The Parents Circle’s Youth Peace Camp brings together Israeli and Palestinian teens for five days of shared experiences, in order to help dispel stereotypes and to create the next generation of peace leaders.
Each summer, the Parents Circle holds a summer program for peace and reconciliation in several locations around Israel. The program began in 2003. It brings together 40 Israeli and Palestinian teens, ages 14 to 18, for five days. Through shared trips, activities and workshops, the participants are exposed to the culture, lifestyle and customs of both sides – what they think about, their dreams and what they have in common and their differences.
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A meeting with two Parents Circle members — one Israeli and one Palestinian — who share their personal bereavement story and their journey to chose reconciliation and dialogue over hatred and revenge. In the discussion afterwards, the teens can ask the members questions, and at the end of the meeting the participants have time for emotional processing of the discussion and experience.
Each summer program is held in a different location in Israel, exposing the participants to the history, the narrative and the unique culture of the place. Program participants engage in activities in the community they are visiting, while expanding the outreach of the Parents Circle’s activities.
Every year, participants also enjoy visiting the swimming pool and the beach. For Palestinian members, it’s an especially exciting and happy experience, since most of them don’t have access to the beach.
A special ice-breaking activity that relaxes and empowers the participants. Through group games out in the open air, these teenagers merge as a group, their trust strengthens, they work in teams, develop leadership skills and much more.
A board game specially designed by the youth programs staff, The Colors of Life aims to forge a “team spirit” and helps participants get better acquainted with one another. The game includes cards with different topics, personal questions, general knowledge questions and group tasks. The game was created with the support of the Spanish organization Irenia, Peace Games.