continues in August, with the European Voyage of Understanding, where 12 young Cypriots from both communities will spend 10 days as crew members on a square-rigged ship which will sail from Gibraltar to Minorca. The Frederick Institute of Technology will organise a three day camp called Camping, Fitness and Education (CAFE) in the Karpas area for 40 young Cypriots aged 18- 35, with the aim to promote mutual respect and tolerance among Cypriots through a ‘Healthy mind in a healthy body’.
The final Summer Camp, named “Together Anything is Possible”, will be organised in Kyrenia by the KAYAD Community Centre, between 21- 31 August and will focus on the spirit of community service. Over 25 young Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots aged 17-22 will be encouraged to build common future projects and foster volunteerism all around the island.
Most of the camps will have follow-up meetings throughout the year, in order to strengthen the relations between the participants and encourage the continuation of a healthy dialogue and a long lasting sharing of knowledge and experiences.
The support of this year’s Youth camps by Action for Cooperation and Trust is a continuation of last year’s very successful Youth Camp Programme, which brought together over 600 young Cypriots from all communities on the island, in eleven summer camps. Last year’s camps were supported by the Bi-Communal Development Programme (BDP), which was funded by the USAID and UNDP.
Young Cypriots using IT to build bridges
Νεαροί Κύπριοι κτίζουν γέφυρες επικοινωνίας για ένα κοινό μέλλον με την βοήθεια της τεχνολογίας
Genç Kıbrıslılar, köprüler kurmak için bilişim teknolojilerinden yararlanıyor
Fun activities for building cooperation and trust
Παιχνίδι και ομαδική προσπάθεια οικοδομούν μια γερή βάση για συνεργασία και εμπιστοσύνη
İşbirliği ve güven oluşturmak için yapılan eğlenceli faaliyetler
Participants worked together to design their own projects on human rights
Ομαδική εργασία για τον σχεδιασμό προγραμμάτων με θέμα τα ανθρώπινα δικαώματα
Katılımcılar, insan haklarıyla ilgili kendi projelerini hazırlarken hepbirlikte çalıştılar