The Alumni Program is a vital component of “Good Water Neighbours” (GWN), as it enables the continued engagement of youth who have taken part in “Youth Water Trustee” EcoPeace activities, and have already created cross-watershed and cross-border bonds.
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The Alumni program makes it possible for participants to remain involved and to continue contributing to environmental peacemaking with the skills that they’ve built up through their years in the program.
Youth Water Trustee Alumni have the opportunity to go on Camps and Delegations, both at home and abroad.
The Alumni training program strengthens the entire project’s effectiveness by keeping program participants involved as alumni and utilizing their “environmental peacebuilding” experience and training to expand capacity: assigning them leadership roles at cross-border camps or other education events, providing skills and opportunities for them to guide environmental peacemaking hikes and outings, and assigning them with either teaching responsibilities or a teaching apprenticeship.
National: The national camps bring youths of different cultures and backgrounds from the same country together to talk about their shared environmental issues. National Camps take place in Israel, The West Bank, and Jordan with students from within those countries
In each country each year, alumni recruited by staff educators participate in a day-long training session for guiding the EcoPeace Neighbors Paths. They are taught basic skills for guiding groups and education in the field, and content and issue discussion. Alumni are prepared to guide student and other groups along a Neighbor’s Path, and are trained to effectively convey the EcoPeace environmental peacemaking outlook through use of the site, and understand the organizational modalities for bringing local, regional, student and foreign visitors to the site.
Regional: The regional camps bring “youth water trustees” from across borders together for an environmental camp
These camps give the alumni training in the basics of cross-border encounter facilitation, a key component of their future as EcoPeace activists. They also empower alumni to become counselors and adjunct educators for some of the Resource Guide’s curriculum items, and leaders in clean water campaigns and activism in their own communities. Through the program they already have a strong awareness of environmental solutions, and these camps enable them to think more about eco-building or green-tech innovations that might be relevant for adoption in their own community, and to develop a sense of a river-basin’s shared cultural heritage, etc.
A select number of “youth water trustees” get the opportunity to be a part of a delegation abroad.
These delegations enable the trustees to meet and discuss their local issues with many more people around the world, providing them with a network for their future work, as well as a great way to make new friends, learn from others and also inspire them about environmental peacemaking.
- Excerpt of Blog on Big Jump camp in Belgium: Our Good Water Neighbors (GWN) project sent 8 Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian youth river ambassadors for a week of events surrounding the Big Jump Challenge in Brussels. The EcoPeace delegation was selected, along with other young activists, from over 120 youth campaign groups in 28 countries, to bring their ideas and demands on water protection to the attention of policymakers in Brussels. On July 13th, after the Big Jump into the Senne River, these young activists presented their Youth Manifesto for Water Protection at the European Rivers Parliament. Additionally, each young activist group presented their river’s water issues and their methods to promote awareness of better water management. Our delegation was the only presentation that included a joint regional effort. One of the organizers stated: “One of the inspiring aspects of EcoPeace’s attendance in the event was the very presence of Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinians all together. It made a great impact on the other participants…and sent a strong message of: if it is possible in the Middle East, certainly the whole of Europe can cooperate in the management of joint river watershed management.”