Bi-Communal Program

Friends of Nature Cyprus
Proud to deliver The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award
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Friends of Nature, Cyprus [“FoNC”] is pleased to announce its collaboration with SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE, NICOSIA [“SOS”] and the launch of the island's first bi-communal Award program.


Our NGOs share a common goal and vision in building bridges, providing and supporting all young people, regardless of their socioeconomic, geographical, cultural and religious backgrounds, with the opportunity to develop and to equip skills for life and work.


FoNC is a young NGO, which was reactivated in 2016. Its purpose is to foster relationships and co-operation between and amongst Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots while focusing on local youth development, social development and environmental awareness. This is being achieved by delivering The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award [“The Award”] to the young people of the island.


FoNC’s first year of activity was primarily focused on establishing and securing a foothold in order to become an ongoing concern before pursuing its main purpose. With countless hours of volunteering, provided by a dedicated and giving team, this has now come to fruition. Focus has therefore, been allowed to shift towards fostering relationships with other likeminded people and organisations to support as many disadvantaged young people as possible by offering them The Award and then forming bi-communal teams with these participants. The cost for their participation will be covered directly from FoNC’s surplus funds and fundraising.


SOS was established in 1991. Since 1993 SOS has started working directly with children in need by providing them with family-based care in SOS Families, Day-Care and Kindergarten with long-term support programs to develop into self-confident, independent adults.


In 1994, SOS was accepted as a member association of SOS Children’s Village International. Since then the Youth Facility was established in Kyrenia, The Prevention of Child Abandonment, Family Strengthening Project, The Kyrenia Youth and Resource Centre and Strengthening Asylum in Cyprus were also launched.



Ever since The Award was first introduced in Cyprus, the opportunity to acquire the benefits that can only come from participating has been offered exclusively to privileged young people attending private schools.


While The Award is beneficial to its participants, there are economic and geographical barriers to its accessibility. This unfortunately results in the majority of young people being omitted from the benefits the program has to offer.



FoNC is working hard to remove the barriers of entry for as many disadvantaged young people as possible. The bi-communal program is geared specifically towards young people from Cyprus who have:


1. Financial difficulties
2. Been orphaned
3. Been abandoned by their parents
4. Suffered abuse
5. Disabilities


FoNC has provided access by funding the cost of The Award to the first ever bi-communal team comprised of six diverse young people. They include: two participants who are under the legal care of the SOS and four participants of varying socioeconomic backgrounds from Limassol.


This opportunity offered them their first chance to collaborate with their peers as well as crossing the divide for the first time. Following the team’s training session we are now looking forward to showing the whole team some of the best that nature has to offer as they progress through their Award.



Potential external funding will go directly towards covering the expenses involved with delivering The Award to less fortunate young people who will then go on to form bi-communal teams. FoNC will be asking suitable candidates to apply for available places. The FoNC Council will be reviewing all applications to determine who can benefit the most.


Costs include:


1. Registration to The Award Foundation [UK]
2. License Fee to The Award Foundation [UK]
3. Administration
4. Participant Training by Accredited Award Leaders
5. Transportation
6. Practice Adventurous Journey supervision by Accredited Supervisors and Award Leaders
7. Qualifying Adventurous Journey supervision and assessment by Accredited Supervisors and Assessors
8. Fuel for support vehicles on Practice and Qualifying Adventurous Journey
9. Maintenance of camping equipment
10. Public liability insurance



We believe that it is impossible for all learning to take place within the confines of the classroom. Experiential learning, outside of the classroom, is also needed to help young people expand their horizons and develop into committed and responsible adults.


Attributes such as perseverance and passion in accomplishing long term goals are linked to success in education, life and work. The Award offers a structured program which involves volunteering, physical and skill based challenges which are designed to inspire, guide and support young people to achieve their own goals and dreams.


The benefits and positive effects of The Award are proven and far reaching. Communities are enriched with passionate and driven volunteers, businesses benefit from work ready, competent recruits and young people are given the confidence to shine.


Participants that have come through the program are better equipped for the challenges that life will bring regardless of their background, physical ability, skills and interests. Participation is a personal challenge and not a competition against others; it definitely pushes young people to their personal limits whilst recognising their achievements.


Since its launch in 1956, the Award has helped to inspire millions of young people all around the world to transform their lives and is achievable by those who want to take up the challenge.


As The Award is internationally recognised, universities and employees from around the world highly regard Award Holders, as they have clearly demonstrated commitment, persistence, determination and engagement in their candidates.



The Award is comprised of three levels which share four sections. At each level of engagement, it demands progressively more time, commitment and responsibility.


Bronze Level: Over 14 years of age
Silver Level: Over 15 years of age
Gold Level*: Over 16 years of age


Award Sections:


Skill: Development of personal interests, practical and social skills.
Service: Volunteering time to servicing their community and understand the benefit.
Physical: Participate in sport, physical recreation or the improvement of health and fitness.
Adventurous Journey: Encourages a sense of adventure whilst undertaking an expedition. As part of a small team participants will plan, train for and undertake a journey with a defined purpose in an unfamiliar environment.
*Residential Project [only for Gold]: Broadening participant’s horizons through involvement with others in a residential setting.