The Peristerona kids get into lines for a cooperation drill
Back in April we at PeacePlayers – Cyprus blogged about our visit to a new Greek-Cypriot primary school in the village of Peristerona. Now, 3 months later, the video capturing that visit is finally complete. Please take a look at this new community hoping to contribute to a new future for Cyprus.
Peristerona is an interesting village in Cyprus. Approaching it from the road, two unmistakable sights appear: the Greek-Orthodox Church of St. Barnabas and St. Hilarion and the two minarets of an abandoned mosque. Before the events of 1974, Peristerona was a mixed village, a place where Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots lived together peacefully and worshipped right next to each other. Today, it is a Greek-Cypriot village, but situated only about 5 km from one of the five checkpoints in in the “buffer zone” that divides Cyprus’ Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities.
PPI-CY Managing Director Marina Vasilara and Fellows Adam Hirsch, Rory O’Neil, and Gunnar Hagstrom put on a show for the 5th and 6th graders of Peristerona’s primary school. First, the Greek-speaker of the group (Marina) gave a presentation on PPI-CY’s history, programs, and mission to the group of 50+ kids. Several short videos showed PPI-CY’s practices, twinnings, and events, much to the delight and amusement of the children in attendance.
Fellows Adam and Gunnar put their hands in for a final cheer
After that, it was time to get on the court and show these kids how PPI-CY brings together peace and basketball on the court. Dribbling relays with dancing, blindfolded teambuilding games, and crazy games of sharks and minows were all on the menu for this sunny day on the asphalt – with Rory, Adam, and Gunnar refusing to let these kids simply “go through the motions.” Before long, the screams, cheers, and clapping of the kids could probably be heard from miles away. A good barometer for PeacePlayers to see if a new area could start a PPI-CY program is always the enthusiasm of the kids participating. The sound of their screaming and cheering on this day was…deafening.
After the session, pictures were taken, the players and Fellows exchanged high-fives, and Marina presented free frisbies, hand-bags, and other little goodies from the E.U. to the children to take home. All in all, it was a great day for PPI-CY.
Filed under Cyprus, Global