Formally established in 2008, the Cyprus Youth Clubs Organization (Greek acronym: KOKEN) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) which successfully coordinates 75 youth clubs with more than 5000 members in both urban and rural areas of the Republic of Cyprus. KOKEN’s main aim is to improve the quality of life of young individuals (age range: 13-35 years) by developing their skills and competencies through their active participation in regional, national and international activities.
These include events and actions on sports, culture, non-formal education, European projects, health prevention, human rights, environment and volunteering. KOKEN embraces diversity and welcomes the uniqueness of each young individual by providing equal participation for all, especially for those with limited opportunities. Additionally, KOKEN has effectively contributed to the implementation of various national, European, and scientific projects.
KOKEN is managed by the Board of Directors which is comprised of a maximum number of 14 individuals who have not been over 40 years old at the time of their election. The members of the board are volunteers who offer their services with no charge. No member is to be elected to the same position more than two consecutive terms.
The executive secretariat of the organisation is responsible for effectively and efficiently managing, coordinating and supervising the members of the organisation. Additionally, the Secretariat allows for the successful implementation of programmes, actions and strategies, as well as the coordination and support of the youth clubs. Guidance and expert advice is provided by skilled and knowledgeable youth workers.
The Cyprus Youth Clubs Organisation (KOKEN) is the oldest and biggest youth clubs’ coordinator in Cyprus. We are not profit-oriented, we have no political affiliations, we are non-governmental. We have one mission: to promote an active and responsible citizenship of young individuals.
We have many aims: to support and promote volunteerism, develop life and professional skills in the young, be an actor of change in the youth sector, raise awareness and provoke thoughts on drug use, immigration and prejudice, health and well-being, organ donation, safe driving and solidarity. And: provide a safe platform for fun: festivals, concerts and sports events are a few of the activities we organize and deliver.
Our successful collaboration with the Youth Board of Cyprus has led to the “Youth Initiatives” programme through which we encourage, support and guide the submission of applications on actions enhancing the aims of youth clubs.
These actions promote the planning and delivery of activities including cultural festivals, concerts, exhibitions, excursions and sports events. Through non-formal education, mobility and volunteering opportunities, young individuals are encouraged to become active citizens.
Educational seminars, campaigns and actions
DigitalYouth: Preparing Youth Workers for a digital work. (in progress, 2022). A project that focuses on preparing youth workers to engage in digital youth work
2020 ALCOHOL ALERT. A discussion-based project addressing alcohol consumption by young individuals in Cyprus, associated risks, the role of culture and family in promoting consumption. Workshops were also delivered in 10 rural areas in Cyprus which entailed the presentation of a documentary on youth and alcohol use in Cyprus followed by a discussion with 20 participants.
2019 Manage Your Youth Organization. This project involved the participation of 50 young people (age range: 18-30) from diverse backgrounds and with limited opportunities (e.g. disabilities, financial, societal, geographical and/ or educational obstacles) and from different levels of involvement in the public affairs and youth policy sector. The main objective was to provide knowledge on the effective management of youth organizations, youth clubs and/or youth groups. Through better management practices, young individual’s civic engagement could become more active and could promote engagement in the policy making.
2018 #Not You too. This project aimed at raising awareness on the recognition of sexual harassment and provided guidance to young individuals (18-30 years of age) on ways to preventing it.
2018 Mental Health and Youth. This aimed to highlight the importance of having a solid mental health and raising awareness on the psychological obstacles faced by young individuals (age range: 18-30) from childhood through adulthood.
2018 One Day or Day One. An educational project aimed at disseminating certain skills and awareness about Youth Work and the European values among the members of the Youth Clubs. Through this project, the volunteers had the opportunity to engage with young individuals from urban and rural areas, and getting acquainted with the youth clubs’ actions.
2019 Office Forward. A project promoting solidarity and volunteerism in an endeavor to enhance young people’s civic engagement. This project aimed to adequately strengthen the volunteers’ knowledge and social skills, via activities which provided a hands-on experience of the Cypriot culture. These activities encouraged youth’s active citizenship in Europe while facing daily life challenges.
2019 Social Connection. This project aimed at enhancing engagement and participation of young individuals in their local community. Objectives included: promoting European identity and values; social and cultural inclusion; development of skills; promoting social assistance and welfare.
2018 Desk It Up. This project promoted solidarity and volunteerism as an important virtue and focused on enhancing youth’s engagement in participatory activities which contributed on the development of a stronger society and culture.
2018 Youth Involvement. This project focused on improving the youth’s sense of citizenship and democratic participation; on promoting the European identity and values and embracing social inclusion and cultural awareness.
2017 “Put yourself in their shoes: Walk with the refugees”. This youth exchange programme was based in Cyprus and brought together 30 young individuals from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania, Spain, Italy and Ukraine. Discussions, presentations and an exchange of best practices and ideas regarding the refugees’ crisis across Europe were brought forward.
2017 ‘’Living with the media: Sense and sensibility’’. A total of 35 young individuals from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Serbia and Spain participated in this programme to discuss the impact of media on their perceptions and life. Core skills such as critical thinking were developed via non-formal education methods.