Tuesday 7 February 2017

Annual Conference and AGM of the Britain/Palestine Friendship and Twinning Network.

On the 28th of January, I went to Hounslow, West of London, with Nandita and Ursula, volunteer in CADFA. We attended to the annual conference and AGM of the Britain/Palestine Friendship and Twinning Network. CADFA is one the creators of this network.

The most part of this conference was a series of presentations and speeches from different people, representatives of both the organisations and the government. However, there was time for discussions and questions and we close the day with working groups.

The presentations were very interesting even if most of the issues and facts seems to me to be trivial, given the fact that I am no more surprised to hear about the difficulties that Palestinians have to face daily.

Something that stroke me was the age of the participants. Ursula and me were the only two people in their twenties, almost all of the others were retired. It means two things. First, all of them were volunteers and secondly, without them, UK which would lack of associational network, would not have real twinning links with Palestine. What is more, it means that there is no associative workforce to sort this issue out, they are no employees. Is it something specific to the associative sector in UK? Or is it more about the topic? Worries about the difficulties to involve young people in the process were raised.

One of the other obstacle that the organisations have to face, lies in their work with the schools. Indeed, it seems to be difficult de maintain links. It could be explained by the work itself which implies to solicit continuously the participants, though it is not the sole reason. This difficulty is the result of lots of complains and fears from the parents (current atmosphere and terrorism) but also the outcome of direct actions from some of them (Zionists?) who try to block. Schools prefer to give up.