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Turning Ideas of World Peace into Actionable Community Understanding

One of the outstanding teen leaders we have seen through Buddies Without Borders is Emily Kyriakides from the Senior School in Cyprus. We would like to share why she cares and what her BWB Club has been able to achieve this year. Join teens around the world to speak up and step up this Spring!


"I have been part of BWB for more than three years now, and I am honored to be part of

such an impactful and collaborative community.


My role as co-president of our club at The Senior School in Cyprus these past few years has

allowed me to combat prevalent issues in my local community following the UN’s Social

Development Goals, and truly make an impact one initiative at a time. One of our biggest

accomplishments would definitely be SENCON 2024 (short for Senior School Conference), a

debate and discussion conference organized for the first time in our school’s history.



Bearing in mind that 2024 is the year of elections for various countries of the world, we

wanted to spotlight key issues in voting processes and raise awareness about civic

participation. SENCON brought together more than 100 students from 12 different schools

for a day of debate and deliberations, and we have received many requests for a SENCON

2024!


Another key BWB initiative that will remain memorable would have to be our

Dog Shelter Drive this past Christmas, where we managed to collect more than 10 boxes of

supplies for our local shelter, one of the biggest shelters in Nicosia.


We live in a world where every day is a crisis, and everything we say is political, and so it is

oftentimes difficult to remain in contact with our humanity and the values that make us

human, specifically empathy. In my opinion, empathy and compassion are what it takes to

not only co-exist with the billions of people on this planet, no matter their race, religion,

gender, or financial background, but understand and be able to work with one another to

achieve our goals.


By being compassionate and choosing to ‘place ourselves in each other’s shoes’, acting selflessly and respectfully to others, we are able to accomplish so much more united than alone. Therefore, in order to truly co-exist and collaborate with people of different backgrounds, we must prioritize the need for cooperation rather than selfishness,

seeking common ground instead of being arrogant and inflexible, thus working together

towards a collective goal.


I think teens are some of the most powerful people in the world; they have an imagination

often lost by adults, and a maturity that makes them reflect and try to improve past childhood experiences, leaving them with a determination to make an impact. In order to

effectively do this, I think teens should definitely concentrate their efforts, on collaborating

with each other under global organizations (like BWB!) in order to learn how to appreciate

the importance of perspectives, taking into account different opinions before coming up

with solutions.


Moreover, I think teens need proper guidance in order to focus on particular,

feasible goals so as to not wander aimlessly in the realm of possibility and brainstorming,

something which will help them transform their ideas into a reality that will positively affect

their local community. For us, our supervisor Dr. Irene Stavrou has done exactly that- help

us materialize our goals and successfully impact our own local community!" by Emily Kyriakides

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