Press release for the Teachers in Action project
At this dangerous time in the world, it is more than ever important that young people learn to respect people unlike themselves and build bridges of communication that will encourage them to learn about each other’s lives, oppose discrimination and work creatively to defend human rights. Promoting such links is a central project for the human rights charity CADFA which has been organising creative projects shared by young people, women and men in Britain and Palestine for the past eleven years.
One of Cadfa’s most exciting projects to date, building on school and youth links created since 2006, TEACHERS IN ACTION 2016 (a project funded by the European Union via Erasmus+ youth funding and supported by the NUT) will support links between schools in Britain and Palestine through two teachers’ training events next January and October. The first stage will bring fourteen teachers from Palestine to the UK where they will share a series of training workshops with UK teachers, visit their linked schools in England and Wales and finally on 16th January have a conference on school twinning with Palestine at the NUT which will involve many other teachers.
By the end of ten days, the teachers will have planned joint projects to do with their linked schools for the next few months. One model being explored is twinning clubs like those being run already in some Camden and Abu Dis schools. Here school students learn about the young people in the other country and are encouraged to communicate with each other through shared school blogs.
Then in October 2016, the teachers from the UK will have the opportunity to visit their linked school in Palestine so they can review progress together as well as learning about the other country and preparing more new work together.
As more and more teachers report that their senior staff worry about dealing with controversial issues in the Middle East, pushed by the government’s ‘Prevent” agenda and worries about radicalisation, Cadfa’s work offers teachers and young people the opportunity to explore difficult issues in a safe and inclusive way. It offers young people positive steps to take in a campaign for human rights and builds personal links across the world that we have seen can last for many years. Friendship focused on human rights brings a breath of hope to people in both countries that is both a contrast and a challenge to the current context of fear, misunderstanding and racism.
The Teachers in Action project blog is at teachersinaction2016.blogspot.co.uk. More information on the project and public events in Chester, Liverpool, Pendle, Knighton, Llanidloes, Northampton, Camden, Hackney and Tower Hamlets from firstname.lastname@example.org.