The Cyprus Friendship Program is uniquely designed to spread the message of peace and understanding through the relationships between the participants and their families, friends, and acquaintances.

This “multiplier effect” generates a growing belief that peace and understanding can be achieved in Cyprus.

Throughout the Cyprus Friendship Program, teens from northern and southern Cyprus meet regularly to dispel the stereotypes and mistrust that afflict the two communities. The program begins in Cyprus, where the teens meet several times before a month long stay with American families in the U.S. The teens return to Cyprus determined to spread the message that Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking Cypriots can live peacefully together.

One of the CFP coordinators in Cyprus estimates that in addition to the 38 teens from the 2009 and 2010 programs, 565 family members and friends (15 per teen) have been touched by the message of CFP. The teens have made presentations in schools and youth clubs, extending CFP’s reach to perhaps another 1500 people. Moreover, the teens have been interviewed on radio and television about their CFP experiences, reaching countless other people.

The exact impact may not be measurable, but the CFP Multiplier Effect is truly significant.

by Ciara Masterson