Staff Development Seminar, Jerusalem, March 16th, 2017
This past year, Kids4Peace Jerusalem has seen exciting processes of growth and development. We have programmatic meetings/events occurring daily, whether it’s a youth meeting, parent facilitation group, community tour group, or something else. Because of this nature of growth and overlapping programming, it is far and few between that the entire Kids4Peace staff is able to gather as an entire staff. Last week, we were lucky enough to have an old friend of K4P’s, John Ungerleider, from the School of International Training in Vermont, lead an all-staff development seminar for all of us in our office. This half-day seminar consisted of training games, facilitation skill-building, shared meals, lots of laughter and songs, and deep dialogue opportunities.
After eating and spending some time outside playing ice-breakers, which helped us feel comfortable and relaxed as a group, and gave us ideas for games we could use for the youth, we went inside. We broke up into our program teams to discuss communication and what we felt was going well and what could use improvement. Afterwards, we divided into random groups where we passed around cards with personal questions and shared our own stories and lives with the rest of the group.
After drawing metaphors of youth empowerment in groups and creating sentences from them, John took these sentences and we sang them as verses to “I’ve got peace like a river.” It went something like this, each sentence getting the whole rendition of the song:
“I’ve got compassion in my backpack,” “I’ve got communication between the islands,” “I’ve got ideas in my head,” and “I’ve got creativity in my salad”
This was a silly and fun way to get us thinking about how to empower our Kids4Peace youth; what tools, games, dialogue, experiences, will help them become their best selves, trusting friends, resilient peace-supporters and future leaders both in our movement in Jerusalem and beyond.
In our final circle of the evening, each staff member said a sentence with the prompt “Because of Kids4Peace I…”. Here are some of the responses:
- “feel hopeful for the future”
- “can dream”
- “have rekindled hope in this land”
- “stay in Jerusalem”
- “can see outside of the box”
- “cannot be blind to our reality”
- “give more love to the others”
- “am part of a community that makes real impact every day”
- “know people that share the same goals as me”
Thank you, John, for leading us in this meaningful and fun-filled seminar and for believing in us year after year.
Stay tuned as we continue to bring more news, updates and stories from our daily lives in Kids4Peace Jerusalem!
Written by Liana Rothman – community engagement coordinator