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27. July 2006

wool ball ©Elisabeth Kasbauer/WwB

Susana und Chrystalla ©Elisabeth Kasbauer/WwB

workshopgroup in Cyprus ©Elisabeth Kasbauer/WwB

magic stick cyprus © Elisabeth Kasbauer/WwB

Cyprus/Austria - Every Journey starts with a single Step!

Empowerment Workshop for Young Women in Cyprus

Have you ever thought of becoming a candidate for the next elections? If we want that the world changes and if you are also tired of seeing only men being in power, then women, let us become active and work together for a better world!”, were the inspiring words of Pollina, one of the participants when they were asked to hold a 1 1/2” minutes speech.

This was the at pilot workshop in the course of the Grundtvig 2 project “Young Women: Fit for Politics!” took place in Limassol July 22nd , Cyprus. Women without Borders is realizing this project together with the ARI Movement Istanbul and den Mediterranean Insitute for Gender Studies ( M.I.G.S.), Nicosia.

Together with eight other young women Pollina participated in the workshop in Limassol, the 2nd biggest city of Cyprus. The first few minutes of shyness and uncertainty were rapidly gone after we did some warm-up exercises to get to know each other better.
After everybody introduced herself we immediately jumped into the issue – our common goal: to learn and strengthen capacities and competences to become an active part in politics and civil society.

For me as a trainer, it was a new and special experience to train such a diverse group together with Chrystalla Ellina, the Cypriot project partner. Everybody brought in her special background, her experiences, opinion and, above all, enthusiasm: Fadwa from Palestine, who studies in Nicosia, Karolina from Belarus, who originally came to Cyprus to improve her English and now decided to stay, Sarin, who has Armenian roots and is already married, the accountant Maria, Cynthia, whose dream is to build up her own language center, Effie, who is doing historical research and Joanna, a primary school teacher.

From identity and orientation we moved to communication / public speaking, conflict resolution, peace / peace culture and leadership, a dense, but diverse program. The handbook, which all partner organisations developed together, provides not only background information but also and mostly interactive and group dynamic exercises on the above mentioned issues.

Every journey starts with a single step!” is the motto of the project.
To actively participate, to shape the world, young women need skills and competences which they can pack in their suitcase for the journey into their future. Although time was too short to pack their whole suitcase, the participants had the chance to fill it up.

Anyone can be active, can change the world. I wish that such workshops would pop-up on a more regular basis!” exclaimed Joanna at the end.

Elisabeth Kasbauer, Women without Borders

Click here for more information on this project.

Information on the partner organisations:
ARI Movement
Mediterranean Insitute for Gender Studies, M.I.G.S


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