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December 2019
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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service Works with Faith Link on Jerusalem Project

Jerusalem - A joint project between Religious Youth Service and Faith Link in Jerusalem February 12-24, 2008, had a good mix of youth representing Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Unificationism and atheism. Participants came from various nationalities including Austria, England, Africa, India, Turkey, and America and had an opportunity to meet with Jewish and Palestinian Muslim students.

This project had several elements that made it rich for the participants, namely:

Community service teaching at a Palestinian private school
RYS service-learning components
Visitation of holy sites
Palestinian home visit
Participants' interviews with local people

The volunteers were able to sincerely reach out into the local community, to inquire about local life, to think at a deeper level and go to a higher learning curve, thus helping to increase their understanding of the local situation on a heart level.

Participant Mechmed reflected, "The Qur'an says, 'we create the people with different color so that you will know each other, not in order that you will fight each other.' I realized the truth of this theory and teaching through what we practiced and experienced with each other and with our Palestinian and Israeli partners."

RYS trainer, Fazida Razak reported, "For me the biggest learning curve during this time was to learn from the teenagers. I was really amazed that at such a young age it is possible to be aware of religion and our responsibility in this world."

The program inspired the group to return home to carry on their peacebuilding efforts.

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