Bring 24 young ambassadors together for peace

Apr 29, 2013

We won't be defeated by the snow!

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

Jan 28, 2013

November 2012 - Challenging and rewarding

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.

Oct 8, 2012

A Short and Moving Film about Encompass

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


Jul 2, 2012

How your Donation is Impacting young Peacemakers from around the World

Semma (aged 22) West bank, Palestinian Territories
Semma (aged 22) West bank, Palestinian Territories

Earlier this year you generously donated to our charity Encompass – the Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust for the project “Bring 24 Young Ambassadors together for Peace”. We are very happy to bring you this short update on how the project is progressing.

In the past ten years Encompass has brought together over 1,000 young people from across the world’s divides for powerful peace-building programmes called “Journeys of Understanding”. 

Thanks to your donation, 24 more young people from vastly different backgrounds, faiths, and perspectives will be joining us for a Journey of Understanding this November. These young people come from Indonesia, the UK, the US, the Palestinian territories, Israel and the Kashmir border area of Pakistan. The Journey of Understanding programme is structured around challenging outdoor activities, which test participants and build strong teams, and facilitated workshops, which take participants on a journey to explore themes of culture, stereotypes and identity.

Preparation for this programme is now well underway. 4 Palestinian participants have been chosen by our partner organization in the West Bank, the Tulkeram Peace Centre, and are preparing for their trip. Your donation will help cover the airfares of Semma (aged 22), Jaser (aged 26), Hend (aged 20) and Shadi (aged 22) who are potential change-makers in their communities. This will be the first time that they have taken part in an international programme where they will have the opportunity to spend time getting to know young Israelis from the other side of the conflict. Semma explains that she is "looking forward to hearing new opinions and ideas, having new and exciting experiences, and to making new friends." Shadi explains that his hope is to "find others who want to live in peace."

This November will be the first time that young people from the Mirpur region of Pakistan will join a Journey of Understanding programme. Mirpur is on the border with the Pakistan-administered region of Kashmir and has been facing a rise in extremist influences in recent years. It will be exciting to observe these young people meeting youngsters from different parts of the world for the first time and learning about their cultures and perspectives.

2012 has been the year that we built our strongest partnerships with other organizations around the world including in the UK, and we are looking forward to young people joining us from organizations such as Praxis, which supports refugees and asylum seekers in Britain, and from the Active Change Foundation, which rehabilitates young people in East London who have been involved in gang crime. We continue to enjoy a fruitful relationship with Syracuse University, New York, who never fail to provide us with bright young undergraduates for each of our Journey of Understanding programmes, helping us to bring a truly global perspective to our work.

Following this programme our young people will be supported to implement their own peace-building projects in their communities once they return home through our "Global Alumni Programme" and we look forward to bringing you more updates on their progress in the future. 

We hope you have enjoyed reading this update about our work.

If you would like to hear more about Encompass, provide us with feedback, or support us further, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing

With all best wishes,

The Encompass Team

Shadi (aged 22) West Bank, Palestinian Territories
Shadi (aged 22) West Bank, Palestinian Territories


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Jason Bowles

London, United Kingdom

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