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Concept Note for CARE Exchange Program
STAND WITH PALESTINE


Introduction:

The Center for Applied Research in Education - CARE (  www.care-palestine.com) is a  registered nonprofit organization , established in 1989, that aims to promote democratic ideals, develop a more robust civil society, foster respect for different cultures, and help to create a more humane world for all through education.
CARE has spearheaded numerous programs and projects in cooperation with local partners and international institutions.

These projects have helped to achieve great strides forward within the education sphere.
Program:

Stand with Palestine is an initiative currently being developed by CARE.  CARE Exchange Program (CEP) aims to increase intercommunity dialogue and develop an open, comprehensive exchange of ideas and skill sets. The students will come to the West Bank for three weeks, where they will live with different Palestinian families during their stay so that they can see, live and learn about the situation. The students will move
beyond seeing the Palestinians as victims, and will start to see them as a people who are actively fighting each day for their dignity and freedom. We hope that such a robust exchange will ultimately lead to the next generation of Palestinians and leaders developing the communicative skills needed to forge the way towards a brighter and more prosperous future.
CEP will target university students and student groups comprised both of undergraduates and postgraduates, labor unions, professional guilds and intellectuals from abroad. Fifteen participants chosen from these fields will be given the chance to travel the West Bank for a period of 4 weeks. They will spend the first three days in a hotel where they will receive lectures during the day about ethics, culture and traditions in Palestine.   participants will be given enough  time to visit different places, varying from all over the West bank, ensuring they receive a diverse understanding of Palestine.  Also they will have the opportunity to partake in  any workshops designed to enhance communication skills, develop “active listening” capabilities, and come up with multifaceted, dynamic solutions to modern day problems. They will have the chance to focus on an array of different issues and causes. Those participants who stay on as interns will be permitted to stay for a longer period of time.
The participants will need to pay for their flights and transportation from one village to another as well as paying $1000 to CARE for their first three days of accommodations, food and transportation back to CARE each weekend.  As the weekend will be spent in Ramallah where the students will come back together from their different villages to discuss what they have learnt from the different cities they were in.  The $1000 will also include public events on these weekends and at least one folklore event.  
The participant's involvement will take place on a “rotating” basis, since they will be splitting their time between various cities, towns, and villages in the West Bank. Each will have a regional and/or thematic focus, with participants discussing pertinent issues of the current day in an open and free manner. Various relevant themes (students’ roles within their communities, workers’ conditions, psychological problems faced by victims of mental trauma, etc.) will be broached by these workshops and internship opportunities. Solutions to these problems will be brainstormed and “hashed out” by participants .Those partaking in the program will be provided the chance to debrief at the end of the workshop series and/or internships .It is expected that each participant will provide CARE with suggestions on what type of follow up programming they think would be most beneficial/practical given the group’s progress and future availability.
Once they have been debriefed and return home, these visiting participants/interns will responsible for writing a 15 page article pertaining to their experience. The article should focus specifically on an experience that the participant(s) had or a realization that participant(s) came to while in Palestine. Once completed, these articles will be compiled into an anthology and published under the title “LivingWitness.” These participants will further spread the word about CEP by hosting talks on the subject of their experiences.
Rationale and Objectives:

The purpose of CEP  is to achieve the following:
1. To help Palestinian youth and professionals develop critical life and interpersonal skill sets that they currently lack.
2. To promote a culture of tolerance, understanding, willingness to engage with others, and to develop a readiness to learn from peers and elders alike.
3. To expose participating Palestinians to work cultures and cultures of communication/interaction other than their own (and vice versa).
4. To develop a far-reaching network of change makers who can rely on each other for advice, support, and networking opportunities.
5. To create a “snowball effect” in which associates, colleagues, family, and partners of participants hear about the program and decide to participate in the program themselves.
Project Strategy:
As noted in the introduction, this project aims to introduce Palestinian youth and professionals to International people from related fields of works and study. This program will bring them together in a space that is safe and conducive to a verbal exchange of cultural values and ideas..

Field Trips to:
• Homes of Palestinian families
• Community and youth centers
• Schools in the West Bank (both public and private), universities and learning institutions
• Labor union offices/headquarters
• Hospitals/rehabilitation clinics/psychological care clinics
• Additional locations on as need basis according to expertise/interest of the visiting groups

Logic behind the Project:

CEP is unique in that it seeks to address the current social dilemma in Palestine in a multidimensional manner. Unlike traditional professional development programs, this project does not employ a top down, “instructor-pupil” style approach. Rather than have a single trainer instruct sessions on issues pertaining to culture and communication, this lends participants the opportunity to learn in a homegrown, organic, and highly interactive way. International participants and Palestinians alike will draw from their professional experiences and areas of expertise to contribute to the pool of knowledge among workshop attendees. They can share in on one another’s personal experiences and draw from their “real life” encounters to emphasize points and illustrate more vividly the “practical nature” of the cultural/communication training workshops. This will also rely on a more “hands on” and interactive form of training session than would be a traditional instructor-pupil style workshop. Consequentially, it should lead to a greater level of engagement as well as a more intimate and personal touch to the training.
In developing this level of comfort and understanding among participants, it is highly likely that learning the outcomes will be more readily achieved and professional networks will prove both easier to forge and stronger once established. CEP  will also lend itself to the purpose of exposing Palestinian youth and professionals to the ideas and expectations others have surrounding verbal dialogue and spoken interaction, thus allowing them to experience and encounter how it is that those from other cultural backgrounds approach contentious issues, solve problems, and draw conclusions. It is this first hand person-to-person interaction that will prove most influential and most bountiful over the course of the long run.
CARE plans to make this a self-sustaining project by requiring participants to host talks on their time spent in Palestine once they return home. Each visiting participant will ultimately discuss in detail what it is she / he did, what the focus of their work was, what the outcomes were, and why their experience in Palestine was time well spent. This will in turn prompt interest on the parts of other university students and professionals and prompt future exchange programs to take shape. These talks will be reinforced by the creation and distribution of the participant-authored literature noted above (“Living Witness”). Ultimately, CEP will be able to support a consistent flow of international participants and take on a “self-correcting” nature of sorts.
CEP will run twice a year: December 20th, (deadline to apply is 5th.of October) and June 5th, (deadline to apply is (10th.of March).

Interested Students should fill in the following application form and send it to: -care@palnet.com with all required documents.


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