Posted by Bridget Bongaard, MD
The Rotary Club of Maui worked in conjunction with Wendy Acasta of the Valley Isle Rotary Club to host the second annual Cypriots for Peace Program. 8 teen pairs were chosen out of an application pool of over 170 in Cyprus to attend this 4 week training in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Cyprus experienced a terrible war which divided their country into 2 factions: Greek and Turkish Cypriots. There is still a divisive line between the two sides, but the heart of the people there wish change to a united country once again. The CFP is geared to help create future leaders with a global mindset and ability to solve the problems on a different level. These 8 young Cypriots, four from the Greek side and 4 from the Turkish side were hosted in pairs and lived together in the same bedroom in our home for 3 weeks while exchanging ideas, culture, and experiencing the Hawaiian traditions of family, and community. Leadership skills were developed so that they could return to Cyprus and help effect a change for their country as they grew into adults, attended universities, and came into the workforce in professional capacities. We were proud to be part of the support team to help them be positive courageous agents of change for their country.  See our Rotary Club of Maui Facebook page for more fun pictures and great times with our Cypriot teens.