by Jill and Shafiq, Kids4Peace Jerusalem Parents Facilitators
Shafiq and I want to share our enthusiasm, while it is fresh, following tonight’s meeting with the parents. This was the first time ever at K4P that we have created a space for the parents to connect and express their feelings WHILE their children are in the States at camp.
And how that gesture was appreciated! They were so thankful to Kids4Peace and the opportunities as parents to connect, not just with their children. This feels like a sign of true success to hear this much positive feedback from the parents.
As they walked into the room, with phones in hand the parents began to look at the photos on their phones and identify each other’s children. This brought so much joy into the room….as they laughed over the pictures….and weren’t just looking for THEIR child, but knew the other children’s faces and names! This is clearly connected to the fact that our pilot program gave them the chance over the last many months at the America House as parents to also feel the sense of community.
There clearly was a feeling of familiarity in the room. Not just between the parents in each camp, but also between the camps since they have been seeing each other over the past many months. It turns out that the parents have remained in constant touch with each other via a group on Whatsapp knowing that they are distant from their kids, but still wanting to be in contact with each other to share the experience.
When Shafiq and I walked out onto the street after summarizing together we were so happily surprised to see that the parents were STILL mingling…they just didn’t want to leave each other! Now that was the best form of encouragement –and we hope in the coming year that we can continue to expand the program. we can find new areas to grow and encourage the parents as well to plant their seeds as we all make change in this city which desperately needs our input and leadership modeling!