Bon voyage, ya Imad!

TYO Volunteer Coordinator, Imad Mansour, is en route to Rio de Janeiro today for the third UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum! He's there as the co-project coordinator of Kalimatina (working alongside TYO colleague Chelsey Berlin) - an exciting new TYO initiative that has taken our internship program to a new level in the realm of intercultural dialogue. Kalimatina was funded by the UN AOC's Youth Solidarity Fund in January 2010. Here's what the UN says about the fund:

In 2009, over 530 applications from 99 countries on all continents were submitted to the Youth Solidarity Fund. A total of 18 projects were selected through a very competitive selection process. In December, Project Coordinators from the winning organizations were invited to the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg for a week-long training jointly developed by UNAOC and the Council of Europe. The Project Coordinators exchanged about cultural diversity, human rights, project management, advocacy and youth participation. Since early 2010, the projects are being implemented.

Why Kalimatina?

The limited contact between youth in the United States of America and youth in the Middle East allows prejudice and stereotypes to develop and flourish.  Young people in Nablus have previously not had the opportunity to meet youth from other parts of the world due to the ongoing conflict and isolation of the community. The implementation of the awarded project, will allow 3 American and 3 Palestinian university students to develop deep person‐to‐person connections as the American students will visit their peers in Nablus and they will work closely together, during a period of 6 months, to create a ‘Do‐plomacy Manual’ to introduce the culture of Palestinian youth to other youth around the world, and suggest specific ways to engage. This Manual will then be widely disseminated as a tool to reduce stereotypes and prejudices.

Read more about Kalimatina here, or follow our Twitter feed! New participants arrive in Nablus June 6, so we'll pick things up a bit then. In the meantime, we wish Imad a safe trip to Brazil and a fascinating time at the Forum!!