The Arab community of Israel faces many challenges due to the geo-political context of Israel, their position as an ethnic minority within Israel, and other socio-cultural factors that impact on their human development and quality of life.
This project is to provide Palestinian Children living in Israel with contacts to the outside world so that they can share experiences of their lives, aspirations, ambitions; develop ideas that can contribute to them being active social citizens and promote responsibilities of compassion, respect and tolerance as global citizens. The same opportunity will be provided for children from the UK to meet with them and share their thoughts, life experiences, ambitions and future goals. This social interaction between children will expose them to new methods of thinking and living.
This project will start by twinning two schools in Israel with two schools in the UK. In this project, we will focus on schools located in two Arab communities in the Israeli Triangle area (Kfar Qara (Northern region) and Tira City (Southern region (average 700-1000 students each)), and based on its success we may extend these projects to another parts of the country. Schools in the Israeli-Palestinian schools lack the resources to provide classes that concern developing mental wellbeing, critical thinking, a sense of belonging and community service. The benefits will include better self esteem, self respect and wellbeing, greater awareness about the other worlds outside their world, more exposure to drama, music, sport. For the UK children, they will be exposed first hand to Arab culture and learn about their ways of life. Children can develop a sense of giving to less fortunate children and develop a sense of acceptance to the other regardless of nationality, race, colour and religion.
We need sponsorship to start this project. Israeli-Palestinian schools will need access to computers (internet access for chatting with children in the UK). English will be the language of communication between children, so there is a need for an intensive English language speaking skills class, to be provided after school. Sports facilities and equipments are required, a budget for travelling expenses to allow opportunities for children from both sides to meet and funding for evaluation. A team of teachers, children, parents, will be involved in putting a plan together to achieve these goals.
Professor Stephen Stansfeld, Professor Fuad Iraqi