JIK JugendInterKult e.V.
Tel + 49 1636 33 55 35
Am Köppekreuz 21
The first visit of a Palestinian youth group from Beit Jala near Bethlehem took place in July 2011. It was followed from 2013 to 2015 by three further return visits from Palestinian youth groups from Bethlehem and additionally from the Ramallah refugee camp in 2015.
These visits are especially complicated and expensive for youth groups from Palestine, since they are required to apply for an expensive visa (for Germany) in Ramallah and then have to travel by bus to the Jordanian border crossing "Allenby Bridge" near Jericho, which is sometimes closed. Two visa fees for Israel and Jordan are thereby once again due.
They then have to take the taxi to the airport Amman (possibly stay at a hotel), then from Amman by plane to Frankfurt and from there with the ICE to Cologne (total duration: about 48 hours). These groups have to pay about €300 per person solely for the trip from Bethlehem up to the arrival in Amman and for the return from Amman to Bethlehem. Also, the flight from Amman to Frankfurt is about twice as expensive as the flight from Tel Aviv to Cologne, e.g. for Germans (duration for direct flights: only about 5 hours).
Therefore, such return visits are only possible insofar as we receive very high grants (over €1,000 per person). In order to save further costs, the young people are accommodated in private quarters (so far in Sankt-
On about 5 days in the mornings, we worked with Palestinian and German youth together in mixed groups, who were in the meantime acquainted with each other from trips to Israel-
Central aspects of the respective Palestinian-
Furthermore, central aspects of both cultures were playfully developed in mixed workshops (role playing and improvisation theatre under the supervision of the theatre educationalist and actor Jürgen Albrecht), with posters, sculptures, etc., in order to facilitate mutual understanding between the two cultures. In addition, painting sessions and other artistic projects, however also role plays on the subject of "Angel of Cultures" or "Peace made possible through the bridge construction between cultures" with the artist couple Dietrich / Merten, as well as work in mixed groups on religious texts and artistic representations on the topics were carried out. The Indian dance group Nitryavani practised Indian dances with both groups within the framework of a workshop and decorated their hands with artful henna tattoos.
In the afternoons and on the weekend, the following excursions or tours took place:
Excursions to Drachenfels, Rhine boat trip, city tour in Cologne, guided tours in the House of History in Bonn and in the Augustusburg Castle in Brühl, tour of the plant of the Federal Mogul in Burscheid, visit of the open Mosque in Duisburg-
The most impressive and touching moments of the program, however, were the visits and partial participation by Christian and Muslim Palestinians – also from the refugee camp in Ramallah – in the evangelical worship services in St. Augustine and Königswinter-
At the end of each exchange a big farewell dinner then took place together with the host parents and all those involved at the Wahnbachtalsperre in Siegburg.
We are again striving to receive corresponding grants for 2017, in order to enable us once again to facilitate a return visit by youth from Bethlehem and Ramallah, presumably from 7 to 14.07.2017. We have to pay the flight costs for the Palestinian group, as well as food costs and the entire program costs including transportation by bus and train for the Palestinian and German youths.
For early July 2018, we are planning our trip to Crete, presumably from 7 to 21.04. 2017, a return visit of the youth group "Be pArt" from Heraklion (Crete), which can likewise also only be funded through considerable public subsidies.