Bede’s Teacher Volunteers in West Bank

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Bede's teacher and Deputy Crossways Housemistress Tiffaney Algar recently returned from Israel and Palestine after volunteering for Anglo-German NGO Sport Unites on their project Sport for Human Rights.

This Anglo-German co-existence project uses sport to provide opportunities for children in under-privileged societies and to bring divided communities together.

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Ms Algar has worked been volunteering with NGOs in Israel and Palestine since 2005 with the objective to use sport as a tool for development, to raise cultural awareness and to promote understanding between people.

With NGO Sport Unites and Football for Peace, Ms Algar has travelled to Israel and Palestine in every holiday since 2005, beginning her volunteering in Israel while she was still attending the University of Brighton.

Now, years later, Ms Algar is on the one side a deputy housemistress of a girls' boarding house and on the other in charge of all of Sports for Human Rights' operations relating to women and girls.

"We work predominantly in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas on the West Bank," Ms Algar explains.

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"Opportunities are extremely limited for the children in the region. These communities don't have the resources they need to pursue modern, creative teaching methods."

Over 500 Palestinian children between the ages of 8 and 16 took part in the most recent Sport for Human Rights programme, which ran from the end of October into November.

During the two weeks, Ms Algar and her team went into schools affected by the occupation of the West Bank to deliver PE lessons, run a series of workshops with female PE teachers in a range of areas of practise and help to run the Sport Unites Youth Games hosted by Bethlehem University.

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"Everyone we had engaged with during the project, from the children to their teachers, came together to take part. The girls played badminton and basketball and the boys played volleyball and football. It was fantastic to see the children not only participating but having fun and uniting over shared values."

Aside from the main Sports for Human Rights project, Ms Algar also helped to run elite tennis and swimming camps for 16-21 year olds which ran concurrently, using her experiences from teaching at Bede's, which has a reputation for sporting excellence, to inform her work.

"I love my job at Bede's," said Ms Algar. "It's a great place to work, but taking part in these projects gives me opportunities to help people who have so few chances. I get a real sense of achievement from it."