previous programme activities
Our previous programmes were mainly focused on exchanges and encounters between Irish and Northern Irish school grouops and Israeli and Palestinian school groups.
Over the ten year period from 2002 to 2012. We were able to bring almost 100 students from both Israel and Palestine with their respective teachers on separate 8 -10 day visits to Ireland, to meet and discuss with the school groups. The visiting students were hosted by students in Dublin.
Dialogue was advanced between Israeli and Palestinian students by means of gentle facilitation by the students in Ireland. There were difficult moments, as expected. It was intense, liberating, memorable and worth every moment of it.
As the violence of the conflict in Israel & Palestine reduced gradually, from 2009 – 2013 we were also able to replicate these visits by bringing students and teachers from schools in Dublin to Israel & Palestine. These were big steps, completing the circle. And just as intense, liberating, memorable and valuable!
The project material produced by students in all areas were always part of the exchange, and it always went two-ways: if you did a poster for Israeli and Palestinian schools, then they had to give you feedback on it or make their own poster in return. Same rule for the letters, the videos, the poems and even the songs!
It didn’t stop there either. The programme was kept buzzing with energy on all fronts:
- cross-border visits between the schools in Dublin and Dundalk and Belfast helped to promote communication, understanding and friendship on the island of Ireland
- a summer camp in Dublin and Belfast brought students from all areas together for the first time …and we believe, made a little history that the students will never forget
- school awareness days helped to open up the programme to inform and engage the wider school community
a creative writing programme, organised in collaboration with Poetry Ireland and masterfully mentored by poet Mr. Seamus Cashman, brought some wonderful creative talents to the fore and give extra meaning to the right of freedom of expression.
We believe we have a duty to keep these great days alive. We owe it to the students and teachers who made them happen. Ideas are only real and effective when they are shared.
We hope the examples of previous school groups and students will therefore inspire new ideas and actions from the school and youth groups in our new Global Citizens programme.