Slow Season

July 4

            After a three-day weekend, I was back in the office today. I received some potentially bad news. Due to budget issues, I now may not be able to go to Jordanwith Seeds of Peace for the multinational camp. Before I go to get my visa, I am waiting to hear the final word from the main office inNew York to see if it will be in the budget for me to attend. I hope that I can because I was excited to see the programs and their effects on the kids, as well as looking forward to the opportunity to put my own knowledge and skills to use by having my own workshop. Now, even if it ends up that I can go, I probably will not be able to do a workshop because the program plan has to be finalized by tomorrow, so unless I hear before then, my spot will be filled by something else. So, my internship may be cut short a week, which is unfortunate. I feel like I have learned the most from the trips I have taken with kids present because I hear from the source about the effectiveness of programs and what needs to change to improve them.

            Anyway, after this sad news, the day was still not as busy and interesting as the first month before all of the kids left for the international camp. It seems that after this main event is coordinated and the kids are sent off, things slow down a lot until the seeds return from camp, and then the process of application and selection begins again in the fall. I did a little bit of work on following up with some of the multinational participants who have not yet turned in their paperwork or paid their fees. Later, Mohammed came in and talked to me about the resources I had found for him regarding steps for social change and stories of youth-driven change. He asked me to try to find more sources outlining the steps for making change, as he had decided to pull from several sources to compile a new list. In addition, he asked me to find more stories of smaller scale projects led by youth to change something in their school or local community, as many of the accounts I had found were larger-scale political movements including both youth and adults.  I did a few hours work on this again, and then it was time to leave. There was not much going on at this point that I can relate to in the classroom, as I am learning that much of the actual work to implement these types of programs has nothing to do with conflict resolution theory, as we focus on in class. The only things that pull the theory into practice, it seems, is the overall conception for the program and deciding which elements of theory will be implemented during the program. The planning, however, is a lot of logistics and only minimal consultation to the theory, making sure that activities are appropriate to enriching the overall vision.