Peaceworker Finds Hope Flowers
31 Aug 2009
Palden Jenkins has 40 years experience in humanitarian and conflict-resolution work. Now, he is taking his skills to the West Bank, working mainly at the Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem.
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Palden Jenkins has 40 years experience in humanitarian andconflict-resolution work. Now, he is taking his skills to the West Bank,working mainly at the Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem.
Palden started supporting the school through his role as webcreator and as a member of the Jerusalem Peacemakers ñ a network ofindependent, interfaith, peace builders. Author of five books, his latest,Healing the Hurts of Nations, offers positive suggestions for world change.
The school was founded in 1984 and has become a centre fordemocracy and peace education. Palden has been helping to rebuild their websiteand is assisting in the development of an English language out-reach programme.He is also working with six other villages, giving psycho-spiritual support to communityworkers and encouraging people to reunite.
Palden’s aim is to collate the school’s experience and takeit to other areas of conflict worldwide. ‘Hope Flowers has the world’s mostadvanced knowledge in trauma recovery, conflict management and communitydevelopment,’ he says. ‘It’s a tremendous resource.’
Recording his observations in a blog online, Palden isheartened by the warm welcome he has been receiving. Noting a powerful sense ofcommunity, selfless mutual support and genuine desire for peace, he writes:‘This is indeed a holy land: scintillating, energising, enlightening, yettragic, contradictory and rubble strewn. Despite its bizarre, challengingaspects, it’s a remarkable place to be.’
Palden hopes to return to Bethlehem twice a year to continuethis work with the school, subject to available funding. His current mission isself-financed, with support from donations.
Photo: old town of Bethlehem © Palden Jenkins
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