When Larry Fergeson participated in Dr. Harry Anastasiou’s Cyprus in Transition overseas program in 2005, he'd originally planned on staying for the two-week duration of the course but dreamed of staying longer. Then he met Dr. Yiannis Laouris, a longtime peace activist and director of Cyprus’ Future Worlds Center, an organization that uses information and communication technologies to promote and build the capacity of social justice projects. Now, five years later, Fergeson finds himself embedded in conflict resolution work in Cyprus, the Mediterranean island nation divided by years of ethnic and territorial dispute.
"I stayed in Cyprus because I love it, and, for someone interested in peace-building and conflict resolution work, there's no better place," says Fergeson. "Because of the island’s small size, I have access to an incredible amount of high-level people who I could never hope to reach in places like D.C., Berlin, Paris, or Geneva."
Fergeson joined Future Worlds Center as a project coordinator and program developer and now is the head of the Humanitarian Affairs Unit. His programming work focuses on intercultural dialogue, civil society capacity building, development education and youth empowerment.
Fergeson's current portfolio includes: the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture; a United Nations High Commission on Refugees project called "Strengthening Asylum for Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Cyprus;" the bi-communal peace project "Jump Start" Youth Peace Campaign in Cyprus; and the European Union project "Youth Ambassadors for Millennium Development Goals."