Bring 24 young ambassadors together for peace


Welcome to the latest update report from Encompass and thank you for supporting our work.

Without the support of people like you, our programmes which promote tolerance and understanding among young people quite simply wouldn't be able to continue.

Instead of me trying to explain how our recent November international Journey of Understanding went, I thought it better to share with you a personal reflection from a young person who was actually there. Georgia's report follows:

"During my time away, I realised that I can explore differences, through the deep discussions I had with all the amazing people I met. I felt comfortable talking about everything, from people and politics to religion and personal issues and I was never made to feel as though my questions were unimportant or silly.

So many nights were spend in deep group and 1-2-1 discussions; trying to learn from one another and often help solve problems too. Even our sessions ran way over most nights, as everyone got so involved and enjoyed them so much. Together, we’ve all learnt so much. I’ve learnt about team building, being more open-minded, supportive and maintaining self-control. I’ve also learnt more about religions, cultures, nationality, and other people’s emotional well-being. Surprisingly, I enjoyed discussing and now know more about governments, politics, wars, conflict, race, stereotypes, and so much more! Needless to say, I’ve learnt a lot! I think I knew some of this stuff before, but the Journey taught me more and lots of perspectives too. I think we assume we’re open-minded, myself included, but in honestly, I was shocked at my own ignorance.

I’ve witnessed some of the most beautiful scenes; from people genuinely wanting to find solutions for others’ conflicts and battles, to people who barely knew one another holding hands, encouraging and supporting each other to be brave and to carry on. Even in deep and heated debates everyone showed a level of respect and saw each other on a human level. I don’t think I can yet put a summary on this experience…this is the opening to a new beginning."

I hope that you enjoyed Georgia's report. Please do contact us here at Encompass if you would like to find out more about our work. Season's Greetings from everyone at Encompass!

Jason Bowles, Community Development Manager, Encompass Trust 

A world record in rock climbing and some powerful reflection

Thanks again for supporting Encompass Trust and our vital, life-changing peace and reconciliation work.

For this update I thought I’d tell you about our latest UK programme, which took place in July 2013 in South London.

The UK programme is a still fairly new concept at Encompass and takes place over a weekend rather than nine days like the international programme. Don’t let the ‘UK’ part of the title mislead you though. It’s very multi-cultural, reflecting the diverse community of London and of many other UK cities. We are continuing to roll out the UK programme across the UK.

It was a fantastic weekend of fun, laughter, team work, challenge and some very intense and inspirational discussions.

15 young people joined us from organisations including Refugee Youth, Praxis, Active Change Foundation, Salmon Youth Centre and Aik Saath, as well as young people who had simply heard about the programme through word-of-mouth.This meant that a myriad of different opinions and faiths and communities were represented. However, the group really bonded and the participants stayed awake throughout the night, discussing things like food and rituals in their different religions and learning about each other’s experiences and values. 

One of our favourite moments was sitting on the rooftop terrace in the dark and talking about what everyone wanted to achieve in life. It was fascinating to hear how our ambitions varied wildly: from running a nursery to getting a world record in rock climbing, yet we still found common ground.

The programme was almost entirely facilitated by our group of volunteers, all of whom are ex-participants on different Encompass programmes. It was really fantastic to see them put into practice the skills they gained through
their experience with Encompass. Every single one of them shone and it is no exaggeration to say the programme would not have been possible without them and of course supporters like you!

Now we are busy making sure that as many people as possible from the programme use what they have learnt, in order to develop their own projects back in their communities.

Thanks again for your continued support for Encompass. Please look out for our next report on the November International programme.

Welcome to the latest update report from Encompass.

Our March 2013 Journey of Understanding was full of challenging outdoor adventure activities and facilitated workshops tackling tough issues such as: religion, culture, and ideology. From youth council members from Fight for Peace in Woolwich, London to youth leaders in Indonesia, there was no doubt that we had a good group of young adults who were all willing to make positive changes within their communities.

The activities took place at the Plas Gwynant Outdoor Education Centre in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. Activities included gorge walking, canoeing, exploring an old slate mine and climbing Mount Snowdon. Many
of the outdoor activities the youth participated in challenged them mentally and physically, and lead to a greater sense of unity amongst cultures and communities.

The weather in Wales at this time was terrible and heavy snow blocked some roads. However, this didn't stop the Journey of Understanding!

As the week went on, we hosted workshops geared toward breaking down stereotypes and barriers between cultures, religions, and ideologies. One of the facilitated discussions, coordinated by the young leaders working together in groups as a team, covered wide-ranging topics such as nationalities, refugees, euthanasia, evolution and even plastic surgery – everyone wanted to voice their opinions.

“It was interesting, inspiring and mind-opening. The fact that I met so many people, some whom I share a lot
with, and some whom I share almost nothing with, made me think about my life, my world and my views. Now I hope to learn more about the world and to think about how I can use what I learnt here to impact others.”
Natalie, Israel

“I learnt that I have to be more open minded. My tiny little box which is warm and comfortable is not suitable for me anymore. There is a lot to discuss and to be done in society... I learnt to appreciate people as human beings beyond their religion, nationality, political view and race.” Vania, Indonesia

On the return to London, participants remained in the UK and took part in a series of Encompass activities: visiting one of our partners, Active Change Foundation in Walthamstow; working with children at Salmon Youth Centre
in Bermondsey and facilitating a couple of workshops at a fundraising event in London’s West End.

The programme ended with 24 young, confident emerging community leaders saying tearful goodbyes to their new family.

“I feel like I’ve made some lifelong friends from around the world and I’m also more aware of other
cultures across the world.

With my new-found experience and being a youth worker, I can teach the next generation about being open-minded and the consequences of being ignorant and intolerant. The Encompass Trust Journey of Understanding has been just that for me – a journey of understanding.” Nicole, UK

The Journey of Understanding was a huge success and once again, we thank you for your continued support.

The Encompass Team

We made it! On the top of Snowdon
We made it! On the top of Snowdon

Welcome to the latest update report from Encompass. Firstly, thank you so much again for your support for our work.

The November 2012 Journey of Understanding was particularly challenging. At a time when tensions were running high in the Middle East, the programme managed to take the strain, because it places emphasis on people.

It absorbed the tensions emerging from violence between Gaza and Israel, through fostering the values of respect and acceptance. There was greater revelation and a freshly found global perspective on conflict, identity and community.

The group was made up of 25 young adults between the ages of 17 and 27, with nine coming from the UK and four each from Indonesia, Israel, Occupied Palestine and the USA.

Participants from the UK came from our burgeoning partnerships with a number of diverse community based organisations.

Our strong partnership with the Active Change Foundation, a joint Afro-Caribbean and Pakistani youth centre in Walthamstow brought two Muslim young women on to the programme. For both Naseema and Zahra the Journey of Understanding was the first time for them to join a residential programme outside their community.

The American group drew together four participants from our partner Syracuse University, the Indonesians were all students from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds in Malang, the Palestinians from the West Bank town of Tulkarem and the Israeli's from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The activities took place at our new venue, Plas Gwynant in Snowdonia National Park. The centre didn't disappoint with activities including gorge walking, abseiling, rock climbing, kayaking, exploring an old slate mine and climbing Mount Snowdon.

A team ethic was fostered across conflict, culture and religion. The atmosphere enabled the group to build mutual trust.

As the week went on discussions concerned identity, stereotyping and conflict, as well as confronting social and political issues.

"The Journey of Understanding made me question my entire thought process and how I've been making false assumptions my whole life." Aaron (USA)

"This programme developed my ability to be open-minded and accepting of other's points of view. I will take this learning and apply it in Encompass Indonesia's scheme of workshops in schools across the island of Malang." Ririn (Indonesia)

The final two days of the programme were spent training the participants in facilitation and allowing them to run workshop sessions of their own. Participants were taken through the key skills required to be an effective facilitator and the steps needed when planning discussion sessions.

On the return to London, 23 of the participants remained in the UK to take part in a series of Encompass events at community based organisations, as part of Youth Interfaith Week. 

Combining the revelation of a freshly found global perspective on conflict, identity and community with newly developed skills in facilitation, the programme ended with 25 emerging community leaders saying an emotional goodbye to a very special family.

Thanks again for your support. Please look out for our next update!

The Encompass Team.

Every few months, GlobalGiving invites us to share a short report with our supporters. We hope that this update finds you well.

The last few months have been a busy and exciting time at Encompass, with much development taking place. I will leave you with the most recent copy of our newsletter to catch up on much of this, but in the meantime, we would like to share with you a short (6 minute) and moving film that has been made about the impact that Encompass is having around the world.

This film was launched last month at our very special and enjoyable Film Premiere event "Encompass Inspires...". For those of you who could not make it, we hope that you enjoy watching it here, by following this link:

If you would like to recieve a free copy of this film in the post or have any other enquiries, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing:

With very warm wishes from all of us,

Madeleine (Fundraising Manager) & the Encompass Team



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Project Leader

Jason Bowles

London, United Kingdom

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