Last Sunday, Youth Activism was again the conduit for a hotbed of activity, with a one-day conference organised by Youth Power network member KAYAD, and a bus trip to the villages of Catoz and Komikebir (the latter now known as Büyükkonuk) put together by Youth Power network member HASDER.
The United Cyprus 20/20 conference – a reference to Cypriot youth’s perfect vision of a united island by the year 2020 – was held at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia’s buffer zone.
The event brought together about 16 young people (in their teens to early twenties) from both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, with a line-up of peace-oriented activities from morning until mid-afternoon.
Firstly, a brainstorming session allowed for an idea exchange in which all participants shared perspectives on their expectations of a shared future on the island.
Topics ranged from advocating for “bilingual education and a common media, to approaches to immigration and demilitarisation”, said Youth Power’s Katerina Antoniou.
Thereafter, three groups were formed, each with a separate objective: to create a peace-themed video, to design two peace-oriented posters and to draft a peace declaration based upon and integrating the viewpoints aired in the earlier brainstorming session.
The Peace Exchange will be bringing you more on the official release of the video, the posters and the peace declaration in later posts, so watch this space!
Meanwhile on the same day, about 40 teens met up at the Ledra Palace crossing point and headed off by bus to one of the loveliest parts of the island, the Karpaz peninsula.
At Komikebir/Büyükkonuk, an eco-village of about 800 residents, there was a chance for the young visitors to see traditional olive mills in use, as well as view the time-honoured ways of bread-baking and making macaroni by hand.
The trip was part of the ‘Hope Chest’ workshops, organised both by HASDER and Soma Akriton, which aim to familiarise youth from Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities with the common traditional culture of Cyprus.
A trip to the lace-making village of Lefkara and a Henna night are next up in the Hope Chest series and, rest assured, the Peace Exchange will be bringing you the details very shortly.
Till soon then, and… see you in the next post!