Encompass - The Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust

Encompass works to bring together young people from different cultures and backgrounds, supporting them to become more understanding and tolerant of each other while giving them the skills and confidence to promote intercultural understanding in their communities.
Mar 4, 2016

Being the Change

The Feb 16 international programme group!
The Feb 16 international programme group!

Wow! Another Journey of Understanding complete and what a journey it has been! So many inspirational young people from across the globe with such varied and wonderful stories and life experiences to share. 24 young people from five countries, including Israel, Palestine, the US, Indonesia and the UK travelled to Snowdonia, Wales, for a week of workshops addressing issues such as identity, community, stereotype and conflict; with the aim of developing their understanding of others and giving them the skills to become advocates of lasting change.

It really has been a genuinely rich an vibrant programme and we hope this zeal and enthusiasm continue far, far beyond this last week in sunny Wales.

I was amongst many who attended the end of programme Showcase Ceremony which took place last Monday night at one of University of Westminster’s central London campuses. It was an event not to be missed, and an excellent chance to see, first-hand, how Encompass programmes change young people’s lives for the better. Special speakers included Georgia Hardie, who had previously gone on an Encompass programme and has been volunteering with us ever since. She has previously won a major Prince’s Trust Award and inspired our new participants with her enthusiasm and personal achievements. Then long-term Encompass supporter and lay-preacher David Eagle, explained why he supported Encompass and why he felt motivated to share our good work with others in churches in his local area of Epsom, Surrey.

Programme participants were asked questions such as ‘When you were packing for the programme, how did you feel?’, which generally was answered with ‘nervous and excited’! The key question of ‘Has it changed your view of someone else or challenged any stereotypes’ was met with a resounding ‘yes!’

Challenge to Change #challengetochange

Participants were supported to develop their own ‘Challenge to Change’ and we can report that some excellent ideas came out of this.

Personal Challenges

Some of the personal challenges that participants have highlighted in their own words are as follows;


• “Not to believe everything, but to research to make more informed opinions.”
• “Work on improving relationships with people of different backgrounds to gain an understanding of their views.”
• “Embrace my culture and ethnicity to learn about my personal history.”
• “Work on being more patient in certain situations.”
• “Be more informed about happenings around the world.”
• “Challenge media perceptions with more informed, first-hand accounts of global events.”
• “Develop an appreciation for the wider world”
• “Be more open-minded.”
• “Learn the Arabic language.”
• “Develop my critical thinking.”

Changes

Further to and beyond the personal challenges, participates planned some excellent projects to further the work and ethos of Encompass and all that they leant on their Journey. Here are some of their ideas;

“Work with the Syracuse (University) Women's Leadership Initiative to get more interfaith speakers on campus.”
• “Deliver workshops/ sessions around conflict resolution in schools.”
• “Work with refugees in Syracuse to make transition better.”
• “Actively work to connect university students with the city.”
• “Create interfaith events and interactions.”
• “Conduct a social experiment – Filmed Q&A in my local city centre.”
• “Volunteer in a multicultural school.”
• “Community cohesion football tournament.”
• “Homeless tea and lunch drop-ins.”

At Encompass we are striving to work hard to empower young people to not only be, but too make the positive change they hope to see in society. Our work would not be possible without the generous donations of our supporters. Please help us to continue our work to make this world a more cohesive and peaceful place to be, by donating today.

Workshop discussion time
Workshop discussion time
Jan 21, 2016

It's nearly here!

Indonesian participants have their prep day!
Indonesian participants have their prep day!

Welcome to the latest update from Encompass Trust, on the progress of our international programmes. We are delighted to tell you that the next international programme (February 2016) is nearly here. We have been recruiting participants over the last few months and are nearly there in terms of the 24 required to make sure that the programme is diverse and engaging.

The programme is taking place at the Plas Gwynant Outdoor Education Centre in Snowdonia, North Wales; a venue that Encompass has used many times before. The staff and facilities are excellent and highly tailored to enable us to run the workshops and team-building activities that are so important to the success of our programmes.

Each programme cohort includes:

Eight young people from the UK. Why? Because the UK is diverse, yet often communities are closed in a sense that many live side by side but not mixing in multi-cultural activities. And of course in the UK, as of much of Western Europe, there has been a dark undertone of right wing scaremongering against new peoples and asylum seekers.

Four young people from the US. Why? - Because the US is diverse, but often communities live separate lives, and because the US is such an enormous country, many young people don't get to travel outside of their country to experience other cultures first-hand.

Four young people from Israel. Why? - Because Israel and some of its neighbours are living side by side in a state of tension and hatred.

Four young people from Palestine. Why? - Because Palestine and its neighbour Israel live in constant mistrust and fear of each other.

Four young people from Indonesia. Why? - Because Indonesia is diverse yet often sees internal religious conflict. It is of course, also the home of the Bali bombers, who planted the bomb that killed Daniel Braden, in whose name Encompass was set up.

Planning

Over the past few months, Programme Development Officer Sahdia Khan and Facilitator Helen Bartlett have been meeting regularly to plan the Feb 2016 international programme and we can safely say that they have settled on a robust and powerful programme of activities and workshops, aimed at addressing themes of identity, community, stereotype and conflict. The programme runs over a week and each day is very full of activities. At the end of the week the participants get to take part in a 'Take-over Day', where they have the opportunity to be the facilitators themselves. This gives them valuable prospect enhancing skills.

Programme Officer Sahdia, said about the programme, "We are so excited that it's nearly here. Each programme is unique and we aim to keep the activities structured yet flexible. For example, a few years ago it was necessary to change one of the days around because of events that occurred in the Middle East. It shows how relevant our programmes are. They aim to tackle real issues in a safe and secure setting."

Thank you for your support for Encompass. Look out for our next report when we will be sharing all that happened on the February programme.

Team bonding on a previous international programme
Team bonding on a previous international programme
Nov 10, 2015

Busy times planning next international programme

One of the training rooms at Plas Gwynant
One of the training rooms at Plas Gwynant

Thank you for your support for our work. It's all systems go as we plan our next international programme here at Encompass! Programme Development Officer Sahdia Khan has already booked the venue - Plas Gwynant Outdoor Education Centre in Snowdonia, North Wales - and we've had many applications from young people who want to take part in the programme.

The event will take place in February/March 2016 and involve 26 young people aged 18-25 from the UK, Indonesia, Israel, Palestine and the US. The aims of the programme are to support young people from different backgrounds and cultures to understand each other better, and to give young people the skills and confidence to promote intercultural understanding in their own communities.

The next international programme will include outdoor activities that are designed to bring groups together, to work as a team and build trust between individuals. Workshops give participants the chance to explore themes around identity, community, conflict and stereotypes and will include small and large group work, games and facilitated discussions. Towards the end of the programme young people will benefit from facilitation training and run their own workshops for other participants. This will give them the skills and confidence to use their Encompass experience to benefit their own communities after the programme.

Programme Development Officer Sahdia, has been meeting with facilitator Helen Bartlett, in order to review previous feedback from workshops and develop new ones, having also spent the whole year looking for new ideas and training plans.

As you can image, it takes a while to recruit young people from five countries and it’s only those from the US (who are based in London for a semester at Syracuse University London Campus), and those from the UK, that we can recruit and interview directly ourselves here in London. We rely on the great skills of our three international co-ordinators for our recruitment in Israel, Palestine and Indonesia. As a sneak preview, we are delighted to tell you that we've had 135 young people from Indonesia apply to take part in our next international programme so we have a BIG task of narrowing this group down to just four participants!

Sahdia said, "It's a busy time for us here at Encompass. Programme preparation isn’t easy. As well as co-ordinating the recruitment of all participants, the training venue needs booking and workshops need to be planned and developed. But once it’s all done, the participants arrive at Heathrow from five countries and different communities, cultures and religions, we can’t help but think it's all been worthwhile! That’s when the real work starts!"  

Previous international programme activities
Previous international programme activities
 
   

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