Project TRIUMPH was founded in 2005/6 by the Rotary clubs of Newbury Park in the US and the Rotary club of Haifa, Israel.
The goal of the project is to bring together 16 year-old children from different ethnic backgrounds to enhance tolerance and reduce prejudice. The ultimate goal is to grow a young leadership that would spread the idea of peace in their respective communities – families, schools, youth movements, etc.
The children were chosen in the various schools in Haifa, and after a preparation period, 16 of them – half Jews and half Arabs – were granted the possibility to attend a summer camp outside of Israel.
In the first 3 years of the existence of the project, the camp took place in the US, and in the consecutive 4 years it has been conducted in The Peace Citadel of Rondine in Italy.
The project has expanded since its inception 7 years ago and in the last year we were blessed with 4 different groups of 4 nationalities – Italians, Turkish, Palestinians and Israelis.
The Rondine camp (July 30, 2012-August 8, 2012) was a great success and it promoted further the Rotary International ideas of peace and tolerance.
Here are some of the children and helpers views on the experience they have gone through –
Luca Crivellari, the chief helper wrote:
…What TRIUMPH brought to me is: new confirmations that peace starts also from this project.
Marialaura Bonannella, an Italian helper wrote :
…This camp is an amazing, continuous, inspiring process of powerful emotions. It gives you the opportunity of understanding the kind of person you want to be
…This camp gives you curiosity to approach to cultures and to see them deeply with another point of view that is more open.
…It teaches you to follow your heart and your emotions, to believe in the possibility of peace and in the beautiful people around you.
Guy Levanon, an Israeli participant wrote:
…With the assistance of these processes I was able to behave like I really want to behave without being afraid of what the other participants of the camp will think about me.
Cristina Li, an Italian participant wrote :
…I learned to look beyond the appearance, to have no prejudices, to appreciate everyone no matter what’s the culture, the religion, the color of the skin or the way of thinking.
Shaden Shaer, a Palestinian participant wrote:
…I believe that we -the young generation- are the seeds of peace and with help of the wonderful leaders & helpers we can grow into a big nourishing tree together.
…I learned not to see the other participants as Palestinians, Israelis, Italians or Turkish, but as youngsters, whom I share the same interests with.
Gali Krayden, an Israeli participant wrote:
…TRIUMPH taught me to first of all LISTEN. Never think that I know something about the other because he comes from there or here. What I learned, and yeah it’ll sound familiar ,that we are all the same, and should have the ability to feel free.
Waseem Hamad, a Palestinian participant wrote:
…People who think in different way from me they aren’t wrong also I am not wrong but the difference between us that we are looking to the topic from different sides.
…The greatest thing is the friendships which I made there and which will stay in my heart forever, Thank you.
Leonardo Nicola Tellini, an Italian helper wrote:
…Again this camp has made me grow a lot. It has helped me to circulate energy and creativity.
Aseel Bannoura, a Palestinian participant wrote:
…Every single moment in this camp brought a new meaning to my life, it taught me how to let go of all these prejudices I’ve grown up with, to get out of the box and start living alive. It taught me how to be a player in my own life, to be a 100% ME.
The project wouldn’t be executed if it wasn’t for the help of our national and international supporters:
-The Rotary club of Newbury Park, California;
-The Rotary club of Haifa;
-Clubs and district 2070 of Toscana, Emilia Romagna and San Marino;
-The Rondine Association;
-The Italian Israeli ICC;
-Private Rotarians, the EU and other contributors
Written by: Shaul D’Angeli, 2013/4 Governor District 2490