PeacePlayers-Cyprus (PP-CY) is dedicated to running programming that engages the community in local and sustainable ways. As an organization, we follow five core programmatic pillars to ensure PP-CY stays true to it’s mission and unites communities for the youth of today and the future. At our last Twinning, we had the opportunity to see the leadership pipeline pillar truly come to life. The Leadership Development Program (LDP) youth were charged with the task of running a Twinning for the newly nominated Junior Development Program (JDP) youth.
As you may know, Twinnings are the bread and butter of bringing people together for PP-CY. These Twinnings are normally facilitated by the office staff, international fellows, and the local coaches. However, this past Twinning was completely different.
So, here’s what happened. The Leaders planned every step of the Twinning from start to finish and blocked off time slots for different activities.
LEADERS FACILITATING AT THE JDP TWINNING
They had to make decisions about specific things like:
What drills will be suitable for the JDP considering their ages (12-14)?
Who will translate when necessary?
When will we focus on fun games, and when will we play basketball?
How will we split up the teams with the bi-communal mission in mind?
If you are reading this blog as a former athlete, coach, or anyone who has ever been directed and told what to do in a sports setting, you may remember that moment when you went from a participant to a leader/teacher. It’s a big deal! There are so many behind the scene things that need to be thought-out when planning and executing something. Not to mention, it is extremely important to keep in mind the ultimate mission behind WHY we do what we do.
SO, HOW DID THE LEADERS DO?
To be frank…it was incredible! While the Leaders were planning a week in advance, they were worried that some of the games, like the “canoe-canoe” game they planned to play, may be unsuitable for the age group. However, the Leaders became confident and decided to play it. At the Twinning when they played, there was not one kid without a huge smile on their face and laughing! It was such a beautiful moment of what a Twinning should look like. Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot youth laughing and playing together, as if all pieces of divided identities were shattered. It did not matter that structural barriers and a history of conflict continues to divide the island. For these two hours, we were one big PeacePlayers family.
LAPTA TEAM GIRS WITH FELLOW AMBER (LEFT) – TAHIR AND SERIFE (RIGHT)