It is our intention to return to our traditional USA residential programming for 2022. We recognize the Pandemic is still creating travel and health challenges. All our teens, hosts and CFP volunteers will be or are already vaccinated in order to participate in the program. We intend to follow all CDC guidelines. In addition, we will work with our travel agent who monitors the USA State Department website for current travel warnings as well as COVID requirements traveling to and from the USA such as testing prior to departure and any quarantine guidelines. We are cautiously optimistic that we can run our program in our traditional format but we will be flexible and fluid during the spring of 2022 to assure we can travel safely along with keeping all involved comfortable and healthy during the program. We will make decisions as needed and keep all parties informed. Safety is our primary concern as we continue to navigate the upcoming months. Our team will keep all teens, parents and host families informed via updates on our www.friendships4peace.org website.
YEAR 2 USA RESIDENCY – SPECIAL ELIGIBILITY APPLICANT STATEMENT
Teens that participated in CFP during 2020 and 2021 that attended Year 1 camp and/or Year 2 virtual programs are eligible to apply in 2022 for the USA Residency program. The option to apply for this group of teens is open even if you are a senior OR one year post high school. This is a special consideration due to the COVID pandemic which prevented us from having our traditional Year 2 USA Residency program in 2020 and 2021.
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 two year peace-building and leadership training program in Cyprus, with a four week 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.
The Cyprus Friendship Programme is the volunteer organization in Cyprus that works with the CFP teens throughout the year. The CFP Cypriot Coordinators provide the ongoing leadership and peace-building training. They work tirelessly, providing the CFP teens opportunities to promote peace through bi-communal activities, media broadcasts and group presentations to various audiences on both sides of the divide.
The efforts in Cyprus have broadened to include the creation of the CFP Parents and Friends Association, an organization of parents, friends and extended families of CFP teens that aides in fund-raising and in the development of bi-communal events for adults. A CFP Alumni Association works with the Parents and Friends Association as well. The relationships formed through CFP continue through the years and the CFP family has grown exponentially since its founding in 2009.