On Saturday 28th May, the newly established bi-communal civil society initiative Cyprus Peace and Dialogue Centre (CPDC) in partnership with children’s cancer charity Kemal Saraço?lu Foundation (KSV), held their first public event: a children’s party in the park aimed at bringing together families cross-communally for a day of fun and fundraising.
The event was attended by about 120 people throughout including festivities of clown performances, face-painting, balloons, music and dancing, and children’s games; as well as a book sale of Turkish-Greek bilingual children’s books by Katie Clerides and Seda Tanova.
When asked whether inter-communal events promote reconciliation, 100% of participants answered Yes. One participant said:
‘I attend inter-communal events whenever the opportunity arises, they are definitely beneficial for all of us’.
Bringing communities together in this way for joint activities and promoting Turkish-Greek bilingualism serves to normalise relations, help to deconstruct stereotypes and prejudices, and foster understanding and empathy. CPDC aims to implement such confidence-building measures with the aim of contributing to lasting peace in Cyprus.
International Communities Organisation Secretary General, James Holmes commented: “Supporting cross-community events like this provides communities with a fantastic opportunity for positive integration in a safe and happy environment. Children remind us every day that far more unites people than divides them”.