Cyprus Youth Clubs Organization (ΚΟΚΕΝ)
Cyprus Youth Clubs Organization (Greek acronym KOKEN) is the secretariat of a national network of youth clubs in the Republic of Cyprus. Through more than 86 associations and 20 local youth groups in urban and rural areas, KOKEN reaches 8.000 young people aged 13-35 each year.
KOKEN works in the interest of young people through the provision of a range of social, educational and recreational activities and support services corresponding to their needs and aspirations.
KOKEN is a member of the General Advisory Body of the Youth Board of Cyprus, and a full member of the Cyprus Youth Council (CYC) and the European Confederation of Youth Clubs (ECYC).
The foundation of the Youth Clubs was a government initiative started in the late 60’s. The expansion of the Youth Clubs came as a result to the division of Cyprus which followed the Turkish invasion in the North part of the island in 1974. In the refugee settlements that were created after the war, the youth clubs served as spaces for constructive recreational and social activities for the refugees who were living in the.
In the decade 1975 – 1985, dozens of clubs were founded across the Republic of Cyprus, mainly in suburban and rural areas. There is also a youth club established by young people with hearing problems and 2 youth clubs by young people of Pontic Greek origin.
KOKEN was registered as a non-governmental organization in 2008 succeeding the Pancyprian Coordinating Committee of Youth Clubs.
The mission of KOKEN is to offer opportunities to young Cypriots to develop their skills and attitudes and to promote active participation in society at local, national and international level.
Aims and Purposes
The main purpose of KOKEN is to improve the quality of life of the young population of the Republic of Cyprus. KOKEN aims in delivering innovative non-formal learning to young people in order to encourage them to take responsibility and become active citizens.
Projects and Activities
All the youth clubs are experienced in cultural events and festivals, tournaments, sports, theater and dance festivals and outdoor activities. Moreover, KOKEN encourages permanent and periodic activities of the Youth Clubs in the following fields: non- formal education, European projects, health prevention, human rights, environment, entertainment and volunteering.
The Cyprus Youth Clubs Organization works with stakeholders from different sectors; public, business and civil society.
KOKEN has solid experience in the field of European projects. With the support of the European Programme “Erasmus+/Youth in Action” KOKEN has implemented projects under the actions: Training Courses, Youth Exchanges, Youth Initiatives, European Voluntary Service, Partnerships, and Cooperation with Neighboring Countries.
KOKEN has carried out training courses on subjects such as: Youth Participation, Skills Development for Youth Workers, Sex Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership.
KOKEN has also implemented a Grundtvig Workshop under the Lifelong Learning Programme for Sharing Learning in Communities.
With these projects, KOKEN promotes intercultural learning and non-formal education and creates opportunities for international mobility for the young people and the people working with the youth in Cyprus.
Through the national funding project “Youth Initiatives”, the Youth Clubs implement different actions such as workshops, open-discussions, presentations and seminars.