Twenty students aged between 15 and 17 are spending their summer in Washington DC, hosted by several American families. They travelled to the USA to “become friends” with each other, occasioned by the Cyprus Friendship Program in which they take part.
This recently launched program tries to convince Cyprus’ two communities, Greek and Turkish, to become friends. Some of the participants talked about their experience to the Greek-speaking issue of Voice of America website.
According to the program officials, this program is regarded essential for the two communities’ relationship. They comment that most Cypriots, under the age of 38, have been raised without ever communicating with people living on the other side of the Green Line, despite the fact that they live only a few metres or kilometres away from each other.
Cypriot youth taking part in this friendship program admit that they are contributing in developing friendship and understanding between the two communities.
All students of the program told the VOA that they want to show older people that they want to have a united and peaceful homeland, not a divided one. “They didn’t manage to make some substantial change but we feel that we are pretty similar to each other,” agree the young students. The two communities have become quite good friends and promised that they will keep communicating to each other when they return to Cyprus.