What We Do
HasNa’s peace-building programs in Cyprus have been ongoing since 2001. Our unique approach brings together Turkish Cypriots from the northern part of the island and Greek Cypriots from the south for customized training in communication skills. Distorted facts and biased news reporting are responsible for many of the divided island’s tensions and prejudices. HasNa aims to combat these problems by promoting open, inclusive dialogue as an essential foundation for reconciliation.
How We Do It
HasNa works closely with non-governmental organizations in Cyprus to organize training workshops for young journalists, media symposia with prominent participants, and special peace-building projects. HasNa's successful programs in Cyprus have resulted in the creation of such unique initiatives as the Reconciliation Now Project and the award-winning Talk of the Island radio program, among others.
The Cyprus Peace Day Festival
In September 2015, the first ever Cyprus Peace Day Festival occurred. Featuring a symposium, peace workshops, and an evening street festival, the event sought to support the Cyprus peace process and was attended by over 150 Greek and Turkish Cypriots of all generations. The symposium featured keynote speaker John McKinney, a Northern Irishman who has gained worldwide recognition for his role in forgiveness and reconciliation in Ireland. Attendees shared personal stories of friendship and reconciliation while mutually acknowledging pain. By the end of the day, the group had created an action plan for future work in this critical phase of Cyprus’ history. It was an emotional closure to an event filled with enthusiasm and positive energy.
The Cyprus Friendship Program
HasNa launched the popular Cyprus Friendship Program (CFP) in 2009. CFP brings teenagers from Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to the United States for four-week visits to meet American families and forge lasting friendships while developing leadership skills, engaging in community service, and embracing civic responsibility. This face-to-face program aims to break the cycle of fear and mistrust that has long divided the two communities in Cyprus. The goal is to increase mutual understanding and provide a venue for positive interaction that extends beyond the program itself. Beginning in 2012, CFP has successfully became an independent volunteer-run non-profit organization.