Thirty children, aged from seven to 11, will take part in the Maximum Art, Minimum Risk camp during the February school holiday, Prime Ministry Anti-Drugs Commission chairman Hasan Karaokçu said.
It will include “fun and education” for the children, 20 of whom have been chosen from two inner-city schools.
They will be joined by another 10 young residents who live in the capital’s walled city and are deemed to be “at risk and are supported by our commission”, Mr Karaokçu added.
Commission education expert Gülcem Sala Razı stressed the need to step up “protective measures” for young people.
The project has the backing of the TRNC Cultural Office, whose head, Nilay Tunçalp Kaya, said: “This is not just a programme for juniors. We hope to extend it to secondary schools and colleges and have already seen interest from older students and support from parents.”
Atatürk Cultural Centre director Umure Örs said: “I am very excited to be hosting the exhibition. Drug addiction is a very real threat to young lives and we must all make a united effort within our particular sectors to keep our children out of harm’s way and develop new approaches to this problem.”
The art camp, which will be held from February 14-21, will be run by artist and therapist Bahar Çıralı.
She set up her Bellapais-based Art Terapi centre almost seven years ago after studying art at Turkey’s Hacettepe University and specialising in psychology and art therapy in Italy.
“The language of art gives very effective results in therapy and helps children to develop,” she said.
“We believe that boosting the self-esteem of children reduces the very real risk of their falling prey to drug addiction.”
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