Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 7195

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Karpaz Peninsula: Journey to Untouched Paradise
Category: 7. Health and the Environment
Bibliography: http://karpazpeninsula.jimdo/bibliography/

School: Eastern Mediterranean Doga College
    Famagusta, Famagusta, Cyprus

4 students, ages 16,15,15,15 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 7, 2012. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): Never

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Tezel Efecan, Mr. Behic Cengiz, Xiuyan, Ruofan, Sevgi, Ugfe

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our team is a group of four girls aged 15,15,15 and 16. We all attend the same private school, Eastern Mediterranean Doga College, in N. Cyprus. The word ‘doga’ is Turkish for nature. When our coach, Sociology teacher Mrs. Efecan approached us with this project it sparked interest in all of us, and we jumped on board without hesitation.

Xiuyan Sule is 16, originally from China, she worked mainly on the web site and researched activist groups and organizations for the cause. Ruofan (Lilly) is 15, she is also from China. She was in charge of researching animals in Karpaz and how they will be affected by upcoming problems. Sevgi is 15, she is a native of Cyprus, she concentrated on the threats to the area. Ugfe is also 15 and from Cyprus, she researched the beautiful and diverse flora of Karpaz and how they are in danger.

Even though our team is very diverse, we have many things in common, the main one being our love for nature and especially the Karpaz peninsula in North Cyprus.

2. Summary of Our Project

Until recently, the Karpaz peninsula in North Cyprus, was virtually untouched and home to many types of flora such as endemic flowers, and animals such as wild donkeys, many species of birds reptiles and amphibians. The area is important to the Mediterranean ecosystem. We all thought doing a project on the Karpaz peninsula would be interesting to do, creating an awareness in our school, community, country and who knows, maybe it will have a ripple effect and bring an awareness beyond the borders of our country. If the Karpaz area is not protected it will soon be built up commercially and the eco-system will be changed forever, and that will have undesired effects on surrounding countries ecosystems as well. Therefore, one country's ecosystem will have an effect on another, the pollution or ecological destruction doesn’t know boundaries or borders therefore protecting the environment is a common part of diplomacy.

Included on our site is a page where visitors can find out how they can help protect this beautiful corner of paradise.

We all worked diligently to put this project together, we each took an important area to research. Our main research method was the internet, textbooks from the school library, interviews. We also took a trip to Karpaz, where we took lots of pictures and got to see things first hand.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The biggest problem we had to overcome was that of time, we were literally racing against time. First, we found this project very late in mid February and decided to dive in head first, and give it all we've got. Second, we had such a busy schedule with school, exams, and other extra curricular activiities. Their were some days that we couldn't meet to work together.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Through Doors to Diplomacy the students gained great experiences in researching, collecting data, sorting through it all and presenting it to the school, community and beyond. This project helped them gain a greater self-esteem and confidence

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our project deals with Environmental Awareness and through our school curriculum we are aware of not only world wide issues concerning the environment but also local issues which need to be addressed. We wanted our focal point to be on the Karpaz Peninsula, which has been drawing much attention due to on going development in fact some foreign newspapers have mentioned it to soon become the new Las Vegas of this part of the world. We learned that we had to work as a team and incorporate each others ideas and to be able to let other ideas go. We also learned about how to design a web site to make it visually appealing to all audiences. On a larger scale we learned that yes we want to become a better developed country, but we must do it in such a way to protect the environment. We discovered that UNOPS has several projects to protect the wild life of Karpaz. We also learned that our school and education system are aware of the issues and very concerned about them. When you think about it people were not concerned about things like global warming until it was too late, so we need to think on a global level and act on a local level. Using the internet has proven to be a powerful and effective method for teaching and learning, but the traditional methods of presentation is just as powerful. We took a day trip to Karpaz with all the sounds, smells and sights that you can't get from internet. We saw donkeys hiding behind trees when they saw us, showing a child like shyness

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

Once we decided to do this project our coach Mrs. Efecan took us on a one day trip to Karpaz. We took lots of pictures and asked lots of questions to whoever we saw, gathering lots of primary data, we even had a picnic and it was a fun day of exploring. All of us worked on this project mostly at home so everyone had their own computer and we texted by phone, chat on Facebook or e-mailed each other to share information about the project. We also met some days in Mrs. Efecan's office at school where we would make phone calls, conduct research and just have a quiet place to work together. We also used secondary sources of data such as the local media, internet sites and books from the school library.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

There are many people and groups trying to raise awareness to this issue, with our project they now have four more, if we can reach four more and they can reach four more the number of informed will multiple. We have come into contact with many experts on the same quest and would like to invite them to our school to give presentations to students. We also will inform the students in our school of our project by inviting them to view our web page. There will be a Spring Fest in April we are planning on reserving a stand to inform students, teachers, parents and residents of our community about our project. And finally, we will be notifying newspapers of our project.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The people of Cyprus are a close-knit community who feel pride in their land. The nature and living things of Cyprus are its symbols and people will want to embrace this. We are sure that seeing our website will stir some emotions and awaken awareness inside many. Although our website hasn’t had many visitors yet, we strive to promote it aplenty and make sure everybody learns something they can think about. We plan on sending our finalized web pages to all those who got involved and helped us along the way with their knowledge and insight. Such as Turkish Cypriot Green Action representative Dogan Sahir, the Head of Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Environmental Engineers Nilden Bektas and to KUSKOR. We were open to constructive criticism from our friends, families and teachers, the feedback was well used and we are very happy to have helped the issue of Karpaz, if only a little.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We did not receive help from anyone outside the team for researching or setting up the website. Since we found and started this project in late-February, we felt that our time was rather limited to form many contacts to support us. Along with our heavy workload from school, our schedules weren’t exactly the most relaxed! This was a disadvantage for us, but we happened to learn quite a lot about everything involved in such projects: from website design to team work, from dividing responsibilities to citations. We do wish that we could have had helpers to do some of the more laborious tasks, but overall we gained many skills. The day we took a trip to Karpaz together, some residents of Karpaz gave us good ideas for our webpage content. We chatted with people to help give us a general picture of the situation and this was before we did any research, so it was a helpful push in the right direction.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

When we first heard of Doors to Diplomacy, we weren’t confident about it at all. We all agreed that Karpaz was a good subject to do, but that was it. We didn’t understand programming language, we didn’t know how to make citations, we weren’t sure what obstacles we would face working together. All in all, we had a common goal: we wanted to preserve the wonderful and untouched Karpaz, to stop create an awareness of the great harm that would be caused. Through determination, hard work and our love for nature we learned a good deal about the Karpaz environment Some days the tension that would build up between us and sometimes we would motivate each other. At the end we all learned a lot about each other, about team work, and working for a common cause. All four of us are very happy, excited and proud of our project. In closing our message to you is: we only have one planet to live on so we need to protect it.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 7195)

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