The bi-communal basketball team PeacePlayers – Cyprus has partnered with PeacePlayers – Northern Ireland with the goal of brining to life a three-year project under the heading of – ‘Encouragement of Dialogue for Change: Advocacy for Peace by way of Empowerment of Youth’.
The project began on the 13th of June at the Home for Cooperation with the first time showing of the mini-documentary called – ‘We Are Friends’, which was financed by the European Union (EU) and was created with the support of the Grow Civic program.
Before the documentary was shown, which displayed the lives of two Turkish and Greek Cypriots who through the PeacePlayers program came together, and overcame obstacles and difficulties together and became friends and who became supporters for the unification of the island, Michael Docherty who is the European Unions’ Program Support Office Chief gave a talk.
Docherty who emphasized the reasons for support for this undertaking during the talk said that – “The thing that pulled us to this project, is not merely effort to bring the youth from both communities together or merely that it is a valuable goal within itself, it is also the fact that this projects youth, has aimed to gain the necessary ability, confidence and wherewithal to become active peace advocates.
Ali Muhtaroğlu who spoke as a representative to the PeacePlayers – Cyprus Board of Directors, underlined the programs commitment to peace and said – “If we take into consideration the past performance of the PPI – Cyprus and the determination of our teams and groups up until present day, there is no reason to doubt that the project will either reach most of its goals if not all. Undoubtably, this will not be the end. PPI – Cyprus will always aim for bigger and tougher goals and will continue to work with a project, game, and human principle. Until everyone comes outside and realizes that it is much more fun to work together for one aim together and that it is much more peaceful and beneficial”.
In the statement made, the project which aims to empower the youth in Cyprus and to contribute to them being included in the peace discourse the following was said – “it is expected that the capacity of the youth must improve – and to do this they must be presented the necessary information and wherewithal in order to improve their ability and confidence, for them to be better advocates for peace and change in the communities they are part of”.