By Bejay Browne
THE FIRST OF two events aimed at engaging youth in cultural activities will get underway in Paphos this month.
Organised by the Paphos-Aphrodite Rotary club, who have teamed up with ‘Pafos 2017’, the events will involve young people aged between 16-18 years in the Paphos district.
“The idea is to add a touch of sparkle and hope for the youth as they are facing a difficult situation here in Cyprus. There is now a depression that wasn’t here before and many youngsters have begun to feel afraid for their futures,” said Julia Rautenschlein, president of the Paphos-Aphrodite Rotary Club.
“Theses events will promote a positive European image, mix the youth together, empower them and integrate the cultural capital 2017 – which is a fantastic.”
In 2013, Paphos won the international competition to become the European Capital of Culture for 2017, a title it will share with Aarhus in Denmark.
The first event, which is also supported by the European Parliament and Europe Direct Paphos, will be a public speaking contest in English titled ‘Speak your way into Europe’.
“The schools have already been given the five subjects to choose from. Each team will consist of three kids, who will make a presentation of ten minutes in total on two of the subjects – which are the various European youth programmes,” Rautenschlein said:
Pupils from five schools in the Paphos and Polis areas will take part.
The two winning teams will be invited to join the Euroscola Programme and travel to Strasbourg for a three day trip to experience the European Parliament. Three other teams will be invited to visit the House of Europe in Nicosia.
The second youth project is open to the public and is due to take place on June 18 at the old district officer’s house in Paphos, the headquarters of Pafos 2017.
The initiative will involve students from the local lyceums, as well as the International School of Paphos and the AmericanAcademy of Paphos. The project is billed as an intercultural art, music and dance event, where students will get a chance to show of their creative skills in all of these art forms.
Rautenschlein said: “We have teamed up with Pafos 2017 again for this event which will be a lot of fun and will be guided and supervised by the teachers who have been very supportive of the event.”
According to the Rotarian, all of the expenses incurred for the projects will be covered by Paphos-Aphrodite Rotary Club and its supporters.
“This is as a gesture to the community and the youth of Paphos, as well as contributing to a successful European Capital of Culture. We believe that youth engagement in culture helps to promote social integration and acceptance of diversity, both of which are main criteria for a successful European Capital of Culture,” said Rautenschlein.
She said that the club hopes to co operate on more events in the future, as well as supporting a number of other youth projects.
“We would ideally like to offer the support to schools to find local traineeships for a number of students on a yearly basis.”
Julia Rautenschlein-Paphos-Aphrodite Rotary Club, [email protected]