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Organization: Doves Olympic Movement
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: May 18 2010,12:10 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

Pericleous 32, 2020
Strovolos, Nicosia, Cyprus

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

(00357) 99534943

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

Cyprus Network for Youth Development

University of Nicosia

Collaboration with multiple national and international organizations

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

Doves Olympic Movement is an educational sports initiative founded in 2001 and aims to utilize the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations under the framework of the philosophy and principles of the Olympic Movement. Doves Olympic Movement aims to provide non-traditional research oriented educational sport practices to resolve a number of social problems such as cross-cultural intolerance, juvenile delinquency, isolation of marginalized populations and racism. Through our program, population from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, religion and ethnicity, come together and engage in activities that facilitate character development and promote social inclusion.

Our program aims to use sports to achieve stability, inclusion, peace and personal development.

In the summer of 2005 the Doves Olympic Movement conducted the first bi-communal educational sport initiative in Cyprus. Since then, more than 700 youngsters and 50 instructors got together under the flag of the Olympic Movement and participated in our Summer Camps. Through the words of the instructors of our summer program: “…this camp was a very strong verification that human beings have no differences”. Another instructor mentioned that “…everybody feels that one week is not enough. We all wanted to stay here at least for one more week. In the camp we established strong relationships; we became one big family and we should continue to see each other after the camp”. Such reactions give us courage and dedication to continue and extend the activities of our program beyond the weeklong camp. Such expressions indicate that sports, in a pure educational and non political setting, have the potential to empower individuals and societies. It seems that sports,  under certain conditions, have the power to prepare the ground for a better future of the youth of our island.

Since 2005, 5 youth camps took place (International Youth Camps 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and Winter Leadership Camp 2007), where youngsters from the two main communities of Cyprus came together and participated not only in sport activities, but also to cultural and educational ones.  For most of those young people it was their first time that had the opportunity to experience interaction with people from the other community.  Outcomes from research performed throughout those camps, showed that both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots participants experienced positive gains in social perspective taking, cross cultural differences, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, as well as self-efficacy concerning global citizenship.  Even more outstanding are the results that reveal that the majority of both the participants and instructors agree that they are able to transfer what they have learned through the program to real world situations such as the issues in Cyprus and issues that bother European Union.  Through data collection and analysis it has been also revealed that activities such as those offered by the program enable participants to improve their conflict resolution skills, their ability to consider perspectives of others, and indirectly, implicitly or explicitly their understanding of the issues in Cyprus.

An advantage of the program is that is not restricted to the implementation of summer camps.  The program actually starts with a pre-camp experience where youth, instructors, and the organizers come together to create the structure of the summer camps and include the elements they consider essential.  All individuals involved in the process actively participate in the process of designing the program by participating into committees according to their interests that
determine the way activities will be implemented.  This participatory approach enables the program to draw from multiple expertise and creativity, and brings the program more closer to the interests and needs of the population that addresses.  Providing the opportunity to participate from the initial stages of preparation, makes individuals take responsibility for the implementation of the program and creates a feeling of ownership for the program, which then results in a passion to make it work.  During this preparation phase, there is also an effort of inclusion of the parents in the program, by providing informative workshops.

Another major component of the program is that the program becomes the tool which provides opportunities to young people to become active citizens and act upon their environment after the camp is over.  For that reason, during the camp, participants get together and develop an action plan regarding a thematic area that interests them.  The young people identify situations in the Cypriot society that need to be addressed, think of ways to address them, and come up with an action plan that implement throughout the year.  This not only enables individuals to become active citizens and transfer their skills into real life situations, but it also enables youngsters who otherwise consider themselves “enemies for each other” to work together to achieve a common goal.  Examples of such activities are the following: tree plantings in burned areas of Cyprus, participation in charity events to raise money for a cost, and creation of a plan for dissemination of re-usable bags to the communities.  An outstanding example of what young people can do when the environment is supportive and provides opportunities is when young people got together, wrote a proposal,  and got funding from the European Union to implement a project regarding people with disabilities to bring awareness to the society in Cyprus about the difficulties people with disabilities face in their everyday lives.

During the years 2006-2008, the Doves Olympic Movement also developed a pioneer sport unit which is called “Sport, Education and Development Unit”  (SEDU). The SEDU is being implemented in collaboration with a Municipality in the capital of Cyprus. Through the SEDU, children have the opportunity to play sports, learn about life time skills, health and wellbeing issues and engage in individual and collective initiatives. The purpose of the SEDU is to provide a program that use sports as “social medicine”. This is facilitated by engaging the youth of the island in educationally focused sport activities that are based on the principle of balance between a healthy mind and a healthy body (mens sana in corpore sano). The after school educational initiatives aim to promote sportsmanship and interpersonal relationships. Hopefully, the positive outcomes of the development of such units (SEDU), in a theory driven, non political and non traditional sport environment will inspire the educational and sport authorities to replicate similar projects throughout the island of Cyprus.

More than 120 participants met daily within the SEDU and practiced their favorite sports activity (both sport activities that are well known in Cyprus, as well as sport activities that are not traditionally performed in Cyprus). The program also incorporated a cultural component. The participants participated in dancing, theatre, music, and painting. During the weekends the participants were exposed to many other non-traditional sports activities, such as rock-climbing, skiing, shooting, arching, canoeing and so forth. The educational part of the program was implemented in two phases: through discussions during the daily meetings (emotional education, conflict resolution, peace education), as well as during the weekends with lectures/presentations from experts on themes that are of great interest to youth, such as sports and violence/ hooliganism, nutrition of athletes, anorexia-bulimia, Olympic Values, sports psychology, technology (Skype, Global Ed., Filming etc), how to be safe in the road, environmental awareness, astronomy and so forth. Giving to the young people alternative ways of spending their time, has been proven to be a way to reduce delinquency acts and promote healthy lifestyles and in such a way, create healthier societies.  Due to lack of funding the SEDU terminated their activities in 2008, but there is an effort for obtaining further funding to continue the specific activities to the certain municipality and replicate it in other areas of Cyprus as well.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

There is a tremendous progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence when programs that are in place provide opportunities for an advancement of the society.  In the case of Cyprus, where the conflict is on-going, it is important to provide young people with opportunities to interact with the "others" and provide an understanding that this is not the only way that things can be.  During the second half of the Decade, has been a  change on the society of Cyprus.  While in 2005, the number of individuals that wanted to participate in programs that had to do with the "other" community was minimal, that number kept increasing as the years passed.  The pool of young people that first came into the program and their positive experiences became the source of attraction for other youngsters. Additionally, the bonds created through the program become as an antivirus to the hatred spread in the society of Cyprus.  Even though, we still have a long way to go in Cyprus regarding the understanding and tolerance between the members of the two main communities, as well as other minority groups that live in Cyprus, there has been definitely a progress in that area, which the civil society and the government have the obligation to continue pursuing.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

There were multiple obstacles during the implementation of the culture of peace and non-violence.  Those were:

- Obtaining funding for the implementation and continuation of the activities has been a struggle throughout the years

- The media have played a major role in opposing obstacles in the implementation of a culture of peace

- The luck of political consistency , the physical barriers, the
unaceptable status quo and the "nationalist narratives and false promises" that lead to segregation and misguide public oppinion

- The existing stereotypes and hatred that govern the Cypriot society which become harder to alter once the media and the politicians (mentioned above) perpetruate them

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

- Continuation of the activities carried so far

- Collaboration with the governmental authorities to include the positive elements that have been shown to be effective into other areas

- Creation of a network that will allow the expansion of the activities

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: Doves Olympic Movement

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