This summer, a committee of 11 CFP alumni from Cypriot, Israeli and Palestinian communities and 3 American teens created CFP’s very first alumni survey, studied its results and offered specific recommendations to CFP. The purpose of this summer-long effort was to evaluate two strategic opportunities:
- Expanding CFP’s alumni programs to broaden and deepen CFP relationships, collectively strengthening alumni voices for peace;
- Potentially extending the role of American teens in host families to reinforce the relationships between their pairs during and after their homestays and to explore more direct involvement by these American teens in the peacebuilding process.
The survey was distributed to Cypriot, Israeli and Palestinian alumni through CFP’s newsletter, Facebook page and individual communications by members of the Survey Committee and by American host families. 155 alumni responded to the survey, representing every year of the program.
Survey respondents express very strong interest in remaining connected with other CFP alumni and their host families:
- 97.4% of respondents report wanting to stay connected with their fellow alumni. Of the 2018 and 2019 participants who actively engaged with teens from a different CFP area conflict (Israel/Palestine vs. Cyprus), there was high interest in continuing those international relationships as well.
- 86.4% of respondents state they have stayed in touch with alumni from their side of the conflict in their homeland, and 76.9% report having stayed in touch with alumni from the other side
- 73.4% of respondents indicate they stay connected with their American host families.
- 52.3% of respondents indicate their parents stay in touch with other parents of the CFP community, and 44.1% of respondents state that their parents stay connected to the parents of their pair.
The alumni respondents indicate that CFP has positively influenced attitudes within their families: As a result of this committee’s efforts, CFP will more actively encourage the expansion of the Alumni Association and the scheduling of regular alumni activities in Cyprus and in Israeli-Palestinian communities. An Alumni Relations Team is being formed, and CFP’s use of social media will be expanded to facilitate alumni communications and connections. Anyone wishing to join the Alumni Relations Team should contact Becky Stirn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regarding expanding the role of American teens, alumni respondents expressed sufficient support for this strategic opportunity that it is currently being explored by the CFP Coordinating Team.
CFP again thanks the 2020 Alumni Survey Team members: Alexis Eskenazi, Sari Abu Ahmad, Hilmi Arica, Mia Bernstein, Meltsia Economou, Peter Headington, Selinay Hurse, Aroub Jaber, Ilay Lazmau, Diyar Othman, Athina Stavrou, Mike Tellalis, Ilayda Tuccaroglu, and Bar Tuchman.