Empowering Palestinian Teenage Girls
Mentored by Diane Brause, this a wonderful program in which Diane participated in summer 2011. The program is a pilot project on the West Bank sponsored by the Holy Land Trust. The goal is to educate and inspire young Palestinian women to become leaders in their community and their country. It supports Christian and Muslim Palestinians in a Nonlinear Leadership program working for a just peace and cooperative initiatives between the Israelis and Palestinians. After a short introductory training, the group will meet weekly and participate in an inspirational or educational offering by the Facilitator, the Guides/Mentors, and an invited local or international person or through videos, audio tapes or selected readings. This will be followed by small group discussion and reflection and one or more activities of a creative nature to “ground” the material. I know we all hope our “seed” money will allow this most worthy initiative to be a success, expand and influence this very difficult political stalemate.
PROJECT1991 is a community based human rights organization based in Sierra Leone. PROJECT1991 works through the secondary schools to create intercultural programs to mitigate conflicts and violence between different cultural and tribal groups in these schools. The focus population of 510 students, 10 teachers and 5 volunteer staff will work to initiate human rights clubs to bring the diverse groups together. They will learn non-violent methods of conflict resolution and how to promote human rights & democracy, starting first in their schools and then moving out into their communities. These are intended to be ongoing clubs after this pilot project gets off the ground. Our thanks to Betsy Bridwell for mentoring this organization which came to us without a Lisle mentor. She was able to reach out and work with the organization on their very worthy cause.
Reading Program in Karnataka
V. R. Devika, a long time friend and student of Lisler Sharada Nayak (mentor), developed a program to utilize reading cards which were developed by the Chatnath Trust, a non profit. The Trust gathered the 100 Tamil stories and created the cards but did not have the funds to take this resource out into the community. Devika’s plan is to train teachers in two Indian states: Tamil and Karnataka in the use of these reading cards, to take them back to their students and give them an alternative, multi-cultural look at their worlds and a new way of learning their reading skills. Devika’s project will also translate the stories into Kannada for use in Karnataka. The Project will consist of 5 workshops for teachers in each of two states. 120 schools will be covered by the teacher trainings and could conceivably impact 12,000 students. This is a very optimistic, 1 year plan and Lisle offers seed money in great anticipation of a huge success.
Detroit, Michigan and England, UK
Mark Kinney mentored an application which seemed extremely promising but was without an initial Lisle mentor. The Board hopes to be able to expand our process to bring in more mentors for these worthy projects. Atlantic Impact is a Detroit high school project. Students will meet weekly to learn about various topics in history surrounding the legacy of the slave trade, as connected to themselves, their communities, country and the world. In the summer the group will take a 10 day trip to three cities in England to explore the impact of the slave trade internationally and see first-hand how this tragic event was a globally shared experience. In collaboration with officials from UNESCO and students of UNESCO associated schools in England, there will be ample opportunities of intercultural exchange. All of the students will have to work hard to make this project a reality but we are pleased that Lisle will be able to sponsor some of the in-country costs in England.
Community Mural Painting in Tompotika
Because of funding limitations, we were not able to give a full grant to the Community Mural painting for Conservation in Tompotika but we were pleased to be able to donate to this exciting program. The Alliance for Tompotika Conservation was one of our previous grant recipients in a beach cleanup. A multi-cultural group was organized, as well as professional mural painters from the US, to go to Tompotika and participate with the school students and other community members to paint two large mural on the school. Besides celebrating Tompotika’s diverse ecology, the students will learn about the advantages of maintaining their forests and endangered species and encouraging green tourism to their small island.
Youth Peace Corps
The Board was very excited about the possibilities of a Youth Peace Corp in India as envisioned by long-time Lisler Hasmukh Patel. This program would be co-sponsored with The Ghandi Foundation – Lisle’s roots with the Ghandi Foundation go back a long way. This project intends to create, among young volunteers in Ahmedabad, a Youth Peace Corp and provide them with Ghandhian philosophical, non violent training. They will work towards a sustainable organization that will grow and spread throughout India and re-introduce this vital country to the Ghandian principals they revere but are losing sight of. After an intensive training with considerable field level exposure, they will select a challenging grass root area where they can carry out field level activities in a sustainable manner in order to create a model of peaceful society. The Board felt that the basis concept was wonderful but the immediate program needed more development so the Grant has been set aside for review and awarding, if possible, at the May Board meeting.