PeacePlayers – Cyprus is welcoming two new teams to our family of teams for the 2013 season. Kolossi, an elementary school in a village outside of Limassol, and Aklantzia, an elementary school on the outskirts of Nicosia. Last year PeacePlayers painted a special mural with the children of Kolossi at the entrance of the school. The kids of Kolossi are very excited for an opportunity to be a part of PeacePlayers again. Aklantzia is a new elementary school for PeacePlayers to collaborate with. There is already such a strong interest in our program at Aklantzia that we have created 2 teams within the school.
Both elementary schools received funding through The Ministry of Education to fund the establishment of PeacePlayers programs in their respective schools. The Ministry of Education offers a limited number of grants for schools to provide activities to their students that focus on either health initiatives or initiatives that promote positive citizenship. After having hosted a training on The Anatomy of Peace for educators, many teachers became interested in the work of PeacePlayers and our holistic approach to youth development through the game of basketball. Our unique combination of training the youth in the game of basketball promotes physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, this combined with the life skills training we offer our participants makes PeacePlayers a great partner for schools looking to promote health and citizenship initiatives for their youth.
One of the needs identified at both schools was a sense of inclusion and diversity awareness for the young students. In Cyprus nearly 10% of all students within the public school system are foreigners. Inclusion and diversity awareness are two focuses of our new Life Skills curriculum and give us the perfect opportunity to test and evaluate our new curriculum’s ability to promote such values. We will be promoting inclusion and diversity within their own team and school and reinforcing these values. Eventually, the kids from these two new teams in the south meet and play with our Turkish-Cypriot teams from the north during our monthly Twinnings. Continue to follow our blog for updates on these two new programs!