ISR143 Multicultural children's camp
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues, the hostility between these populations escalates easily. From an early age, Israelis and Palestinians learn to see each other as 'the enemy'. The Christian organization Musalaha offers Israeli and Palestinian children the opportunity to meet each other during a summer camp. By eating together, doing (game)activities and studying the Bible, they learn to break stereotypes and build relationships with each other.
why this project?
Because there is little interaction between the two populations, mutual misconceptions and stereotypes are rarely challenged. Unfortunately, hatred is fueled by painful experiences on both sides. Personal meetings are crucial to be able to move towards true reconciliation in the wake of Christ's footsteps. Musalaha is the only religious organization to work with Israelis and Palestinians since 1990 to build relationships and begin a reconciliation process.
When children learn to break down barriers of hate at a young age, a new generation emerges that wants to transform society, so that the circle of hostility is broken. The influence of these summer camps is evident in the current camp leaders who participated in the camps as children themselves and now want to work for this.
what can we learn?
Musalaha has developed a model of reconciliation based on years of experience. This includes a process with a number of phases. The process always starts with building relationships, where one is willing to listen to each other. Via regular follow-ups with the participants, relationships are maintained and deepened. And the participants in turn spread the message of reconciliation to others.