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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service Supports International Volunteer Day in Jerusalem

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Jerusalem – Religious Youth Service helped a service-learning organization in Jerusalem carry out a five-day experiential service-learning project to commemorate International Volunteer Day. The December 7-14, 2007, project gave 22 participants from various religious and cultural backgrounds and origins a chance to interact and learn more about each other and the power of combining forces in service for a common goal.

The project included both a service and a learning perspective. The service took the form of artwork, decorating the walls in two community centers in Jerusalem. One project was held in East Jerusalem, which has a predominantly Arab population, and one was carried out in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood on the boundary line between East and West Jerusalem. The participants and local youth worked together painting the walls in the community centers, making them more pleasant for children and young people.

The educational part of the project included workshops, training sessions, and reflection upon the service experience. The training sessions were based on one of the most effective non-formal educational methods, namely experiential learning. Participants gained leadership skills, a deeper understanding of themselves and others, and experiences that they can use to plan and carry out small cooperative community service projects in their own communities. They reflected on the concepts of human rights, peace, and joint action for development.

As a result, the participants who completed the project were highly motivated to continue their service efforts and to undertake their own service projects in their communities. Another result of the project was that the local young people in the two community centers were involved in decorating and caring for their centers and gained a vital sense of contributing to the their communities.

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