Bridge Builders Programme 2021

Bridge Builders Programme 2021 logo

This year SNS is delivering an online Student Leadership Programme (SLP): the Bridge Builders Programme, which is exclusively for 16-19 year olds.


Apply now - the deadline is January 31st!

The programme will be facilitated by Mohammed Ali Amla, who has facilitated workshops on peace leadership during the annual SLP in previous years, and who is an experienced facilitator, educator and researcher. This programme will be the beginning of the leadership journey for the young participants - the next phase will include students working in small groups and mentored by an experienced leader to deliver a project at their educational institution or in communities. Participants will become part of a network of alumni who will meet through the year and work towards organising projects through the year.

Read on for more detail on the programme and for a selection of feedback from previous SLP participants.

  1. When is it? - 14th - 28th February 2021
  2. Where is it? - Online: Zoom workshops & self-directed learning
  3. Who is it for? - 30 participants, aged 16-19 (at the start date of the programme).
  4. Goal - To provide a safe space to enable young Jews, Christians, Muslims and young people of other faiths and none to obtain skills and knowledge to foster good community relations and to build bridges.
  5. What happens during the programme? – The online programme is full of talks, workshops, discussions, skills labs, and lectures and more! The focus will be on understanding social cohesion, interfaith and bridge building. All participants attend all of the sessions and there is always plenty of time to give your own opinions, ask questions, and hold your own discussions each week.
  6. What kind of topics does the programme cover?
    • Understanding identity, faith and belonging

    • Nurture Leadership skills
    • Foster critical thinking skills

    • Understand social division in Britain today
    • Building confidence & public speaking skills

    • Recognising Antisemitism and Islamophobia, particularly in relation to discourse about Israel-Palestine

    • Developing skills and knowledge about conflict resolution & peace building

    • Challenging hate, prejudice and discrimination

    • Planning activities at school, on campus or in communities

    • Understand social cohesion, interfaith and bridge building

7. What does SNS promote? - You can see our guiding ethos laid out in our programme principles. When it comes to the conflict in Israel-Palestine, we believe in centering Israeli & Palestinian voices, and that any solution must include an end to both the occupation and the conflict, and a win-win outcome. As an educational programme, our focus is on teaching the skill of empathy, providing humanising encounters that break down barriers and challenge prejudice, and teaching about embracing complexity and the value of critical thinking.

8. How much is it? – The programme is free and runs on the basis of voluntary contribution. If a participant is able to, we ask that they contribute towards the costs of delivering the programme.

9. What happens afterwards? - After the programme, you work on four projects over the coming year, with support from mentors and SNS. You will also have priority access to the full, Israel-Palestine focused Student Leadership Programme once we're able to launch that in-person. Finally, you will become part of the SNS Student Network. This means that you will receive one-on-one mentoring and support from us for any activities you want to do in your schools/communities/campuses, have connections with dozens of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and hundreds of SLP alumni, are invited to speak at our events, can be part of our blogging programme, volunteer & intern with SNS as well as coming to our school sessions, are invited to reunions, events, and other activities.

10. What have other participants gone on to do? - Over 140 students have now completed this programme. Students have gone onto set up their own pro-solution university societies, set up charities, visit Israel - Palestine, work for NGOS, do intern and even become employed at SNS, become teachers, campaign in parliament, do Masters or PHD degrees, volunteer for SNS in schools & at events, write blog posts, create art pieces reflecting their experiences, and many other brilliant things.

11. When is the deadline? - 31st January 2021.

12. How do I apply? - by completing & submitting this form.

Some feedback from previous years:

"It has consolidated a lot of previous knowledge on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on-ground reality. I learned much more in regards to history, politics, economics and religion in the region"

"I've become more open to learning about other perspectives"

"[The programme has] made me more passionate and determined to engage in dialogue"

"It was an indescribably fantastic week"

“I have learned so much in such a unique way. Not just about the conflict but about on cultures and religions.”

“I think my understanding has deepened far more than I expected it to, I feel like there was copious amounts of background to the conflict which I never really appreciated.”

"The programme was honestly perfect"

“Definitely deepened my understanding both emotionally and historically”

"I knew enough about the conflict beforehand to make an educated assessment of the conflict, but engaging with others really challenged and deepened my understanding.”