Young people in Cyprus are speaking up about heritage

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot volunteers are uniting in an initiative to protect and promote their shared cultural heritage.

Photo: UNDP/Kerim Belet

In May 2019 an initiative was launched in Cyprus inviting young Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to become ambassadors for cultural heritage sites on the island.

It was launched by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH) — a group of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who have been working together since 2008 to protect the diverse heritage in Cyprus.
To help raise awareness of monuments that form the island’s rich cultural heritage, they wanted to recruit young volunteers from both communities to support their work.

Photo: UNDP/Kerim Belet

They will be the “youth voice” of the TCCH and will be mandated by the committee to reach out to and engage with other young people of Cyprus by promoting cultural heritage sites and monuments to their networks, and act as unofficial guardians of the selected monuments by undertaking regular visits.

Photo: UNDP/Kerim Belet

More than 200 people — from Paphos to Karpasia/Karpaz, from Kyrenia to Larnaca, from Limassol to Famagusta — took to Instagram to apply to the EU-funded initiative, posting videos and photographs of cultural heritage in Cyprus with the #oursharedheritage #EuropeforCulture #TCCHYouthAmbassador hashtags.
After a challenging selection process, applicants were shortlisted and a final 40 were selected as Heritage Youth Ambassadors.

UNDP in Cyprus has been working with the TCCH since 2010, directly implementing the Committee’s conservation works and initiatives, and helping to create a favourable environment for the non-political consideration of cultural heritage on both sides of the island. With mainly funds from the European Union, the TCCH and UNDP have conserved, protected or restored 66 heritage sites, including Orthodox, Maronite and Armenian churches, mosques and minarets, fortifications, hamams, aqueducts and watermills.
Heritage Youth Ambassadors is one of many initiatives organised by the TCCH and UNDP, and funded by the European Union to engage different communities in cultural heritage awareness. Read more.

Official Medium account of UNDP in Cyprus. A programme mainly funded by the European Union contributing to the peace-building process in Cyprus.

Official Medium account of UNDP in Cyprus. A programme mainly funded by the European Union contributing to the peace-building process in Cyprus.