Peace Exchange likes nothing better than a great party, especially when it involves bringing people together for a good time while engaging in peacebuilding.
This week, Peace it Together partner Youth Power threw a great bash at the Home for Cooperation, full of music, treats, surprises and important announcements – including the inauguration of a peacebuilding grant (more on that below).
Phaedon Zacharoudes, a dynamic member of the Youth Power team, shares the highlights, so please read on!
“The Home for Cooperation across the Ledra Palace Hotel, was a thrilling place to be on Monday night, as scores of people from all over Cyprus came to participate in the Youth Power Party.
“The event was hosted by Youth Power, a network of 12 diverse, Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot organisations that promote youth activism, whose mission is to inspire, energise and strengthen the island’s youth in their efforts to shape a peaceful and sustainable future, for a multicultural Cyprus.
“Youth activists, peace workers and lively people of all ages got together to celebrate peace and the new chapter for Youth Power.
“Youth Power embodies the second phase of the Youth Activism Project, which has been engaging young people in peacebuilding since 2009.
“Although the work, mission and objectives remain the same as before, the network’s new name and image marks the start of a renewed activist spirit and the launching of new projects.
“Our main new enterprise is called the Youth Power Small Grants, information on which was first shared at our party.
“The Small Grants are meant to help both organisations and independent groups gain financial support for their own peacebuilding initiatives.
“In line with Youth Power’s objectives, funding will be provided to applicants to:
- Inspire, empower and energize young Cypriots to work towards achieving their vision of a peaceful, sustainable and multicultural Cyprus
- Provide a powerful platform for young people to voice their needs and concerns regarding the future of Cyprus
- Encourage, support and promote communication, activities and relationships that engage, empower and motivate young Cypriots to be active citizens
- Create intercultural bridges through joint activities, whose aim is to get the youth of Cyprus involved in common issues such as peacebuilding, the environment and human rights
- Facilitate relationships and networking between young members of the different communities of Cyprus
- Put the issues concerning youth in the agendas of decision-makers in Cyprus and overseas through campaigning, lobbying and advocacy
“Those eligible for the Grants include:
- Civil Society Organisations based in Cyprus
- Individuals or groups of individuals who are interested in the promotion of youth-related initiatives in Cyprus
- Ad-hoc, non-formal, school groups or other small/isolated organisations. These groups are a particular target group for the network’s outreach, as they are likely to have had minimal or zero contact with bi-communal activities in the past
“You can find more information about the Grants and how to apply here.
“But back to Monday’s party! The evening unfolded merrily with snacks and drinks to the sounds of live guitar and violin.
“Meanwhile, there were plenty of gifts for every guest, a treasure hunt for a Kindle Fire tablet and, most importantly, the handing out of awards to the independent group of Youth Leaders and Cultural Activists, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to peace activism – organising the vibrant One StreetS festival which reclaimed specific streets in Morphou, Limassol and Nicosia.
“Youth Power Project Manager Seziş Thompson was really excited about the amazing turnout at the party!
“She said: ‘We could feel everyone was intrigued and excited about the new phase of our work and we will make sure Youth Power keeps supporting young people’s efforts towards peace.’
“For her part, Associate Project Manager, Katerina Antoniou, stressed: ‘It is amazing to feel the support of young people, and now we believe even more that they are the ones able to bring about a significant change in Cyprus, through their powerful contribution to peace.
‘Our goal remains, always, to stand by them.’
“Having had such a great time on Monday night, and on behalf of our team at Youth Power, I’d like to thank all the participants for making the party a truly unique and special occasion.
“For more information on the network’s activities, please visit: www.youthpowercyprus.org.”
Peace Exchange thanks Phaedon for bringing us the highlights of the Youth Power party, and looks forward to many more such posts on the range of peacebuilding efforts in the PiT network.
That’s all for this time, but we’ll be back again with more good stuff soon.
Until then, stay warm and dry and… see you in the next post!