This week PeacePlayers-Cyprus sat down with board member Akis Christofides and discussed the direction that the program will take in the near future. The following is what was discussed.
PeacePlayers-Cyprus has a retreat planned this upcoming fall that will involve all of the board members and local staff. Specific ideas and programs will be discussed with the common goal of refining the PPI-CY mission even further. PPI-CY hopes to harvest a bigger degree of cooperation between the international sites, the Middle East, South Africa, and Northern Ireland; this includes collaboration between fellows, board members, and local staff. Akis recalled the PeacePlayers “Anatomy of Peace” training in Hawaii by Professor Chad Ford and how it gave a sense of unity and communalism to the organization. The chance to further collaborate with other PPI sites is a goal that PPI-CY is working to achieve; for example the proximity of Cyprus to the Middle East site makes it so that travel between the two programs is only a short plane ride away. Imagine the collaboration that could happen over just one weekend!
The idea of using the “Anatomy of Peace” in more settings as a reconciliatory tool is another item on the agenda. To be able to use the curriculum to further the PPI message in schools, for sports teams, and even with corporations and businesses in Cyprus is something that Akis and the rest of the PPI-CY family feel is important. While PeacePlayers is an organization that uses sport as a tool for social change the “Anatomy of Peace” is something that can permeate all layers of a local society and thereby have a positive impact on our kids in both direct and indirect ways.
Of course, at the core of the PeacePlayers-Cyprus agenda are the kids. An item on the agenda moving forward will be how to ensure that when kids become too old to be in the PeacePlayers program we are still able to help them and engage in a relationship where there are mutual social benefits. PPI-CY will work in the near future to look at ideas such as community projects and continue to expand our Leadership Development Program so that our strongest advocates, the participants, can continue to associate with PPI. Our kids can also become our coaches; just look at PPI-ME coaches David and Khaled. The transition between a participant’s graduation from being a PeacePlayer participant to becoming a full-fledged coach is a key period of growth that programs and initiatives, such as the LDP, can take advantage. In other words PPI CY can help its children at all stages of their life and will strive to do so in the upcoming year.
Finally, another important item on the agenda is the relationship that PeacePlayer-Cyprus has with the parents of its participants. PPI-CY will work to strengthen the relationship between the parents, children, and organization. To be able to bring parents further into the PPI equation would not only give them a glimpse into the PeacePlayers way and its benefits but also add what Akis refers to as “the spice to the soup” of helping our kids.
While most actions and immediate thoughts are being poured into preparation for PPI CY’s big summer camp, the retreat is an important issue that sits on the horizon with promise and intrigue.