In preparation for intense dialogues at the US K4P camp, K4P JLM Leadership group embarked on their final seminar for the year;
“My Land, Your Land, Whose Responsibility?”
First stop: Eco-Me; A Center for Peace and Ecology. Eco-Me is a community-building project just outside of the Palestinian city of Jericho. The location accessible to both Palestinians and Israelis is an ideal place to bring people together looking at intentional community living, sustainability, and nonviolent communication. The stop consisted of a tour which explained the various levels the centre works on. After the tour the group broke into two groups and worked on a project that would give back to the center and serve others who visited. Using the materials available to them and the skills they had, two clear projects emerged: a hammock and a visitor’s board. Through collaborative work both groups were successful in working as a team and developing an idea into a reality through participatory communication. Many youth saw the value of such a place, many were put off by the simplicity and yet respectful of the choice. Some even signed up for future seminars and information.
Second stop: Ein Gedi Youth Hostel. Against the back-drop of the Ein Gedi National Park the youth presented their family history to the group, a project they have been working on for two months. The presentations served to highlight the importance of personal history to one’s identity and sense of self. It also served to underline the diversity across the groups’ histories, and note points of similarity. The youth stated that this gave them a greater sense of each other and a more rounded picture of each person.
Saturday took the group to Ein Gedi National Park, where they explored the terrain as a group and took respite in the small waterfalls that speckled the landscape. This informed the later dialogues where the youth took words associated with place and identity. Pictures from all aspects of life in Jerusalem served to ignite conversations about personal and collective responsibility to one’s home and one’s community.
The group’s ability to engage in often difficult discussions and to challenge their own narrative while engaging in dialogue with each other is a testament to how far they have come on their K4P journey.
They have come so far and are eager to keep going on their own personal journey to peace, and on that journey they will surely bring peace to others.