12 – 19 February 2010
In 2010, we had the exciting privilege of expanding our Visit to Israel & Palestine to include two teachers and four students.
The 2 teachers were:
- Mr. Keith O’Brien from St. Dominic’s Secondary School, Ballyfermot, Dublin
- Mr. Donal Rooney from St. Kilian’s Deutsche Schule, Clonskeagh, Dublin
The Fab Four students were:
- Sadhbh Burt Fitzgerald from Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Clontarf, Dublin
- Daniel Egan from Oatlands College, Mount Merrion, Dublin
- Dillon Mulligan from Oatlands College, Mount Merrion, Dublin
- Cliona Weltecke from St. Kilian’s Deutsche Schule, Clonskeagh, Dublin
As with previous trips, the students and teachers were given the opportunities to meet and discuss with the teachers and students on both sides of the wall/fence in Jerusalem and Hebron. They were also brought on tours of both places.
Their participation gave an additional boost to our overall programme, by showing their committment to engaging directly with both communities and to integrating the project into their school life back home.
As it was a first-time experience for us at Schools Across Borders to bring students over to Israel & Palestine, we felt that we were at last creating real parity in our exchange programmes. To date, we had the great pleasure of bringing Israeli and Palestinian students in Ireland. That is a hugely rewarding achievement in itself.
Now, the Israeli and Palestinian students could return the favour and welcome their Irish friends into their own homes and schools! Now the Irish students and teachers could see with their own eyes what Israel & Palestine is all about!
Many thanks to each of the Israeli and Palestinian teachers, IPYL (our partner organisation in Hebron) and to all the students and their families for being such wonderful hosts.
Many thanks to each of the Irish students and teachers for going the extra 5000 miles.
Something tells us that they will one day return. Nobody walks away from Israel & Palestine!
The Visit Reports compiled by each of the team tell it all…
“Friday 12th February was the date of our departure from Dublin Airport, via Frankfurt Flughafen, to Tel Aviv. We departed Dublin at 6 p.m. Everyone was in a good mood and very excited about the journey, however some of us, including me, were also feeling a little nervous, as we had never been to the Middle East before. I think I must have been a little bit afraid of the unknown. However I was really looking forward to seeing all the students that had participated in the programme in Israel and Palestine again…”
Click here for Cliona Weltecke’s Visit Report
“The purpose of our trip to Israel & Palestine was to be able to get the message of the students from each side of the conflict to the opposite sides because it is not at this time possible for them to do so themselves. It wasn’t a holiday for us and the whole time we were over there we felt the responsibility of our task on our shoulders. Schools Across Borders (SAB) is one of the most amazing programmes I have ever been involved with and it is revolutionary in its ways: there are no other organizations in the world that are doing what SAB is trying to do…”
Click here for Daniel Egan’s Visit Report
“Travelling to the Middle East was something I had never thought about. I travelled to India as part of a school immersion programme but the Holy Land was a completely different prospect. I had many misconceptions about this troubled part of the world. These had all come from TV, news and radio. Most of my misconceptions and prejudgments were proved completely wrong…”
Click here for Dillon Mulligan’s Visit Report
“It was a warm morning and we took a bus to Jerusalem. It was a long enough journey but maybe it seemed longer due to the fact that we were all absolutely wrecked from the long plane ride and I don’t think the adrenalin kicked in until later. The surroundings during the journey were enough to keep me awake (along with the right soundtrack from my i-pod). I wasn’t nervous at all, I was excited. A lot of my friends said to me “Don’t die” before I left but I thought that was a huge exaggeration…”
Click here for Sadhbh Burt Fitzgerald’s Visit Report
“This year I took part in the Schools Across Borders programme with my 6th Year students. The programme itself was an eye-opening and fruitful experience for the students. It allowed the students to investigate and to take part in a programme that deals with real issues that allow students to take ownership of their learning and experience of the project. I was lucky enough to have been invited over to Israel and Palestine to visit schools and meet the young people who have been caught up in the conflict….”
Click here for Mr. Keith O’Brien’s Visit Report
“I initially became aware of ‘Schools Across Borders’ as a teacher in St. Kilian’s School in Clonskeagh. As a teacher of CSPE and Religion this particular subject is very relevant and topical in the classroom. Further enthusiasm was also generated with the presence of ‘Schools Across Borders’ during the Transition Year programme. The opportunity was presented to me to visit Israel/Palestine which I accepted with open arms. For me this was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed…”
Click here for Mr. Donal Rooney’s Visit Report