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Peace is born of Love
Love is born of understanding
Understanding is born of Listening
Listening leads to Justice and Peace
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
We have just said goodbye to Zoughbi Zoughbi, our visitor from Bethlehem. He has met many people including students from Leicester College who did their work experience with Christians Aware as shown in the photograph. He also gave many talks, and we will keep in close touch with him and with the work of Wi’am, the conflict resolution centre in Bethlehem where Zoughbi is the director. There will be a report of the visit in our Summer magazine.
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One area of concern stands out from Zoughbi’s visit. He talked a lot about the children of Bethlehem, their trauma and the on-going suffering caused by living in a restricted area. Wi’am arranges an annual summer camp for the children, when they are offered games, outings and swimming. The swimming has to be in pools, because the children can’t go to the sea.
There is currently great concern for the children of the world who are refugees and not least for those who try to get to Europe by boat from North Africa. There are many reasons why lone children try to make the perilous journey. Sometimes parents send their children off, hoping that they will find a better life. Sometimes they plan for the girls to be prostitutes. Sometimes the parents have been killed in conflicts at home. Sometimes the poverty at home is so great that young male teenagers try to find something better. The biggest group of children comes from Eritrea; normally boys who are trying to avoid the dire military service.
No matter who the child refugees who arrive in our countries are they are traumatised. We can learn a big lesson from the work of Wi’am in helping traumatised children. We can get to know them and offer refreshing games, challenges and relaxation. It is possible to build confidence in the children so that they can face the future.
And an organisation CA works with, supports refugee children in the UK who reach 18 years, when they are normally sent back to their countries. After 18 tries to equip the children for moving on.
There is always something we can all do, as Europeans, as UK citizens and in our local area.
Zoughbi Zoughbi says, ‘We try to help the children and young people to experience different realities.’
The summer magazine will include many opportunities for members to experience different realities, to be challenged and resourced for new ways of thinking and working, towards good in out world.
GENERAL ELECTION MAY 7TH 2015
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