Promoting Peace and Wellness in Cyprus
project team visits Lefkosa Mayor
PeacePlayers International-Cyprus has been implementing its basketball for peace program for the last 8 years and has recently partnered with the Cyprus Turkish Diabetes Association who have been in operation since 1994 with the aim of improving health in Cyprus, to develop and implement a peacebuilding and healthier living project. The Promoting Peace and Wellness in Cyprus project which is being funded through the European Union’s Cypriot Civil Society in Action IV financial assistance program; combines the two organisation’s focuses, basketball and nutrition, under the one peacebuilding project.
On the 24th November 2014 an official launching event for the project will be held and as part of this process a visit to the Turkish Cypriot Nicosia Mayor Mr. Mehmet Harmanci was recently held by both the PeacePlayers International-Cyprus team and the Cyprus Turkish Diabetes Association team.
During the meeting, the team and Mayor discussed ways to strengthen cooperation with the Municipality and organising common activities under the framework of the project. Harmanci, who was invited to take part at the launch event, stated that he would be happy to cooperate and take part at an event of a project serving such purpose. Project Manager Jale Canlibalik Oyuncu who made a statement on behalf of the project emphasised that “basketball is a very effective instrument for Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot youth in promoting peace and decreasing the mutual prejudices of two communities”. She continued by stating that “with the healthy nutrition element of the project we aim at raising awareness of youth and parents and we believe that quality life is with no doubt a healthy life”.
The Promoting Peace and Wellness in Cyprus project will be implemented over a period of three years and has the main objective of breaking the prejudices between the divided communities, to develop the capacities of the youth to acquire skills such as trust, respect and team work by bringing the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot youth together to play basketball. The project also aims at raising the awareness of the participants and parents involved in the program by developing a healthy nutrition curriculum based on regular physical training.