YOUTH ENCOUNTERS FOR PEACE (YEP)
Background of YEP
The Youth Encounters for Peace project started in July 1997. The main idea was to bring together young people from the two communities of Cyprus in an effort to create trust in place of suspicion, knowledge of the 'other' in place of ignorance, hope in place of despair. Three workshops each lasting for two days took place in the Ledra Palace hotel (in July, October and December) and a total of 150 teenagers were involved. Some of the unique experiences of the participants were published in the first two issues of Hade magazine (the only bi-communal magazine in Cyprus) where more details of the project can be found. The name YEP was chosen by the participants themselves. Despite the ban on permissions to meet since December 1997 many of the participants still maintain contacts and keep up the hope.
The original project was a very local idea from a small group of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot educators who had been meeting bi-communally for some time. The organisational assistance of the UN was sought, particularly in the area of securing permissions for the meetings in the Ledra Palace Hotel. The present new phase of the YEP project is being set up by some of the original members from both communities. They have been joined by new members who have been active in bi-communal work in the past. There is no official or strict organisational structure, and no hidden political agenda. We just have a group of volunteers who believe deeply in the need for the young generation of the two communities to communicate and we try to provide the means for this to happen.
Learn how to join the: Make (at least) one friend project
Also learn about the newly formed YEP4 group and see some photos from their workshop in Pyla and read some poems and impressions by some of the participants.
Among other activities the bi-communal youth groups organised the Bi-communal Youth Festival and the Villagers Meeting both at Pergamos Park. Find more about these events, see photographs and a watch a short video at: