Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) recently hosted 27 youths from around the world for a workshop at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark in Jordan.
It was a unique venture for FoEME in many ways. First, while FoEME traditionally focuses on building cooperation between Jordan, Palestine, and Israel, this workshop included young people from India, Nepal, Taiwan, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom. Participants from FoEME’s normal sphere of service also attended.
Secondly, FoEME is dedicated to water conservation and environmental awareness in the Middle East, but this workshop had a unique aspect. It was actually organized by the Olympic Truce Peace Campaign Network (OTPCaN), an international effort to bring peace to warring countries before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. FoEME provided subsided accommodations and meals, and also presented several sessions.
As such, the workshop, which ran from May 8-11, 2014 and was entitled “Train the Trainers”, was a powerful blend of using both sports and environmental cooperation to work towards peace. The hope is that the attending youths will return home with the confidence to train their peers in the same skills.
The program included sessions like “Developing Peaceful Communities through Sport” and “Peace through Sports, Tourism, and Culture Experiences”, but it also featured an introduction to FoEME’s Good Water Neighbors Project and FoEME’s approach to environmental peace-building.
One theme at the workshop was how sports inter-relates with the need for a clean, healthy environment boasting of safe, shaded places for practice, training, and fun.
FoEME’s involvement is also a nod to the international recognition this organization has received for its good works and for its spirited partnerships with unique and diverse movements.
The last day of the workshop was devoted to practical topics, such as building effective communication, negotiation, and engagement skills. So when the youths return to their respective countries, hopefully it will be with a strengthened arsenal of tools with which to do good things amongst their friends and communities.
This post is contributed by Mejs Hasan FoEMEs Good Water Neighbors intern at the Amman Office.