Linking together for human rights

Twinning in Action: updated summary

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CADFA’s exciting Twinning in Action project continues with three more exchanges bringing people from Palestine and the UK together: women to Palestine this May, young people to Palestine in July and a big evaluation in the autumn including a CONFERENCE ON 17th September, which we hope you will join!

We have just updated the project summary for the Women’s Handbook, including the new dates of the exchanges that have happened – every one of them a very positive way of people learning about each other’s lives, the human rights situation in Palestine and making plans to take twinning work further.

Here is the updated summary …

CADFA’s work brings young people from Britain and Palestine together in order to promote human rights. Over the past few years, Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association, together with Dar Assadaqa, Abu Dis, has organised annual youth exchanges of hundreds of young people so that they can learn about each other’s lives and challenge discrimination.

The Twinning in Action project will integrate and strengthen this work enormously by training youth leaders from both countries to support and lead youth activities to promote Britain-Palestine twinning. The training is taking place in five stages across two years (September 2014 to September 2016). Two of these stages are practical placements on youth exchanges to the UK and Palestine in three ‘sectors.’  The three sectors are those that CADFA has been working with regularly in the past few years: young people of school age, university students and young women.

In December 2014, Palestinian and British youth workers (twinning leaders) met in the UK, learned about each other’s country and youth work practice and explored their skills and understandings of working with young people. They learned about CADFA’s previous exchanges and the project of grassroots twinning. Working in sector groups, they planned for the project exchange visits to the UK during the following year and then led the preparation, the exchanges and the follow-up work in their own countries.

The youth exchanges each involve 13 participants from each country plus two leaders. They use the methods that we have found successful: a residential outside London or Abu Dis followed by time in our base town; using a creative medium that allows an exploration of the differences between the young people’s lives while they work on a common product; a final public display of what they have done; making this part of on-going twinning work.

A second training and networking activity for youth workers (twinning leaders) took place in Palestine in February 2016.  Here youth workers reviewed and evaluated the exchanges to date and shared their experience with youth workers from other areas of Britain and Palestine who will be involved in the second phase of the project. This helped the work to extend beyond Camden and Abu Dis.  They worked together to plan the detail of three sector youth exchanges to Palestine during 2016 .

The symmetry of the project is important to us, and leaders will be trained to take young people in each direction. Over the two years, the exchanges have been based in different parts of each country, interacting with different local ‘twinning’ groups, while always at the end of the project coming together to London/ Abu Dis where our organisations are based.

The series of creative youth exchanges which are a main part of the project are planned to be exciting learning opportunities for young people and to have an effect far beyond the individuals involved. They will give the young people greater intercultural knowledge and encourage them to challenge discrimination. Each youth exchange over the two years will use a different medium (photography, film, speaking out, art, sport, music). The products of these exchanges will be recorded so they can be shown in a conference at the end of the project.

CADFA has experience of running this number of youth exchanges per year, but this project integrates them into one overall project which is strengthening the grassroots twinning work in schools, youth clubs, universities, women’s and community organisations across both countries.

In September 2016, there will be a third exchange for youth workers (twinning leaders) which will include fifteen youth workers and a leader each from Britain and from Palestine.  This will provide a major review of the whole project, discussion of ways to disseminate and future steps. The final step will be a youth conference on Twinning in Action to publicise and disseminate this work.: we hope you will join us on Saturday 17th September 2016!

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