On the 16th of November, we had a talk with Darren Irvine, the founder of “Schools Across Borders” about the work he does with students in areas of conflict. Darren has worked with Protestant and Catholic students in Northern Ireland and in the Republic in order to help the young people make a change by helping them to realize how similar they are.
Darren has also been working with Israeli and Palestinian teenagers which we discussed during his visit. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict began in 1948 when the State of Israel was established and Palestinians were forced to move into small areas of land in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The conflict in Israel and Palestinians was started during World War 2 when Jewish people fleeing from Hitler and his persecution, took over the area, sending Palestinians away. Since this event, there has been a conflict between the two communities. Palestinians feel angry that they are being confined to small areas of land and that they are not being acknowledged as a country. The Israelis feel they rightfully own the land. However on both sides, there are many people who want peace.
There is an incredible amount of injustices and lack of human rights in this area. Israelis are under conscription meaning that all people over 18 must join the army which takes away all other job opportunities. The Palestinians rights are being violated by having their houses searched daily by armed Israeli soldiers and being
arrested for no other reason than being a “bad influence”.
The entire day was a real eye opener for me and made all of us think about how many people suffer in the world and how very lucky we are. I was very moved by the stories of families whose lives had been torn apart and the entire experience made me want to help. We were delighted that we would get the chance to communicate with
Israeli and Palestinian students through the “Schools Across Borders” programme as it was a chance to help other young people and by working with each other to make very worthwhile difference.
We're all having an amazing time in TY, every week it gets better :D
See the work of SAB at http://www.schoolsacrossborders.org/
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