This past month, PPI-Cyprus participated in three NGO Fairs that promoted the work of 39 community organizations. Two of the fairs were organized by ENGAGE, Do Your Part for Peace project and funded by UNDP-ACT. The ENGAGE fairs attracted some 3,000 people under the slogan, “Come and meet some of the NGOs of Cyprus and discover their good work!” These all-day events were celebrations of the work of the island’s busy civil society sector. “The fair was a great way to bring these different organizations together and celebrate the diversity of the work we each do, and gave us a chance to talk about future collaborations,” one NGO representative said.
DJs, music, dance, choir and theater groups created a festive atmosphere, while a range of educational and recreational activities, such as balloon creations, face painting, clay sculpture, painting, giant chess games, backgammon, were offered for the children. PPI-CY was proud to be there and participate in the festivities. We set up a basketball hoop, inviting kids and adults to partake in some mini-basketball and try out their luck against the PPI Fellows in games like “PIG” and Knockout.
The third fair was organized by the Cyprus Youth Board and focused on promoting volunteerism within the European Union. On hand was the Cyprus Minister of Education and Culture, Mr. Andreas Dimitriou, and EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou. Both made time to shake hands with PPI-CY staff and talk about the impact that PeacePlayers is having in Cyprus.
PPI-CY gained a lot of publicity from the fairs by handing out hundreds of flyers, talking to parents and community members, and signing up local youth to participate in upcoming events. It is very important for PPI-CY to spread its message throughout Cyprus, and also begin to get influential people supporting its mission so that we can continue to grow and bring new children into the program. These three fairs were great steps towards that goal, and we are looking forward to partaking in similar events in the future.