Students visit Israel to promote harmony and diversity across cultures
PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 March 2020
As the world becomes a more divided place, a Romford school is promoting harmony across cultures and has just returned from a trip to Israel.
Back in 2016 Frances Bardsley Acacdemy for Girls met with a German school, Marienschule, in Ypres, with the idea of learning about each other's nations and cultures, and form strong bonds with people from different walks of life. Since the initial meeting, the schools have kept a close relationship doing regular trips.
In their latest trip, in bid to educate about racism and anti-semitism, the students set off to meet in Vienna with the German school, before continuing on as one group to Tel Aviv.
'In preparation, we had discussed that the impact of the visit should have a wider setting and that it was important to gain support from major community leaders,' said culture and ethos manager at LIFE education trust, Rachel Grimwood, who accompanied the students.
'Presently we see the uncomfortable rise of reported cases of anti-semitism in European countries, so we agreed that it would be important to take the peace findings of the trip at Ypres to a new place, Israel.
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'So that 'we never forget' we must remember how conflict begins. It begins with us as individuals. How we resolve it, remains the responsibility for us all. The planning began earnestly for the visit to Israel.'
Following positive replies, the trip was confirmed as an 'important cornerstone of learning within our educational communities'.
The group visited the main historic sites and enjoyed the diversity of modern Israel.
Each day they reflected on the day's events and how the various communities live together peacefully within such a small country.
'It was our privilege to visit a secondary school in Bethlehem which has Muslims, Jews and Christians all contributing to a successful learning environment.
'Our students witnessed first-hand that even the most diverse groups can work together for peace, by celebrating shared values and using the arts to bring unity.
'The strong ethos of the school, embodied in daily life, encourages the students to be future world changers. A hope we all have for our young people,' said Rachel.