PeacePlayers International – Cyprus is heading back to Limassol to again work with the kids of the Agios Antonios Schools. Last year, PeacePlayers set up teams at the Agios Antonios primary and high schools, participated in their summer camps and even painted a mural at one of the schools.
This year we are doing something a little different. In addition to continuing the PeacePlayers team at the 18th School, we will be leading a group of 40 kids and their teachers from the 4th School through a series of basketball and conflict resolution drills over a 4-week period.
The Agios Antonios schools are a group of five integrated public schools called “Zones of Educational Priority” or ZEP for short. They are multicultural schools for underprivileged kids. In addition to a number of Turkish-Cypriots attending the schools, many Roma families send their kids to the Agios Antonios Schools.
Although the 18th and 4th schools are only a few blocks away from each other, the kids from both schools never get a chance to interact before they are placed in the same high school together. Because of this, the high school often sees conflict break out between the two groups.
They think PeacePlayers can help. The idea is that after working with the kids for several weeks, we will introduce them to one another in fun sports activities. One will be located at a local sports complex, where the kids will play a variety of sports including volleyball, squash, Judo, weight lifting, Tae Kwon Do and even archery. Another will be a water sports day with activities like kayaking and sailing. PeacePlayers is proud to offer these kids such unique opportunities in the hopes that children from the two schools can get along better in the future.
Although many of these kids struggle with behavioral problems, they are all good kids. Most of the kids just crave attention and can show amazing potential if put into the right circumstances. PeacePlayers-Cyprus is happy and proud to have the opportunity to be a positive influence in their lives.