The US Program occurred throughout the month of July with either online or in-person workshops each Tuesday followed by dialogue and project sessions each Wednesday. Despite the lack of public bus service, a total of 11 teens participated, almost all of them in person, having been tested for the virus, wearing their masks and practicing social distancing. Utilizing the cloud for joint collaboration on two projects, the teens also discussed the following workshop topics:
- “History is written by the victors.” History often defines the present. How can a society be persuaded to pursue the future while honoring the past with dignity for all?”
- “Medical studies have shown that Cypriots share the same DNA. Who are you – Cypriot? Greek Cypriot? Turkish Cypriot? And what makes you that?”
- “As Cypriot teenagers, what can we do to help form the future of our island?”
We wish to thank Dr. Eleftherios Michael and Dr. Yiannis Laouris for facilitating very thoughtful workshops and Tamera Drozd and Betsy Small for conducting the dialogue and project sessions. None of this would have been possible without our Lead Coordinators Simge Kahvecioglu and Katia Solomides, who managed the necessary government requirements, attended every session and made all the arrangements with the Home for Cooperation.
The July and August Camps this summer were conducted totally online. “Under the consequences of the unexpected pandemic situation, we faced many difficulties and conflicts. However, we ignored all problems and continued to walk on ‘The Way to Peace’ with the same passion and ambition,” said Hilmi Arica on behalf of the entire Camp Coordinator Team. A total of 86 online campers participated in workshops on non-violent communication, conflict resolution and creating your own bi-communal project. As a result of the week, they developed their leadership, peace-building and team-building skills. They acquired new information about the history of the island and they listened to many inspiring friendship stories of Cypriots. They learned the meaning of peace culture and improved their awareness for universal human rights.