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 firstname.lastname@example.org
With all best wishes,
The Encompass Team
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