And they’re off! Leadership 1 is on the airplane and headed to Vermont for an incredible, meaningful albeit challenging summer. This group is the first group of Kids4Peace Jerusalem’s 99 youth, 8 counselors, 22 adult staff, joining their counterparts from summer camp in America.
Leadership is the 4th year in Kids4Peace’s six-year year-round program of interfaith dialogue, leadership development and nonviolent action. Youth from Jerusalem and the neighboring areas of the West Bank meet new friends from North America for a two-week summer program in Brattleboro, Vermont where they address in-depth topics such as teamwork, leadership & communication skills, democracy & civil society, conflict transformation, and interfaith education. Dialog is facilitated by visiting experts such as United States diplomats, former Israeli and Palestinian combatants, artists, and religious leaders from each faith.
“I feel happy for real, for the first time in weeks. The kids are so excited. You don’t feel any anger between them now just excitement and relief. Everything started perfectly, from the bus arriving on time, the kids all meeting at the office early, and Airport Security recognizing us as VIPs. We are on the plane and feel so ready to fly and start camp already.” -Reeham Subhi, Kids4Peace Jerusalem Co-Director of Education
“I still go to camp to show the world that it is possible to have Palestinians and Israelis in the same room without hating each other.” – Adan, age 14
“I still go to camp to prove that Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims, Christians and Jews can coexist and get together and talk about what they are feeling. We get together to talk, listen, respect and above all – try to understand each other.” -Emmanuel, age 15