Katerina Antoniou: Inspired by the Youth Power Small Grants Info Visits

The informational visits on the Youth Power Small Grants have begun, since the beginning of February, and each week we have at least two appointments taking place in different parts of Cyprus. It can get hectic, but what an amazing experience it is though! Every trip is a new exploration of the diverse Cypriot landscape and, especially, of Cyprus reflected in the face and ideas of its diverse people.

 

So far, Sezis, the Youth Power Project Manager, and I have been to Kyrenia, Famagusta and Pafos, and have talked with the youth group from Agros. We have also held face-to-face meetings with interested applicants in our offices, here in Nicosia. The visit to Famagusta and Kyrenia, has particularly stuck with me. It was in fact my very first time visiting these cities. It was amazing to discover areas of Cyprus that I had only heard or read about. The fact that we were there in the company of good friends, promoting a message of hope through bicommunal cooperation and youth activism, made my experience even more extraordinary.

 

I was delighted to see the surge of interest we were met with in each visit, and the wide variety of innovative ideas and initiatives which accompanied it! In many of our visits, we came across young people and youth organizations that had not been involved with bicommunal work before. We were overjoyed to see them energized by the opportunity to make a true difference in Cyprus by means of a creative vision!

 

I was surprised and thrilled to find out about the variety of different ways the people we met work, and how creative their ideas were, regarding possible activities to be funded by the Youth Power Small Grants! One such idea referred to music lessons arranged by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youth, for the benefit of Turkish children, who have been facing both educational and societal challenges, as well as segregation from contact with both the Turkish Cypriot and, especially, the Greek Cypriot youth. I thought it was quite a controversial, but also ground-breaking initiative that directly addresses everyday issues experienced by the youth in Cyprus. An analogous initiative was also suggested by a Turkish Cypriot youth organization regarding the enclave of Greek Cypriot youth in Karpasia/Karpaz, which would aim to give them access to a larger number of youth-oriented activities and to peers with similar interests.

 

I look forward to seeing what other ideas will be coming our way until March 15th!

 

Katerina Antoniou,

Associate Project Manager

 

To see more pictures from our visits please click here!

For more information please feel free to contact us!