CFP in Cyprus

2021 Cyprus Program

Amazingly, 36 Cypriot teens participated throughout July in CFP’s US Program at the Goethe Institut in the Buffer Zone. With daily Covid testing and required masks, teens gathered for three-hour in-person workshops and seminars, with guest speakers from many disciplines ranging from nationally and internationally renowned scholars, journalists, peace and human rights activists. 

By exploring their common heritage and mutual grounds for a future of peace, CFP’s Turkish-speaking and Greek-speaking high school students immersed themselves in an energetic, thought-provoking exploration of bi-communal history and understanding. Despite the spike in Covid cases that resulted in the decision to switch to online rather than in-person sessions for the final week, the teens demonstrated remarkable resilience by continuing their level of engagement with the same depth of commitment and enthusiasm on Zoom as they had at the in-person sessions. 

In the last session, CFP alumni from both our Cyprus and Israel and Palestine programs described the far-reaching lessons and life-long impact of their bi-communal teen friendships in their own lives and those of others in their communities. 

All participants were unanimous in their conviction that CFP had provided a firm foundation for cultivating peace across cultural and political boundaries. They expressed gratitude for the opportunity to nurture these friendships, regarding them as essential for their identity not only as Cypriots but, vitally, as world citizens committed to peace. 

When asked for a one-word response to their experience, here’s how they responded:

Hope, Progress, Touched, Friendships, Bridges, Connection, New Perspective, Bonds, Love, Solidarity, Unification, Comfort, Harmony, CompassionThankful, Impressive, Interwoven, Freedom, Forgiveness, Serenity, Family, Empathy, Home, Sympathy, Collaboration, Cooperation, Connection, Future, Peace, Joy, Faith, Tomorrow

Betsy Small
Cyprus Program Coordinator