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John Ungerleider

Abstract

Young people from Cyprus who attended bicommunal youth camps in the United States developed new competencies for leadership and peacebuilding. These
capacities were measured in terms of 1) deeper connection to peers from the opposite community in Cyprus, either Greek or Turkish Cypriot, 2) increased
capacity for coping, when the political situation became or remained difficult in Cyprus, and 3) collaboration in follow-up activities and projects with peers from the
other community. The impact of these two-week intensive, summer peacebuilding camps conducted at the School for International Training in Vermont was measured
with a survey administered at a follow up reunion of programme graduates held in the UN administered buffer zone in Cyprus. Former participants attested to
significant development of inter-communal connections, sustained hopefulness and ability to cope with a negative and divisive political climate, and ongoing
commitment to collaborate with peers across the island to maintain bicommunal relationships and work for a peaceful future.

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