Palestinian Territories 2012 – 2/3 edition

07 – 14/06/2012

Supporting emergency education in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories of Bethlehem, Jericho and East Jerusalem

Palestine workshop II edition.

The activities want to develop all the structures of a person and at the same time affirm all the possible active links those structures have to reality, encouraging each one to be involved with it.

 

1. The term ‘education’ cannot be reduced to a mere transmission of knowledge:

education corresponds to an experience through which the young can become ‘protagonist’ of his own life. This journey leads each person to discover ‘his place’ within the community, thanks to a series of encounters that reveal our own substance as men and disclose the meaning of reality around us.

2. Encouraging this kind of ‘encounters’ is the everyday job of the educator:

teachers foster these encounters thanks to the reading, the learning of history and foreign languages, the discovering of different cultures, new places and things, near or far. The personal involvement of the student is needed and the teachers should promote it. Each one can realize that he is worthy of discovering the world.

3. Nowadays we live in a dimension of global communication made up of images.

The journey of discovery seems to be unnecessary and avoidable: to learn new things and to know the world there is no need of a direct experience or a person to follow because the events, the reality in general, are delivered to our door. The guide, who first pointed out to us the way, is now an obstacle for the view.

4. We need to become more and more aware of this widespread attitude, one of the opportunities to avoid the utilitarian result of the educational experience is to give dignity to the event of the encounter and to the dynamics hidden in it.

The encounter happens through a face or an object and always corresponds to the personal self-discovery. The circumstances that I am living are the ideal opportunity for the encounter between me and the mystery who has created the reality (we didn’t make the things, and they do not exist on their own). We call it ‘mystery’ because the answer to the questions ‘who did the things?’, ‘why am I existing?’ become deeper and deeper, the encounter with a ‘mystery’ never ends and calling it by name depends on the freedom of each of us.

5. From this point of view the ‘things’, the beings that inhabit our world, play a new role, they acquire a new dignity, a new statute.

Their presence is necessary to the world to be recognized as new, every morning the ‘things’ can be the suggestion to discover the meaning of reality.

6. We want to bring our contribution in term of ‘environmental education’ through the experience of the encounter with some of the characters of our everyday reality:

plants, shrubs, flowers and grasses. Often silent, lonely, maybe neglected, their presence is so strong that if we stop for a moment to look at them, we realize that they determine the landscape in which we live.

7. We want to help each other to recognize us as ‘gardeners’ of a ‘global garden’

[3]. If the world is a garden where his landscapes are the result – constantly in flux – of the meetings and the wanderings of many living beings, then to live in it consciously I have to enter these relationships, becoming part of these interactions. And I cannot enter a relationship with something or someone without knowing their names. Since ‘what has no name does not exist’ our journey can begin from the names of what we meet to discover anything else.