Thursday, 19 November 2015 21:45

Things are slowly changing for the better

It may be due to the fact that there are so many events at this time of year, or the fact that I get to meet so many of the enthusiastic event organisers. Or maybe it’s simply because I am an eternal optimist, but it does seem that there are positive changes all around – very small ones – but changes nonetheless. And they all seem to be involving young people.

True, Cyprus is lagging behind other EU countries in many areas, starting from labour and construction laws, environmental protection, road safety, to family laws and animal protection, but maybe the increasing understanding that ‘things cannot continue this way’ will help speed things up?

It is encouraging to see that most of Limassol’s recent events have included young people in the awareness-raising process. Efforts to raise recycling habits include talks at schools and the recent charity walk ‘I’d rather walk than drink and drive,’ which saw many groups of students from various schools who had been well-informed on the event’s purpose and objectives.

The upcoming Bearfoot Teddy Bear Walk to help refugee children actively involves children and the recently-relocated Cyprus Historic and Classic Motor Museum includes a talk and actual practice on road safety for school classes… Certainly many more structures and events could be included here. Minds seem set to change – ‘slowly slowly’ as is often said – but they are changing.

The recent First Limassol Festival of the Environment and Recycling saw a great turnout, and as one of the organising team members pointed out, this is only the start. By next year people will already be much more informed as the same event has shown in Nicosia where it has been attracting a crowd of 10,000 over the past five years. One of the festival stall-holders was a bio farmer and was pleased that so many young families stopped to ask questions, often with curious children also listening with interest. After all, it’s the younger generations that build the island’s future.

I’ve found it especially refreshing to discuss different issues with the teenagers I am teaching this year. They are not really used to and often hesitant to speak out, but certainly aware that many things aren’t quite as they should be.

The recent drunk-driving and speeding incidents have especially caught their attention. And while it should not be tragic events that spark discussion, it is a positive sign that at least the younger part of the population thinks that these things are not okay. “We have laws,” said one student, “but nobody cares about them. When we are grown-ups, things will be different.”

It will hopefully not take that long for laws to be put into place, respected and enforced, but it would seem that the new awareness and enthusiasm among a whole generation is a good start that will inevitably bear fruit.


Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of November 13 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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