Space To Breathe - Living & Leading in Contested Spaces

Following on from the succesful Space to Breathe Programs of the last two years - the program continues! Sign up before the 14th February!


The Question:

How can we, as young people from Ireland, Palestine and Israel, build on connections already created through the Space To Breathe program, inspire and equip youth responsibility and leadership in an increasingly fragmented and violent world.

The Response:

Young adults from the Middle East (Jewish &Arab Israeli/Palestinian Christian & Muslim) and Ireland (Protestant, RC, Muslim & Jewish), dialoguing and exploring together questions of participatory leadership in contested spaces. The 2016 stage of the project envisions Irish and Northern Irish young adults from Christian, Muslim and Jewish backgrounds being in dialogue and learning, in Palestine, in Israel, and in Ireland. This project is a leadership program of conflict transformation for young adults living within contested spaces. Facilitated workshops and discussions will include issues of conflict / community transformation / contested histories / religious roots & violence conflict / religious texts & conflict / youth leadership / participatory & collaborative leadership The program is intentionally multi-faith and multi-national, for young adults.

It is fully recognised that it will be hard for some participants to enter such a dialogue – especially given the current circumstances in the Middle East. Valuable lessons have come from Northern Ireland in conflict management and leadership, and have centred around dialogue, empathetic understanding and clarity of issues. It is this belief in human encounter that drives the continuing program.

As a sign of the participants personal buy-in, they will be asked to contribute a donation to the program costs themselves, roughly 1/3 of the total cost.


  • Wider advocacy for interfaith dialogue & community peace initiatives within Ireland, and in Israel-Palestine.
  • Fuller appreciation of the histories involved in conflict transformation/management in areas of deep contestation.
  • A sense of human responsibility in the context of multi-faith and multi-ethnic background.
  • Recognition that pathways toward peaceful community and reconciliation are not travelled lightly or easily.
  • Develop an appreciation of, and gain skills in delivering participatory leadership  - particularly in the areas of Appreciative Inquiry, Peer Coaching, Open Space technology and Corporate Decision Making.


Wider Details

Inter-cultural/inter-faith training in Conflict Transformation and Leadership for young adults who live in contested areas of conflict. The program is a direct follow on to “Space to Breathe – Living in Contested Spaces” 2015, (itself, a follow on from Pilgrimage Study Tours to the Holy Land run through the Methodist Chaplaincy). It is currently difficult (if not impossible) to get together young adults from different areas of the divide in Israel and Palestine but it is the belief of the organisers of the project, that dialogue and human contact remain the most potent tools we have for advocacy and stability.

The choreography for this year expands the Irish participants understanding of the Middle East, by travelling to Palestine and to Israel during August/September 2016. They will spend several days in West Bank, with Palestinian young adults. They will also travel to Israel and spend several days with Israeli Jews and Arabs, in Haifa.

Several weeks later, the entire group, - Irish, Palestinian and Israeli, will meet at a location in Ireland, to carry out action-reflection on the experiences and learnings – with a particular emphasis on developing leadership capacities and competencies.

While together, we will share an intensive exploration of conflict transformation/management, drawing on their experiences of living in contested spaces. Daily facilitation from experienced practitioners will provide input on community transformation / contested histories / religious roots & violence conflict / religious texts & conflict / youth leadership / participatory & collaborative leadership.

It is important to note, the concept for this program has been born out of visits to Israel & Palestine by students from Trinity College. It has been developed through contacts and connections with The Holy Land Trust in West Bank, and The Leo Baeck Education Centre in Haifa. The outcome for a third year of the program is a youth peace conference, sponsored by Trinity College, where young adults from Ireland and the Middle East will present, and educate each other on the themes discovered and explored during the two years of the ‘Space to Breathe’ initiative.


3rd- 10th September & 6th-10th November Ireland 2017


West Bank // Israel // Ireland


We must do better.

Who Pays?

Fundraising covers half of the estimated cost, leaving each participant paying a total of €750


For more information, please see .




Event Date: 
Sunday, 3 September, 2017 (All day) to Sunday, 10 September, 2017 (All day)
TCD Dublin Chaplaincy
Jools Hamilton
Church or Organisation: 
TCD Dublin Chaplaincy