Eva Psalti: “We are all Cypriots and our love for our commons is greater than our differences”
Eva Psalti is a 21-year-old young Cypriot with a vision for improving the future of her country and who works hard to convince people to be more conscious about the environment.
In late August she joined this year’s newly recruited UN Youth Champions for Environment and Peace programme, which she recalls: “I had an amazing experience learning about the peace-building process with the help of environmental protection experts and developing a social enterprise with fellow peers who are interested in the situation of Cyprus.”
In an effort to continue to engage in environment conversations, she created an Instagram page to raise awareness about some of the environmental issues in Cyprus and how people can take a more sustainable approach in their lives.
Describing the whole programme, she recalls: “I had fruitful discussions and good time with people from the other community and learned about the life on the other side and how we are really a lot alike!”
Calling on more Cypriot youth to take part in the programme, Eva pointed out: “I definitely recommend my peers to join this programme because as Cypriots living in a divided island, we need dialogue between our communities , we need to know the truth about the other community and put pressure on those who have the power to begin building peace between us.”
For a sustainable Cyprus, Eva explained that “as an environmental scientist student, I know that sustainable development is key for meaningful development and this programme is dedicated in using the environment and its need for protection by bringing people from both communities together, which is the only way I can see our Cyprus becoming sustainable for everyone during this climate crisis.”
“The programme made me realize that we are all Cypriots and our love for our commons is greater than our differences,” Eva concluded.
Building on the 2020 programme “UNFICYP Youth Champions for Environment and Peace”, and in collaboration with the British Council through the COOPower project this year's edition offered to 25 young people a 2-week intense focus on Environmental Peacebuilding and Social Entrepreneurship.
Together with experts and mentors from Cyprus and abroad, participants learned about the island’s environmental challenges and developed ideas for social enterprises to address environmental problems and provide sustainable solutions that would benefit people living in the island.