There are a few ways to end 2014. You could do your taxes, throw a big party, make a list of wishes and goals for the coming year, or take a part in the significant Alumni Water Trustees Guide Training that was held in our Ein Gedi Eco Park. We all met in the evening of December 29th, 23 high school students and a few staff members, including myself – an intern from Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies.
The goal of the training was to prepare the Alumni Water Trustees for their role in guiding and facilitating groups of youth water trustees, promote the vision of EcoPeace Middle East, and broaden the capacity of the Good Water Neighbors Water Trustees program in the future.
The participants in the training came from Israeli communities, both Arab and Jewish, throughout the country. The minor language barrier between Hebrew and Arabic speaking participants was compensated by good will and interesting activities. We began our training at around 19:30 with quick Ice breakers and get to know your neighbor activities. Right from the start you could tell that this camp is going to be different, more interesting and fun.
The evening continued with more activities designed to teach the participants how to facilitate groups of water trustees, with the aim of helping them get to know the shared water reality whether they are Jordanian, Israelis or Palestinians , take a stand and strive for a change in this reality when a change is needed. This specific training was to make our amazing EcoPeace graduates a meaningful component of a positive goal.
Nothing is more unifying then a good night’s sleep with 25 alumni (divided between two rooms, one for boys and one for girls) at the kibbutz’s youth club, which was hosting us. When we woke up, 4 volunteers made breakfast and a great day began at the Ein Gedi Eco-Park. The alumni were taught how to build and create ecological structures and devices such as a mud house, a geodesic dome and a solar cooker. Not only were they taught how to build it and were informed about the ecological advantages these devices carry, but they were also thought how to guide other youth groups how to build them.
After eating lunch at the Eco-Park, we sat for a summary session and heard the alumni’s feedback about what they have been through during the day and a half experience. My thoughts about the training turned out to be true. Positive interactions and unexpected friendships, big smiles and excitement at the thought of joining the next camp – were some of what we heard and seen at the summery. I feel exactly the same. The atmosphere was very positive, there was a great deal of willingness and giving, with the such a special viewpoint like the one that EcoPeace’s Water Trustees have – the future looks better.
This post is contributed by Nadav Leshem, GWN Intern from Porter School of Environmental Studies at the Tel Aviv University.