Hi, my name is Sophia and I am the daughter of a refugee, a former athlete, Olympian, and International Olympic Committee Young Leader from Cyprus, and also the founder of a project called Winds of Change.
My country is a beautiful island in the heart of the Mediterranean, yet it has been marked by conflict and division. Our communities (Greek and Turkish speaking) have been forcefully displaced and divided since a war in 1974. My family was one of those displaced, and there is still a border dividing our country today.
As a former athlete and Olympian, I am a firm believer that sport can change people’s lives.
I want to contribute to peace in Cyprus through sport, by creating the first bi-communal team (made up of Greek and Turkish Cypriots) who will sail around the island together, for the first time in almost half a century. With this historic journey, I want to highlight the power that sport has, to bring people together, and i want to promote a bottom up approach to peacebuilding. My project is called “Winds of Change”, and I had the opportunity to develop it with the support of the International Olympic Committee and the support of Oxygono.
Winds of Change ultimately wants to challenge, empower and inspire young people in Cyprus to come together through sport, and have a common experience with a common purpose.
Update September 2023: I am proud to announce that on September 21, the International Day of Peace, we managed to successfully complete this historic circumnavigation, becoming the first team to sail around Cyprus in half a century. Our mission continues with the production of a documentary film. With your donation, you can help us tell our story and reach a wider audience.