Palestinian ambassador visits Dagenham school
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 September 2019
All Saints School
Palestine’s ambassador to the UK has visited a Dagenham school to see its work looking at the connections between the two countries.
Dr Husam Zomlot went to All Saints Catholic School on Friday, September 20 and saw the efforts made as part of the Rivers of the World project, which sees pupils partnered around the world to explore the rivers close to them and across the globe. It's run by the Thames Festival Trust.
All Saints has been looking at rivers in Jericho, Palestine, thought to be one of the oldest cities in the world.
Both in Dagenham and Jericho, plastic pollution in the water is an issue. Students explored ideas around the problem and worked together to create an artwork that was shown at The Crystal in Newham.
"Those rivers are ways for the project to show a connection," said the school's assistant head Nick Pauro.
"It really opened the doors for the community to the rivers of the world and see that they're all connected."
Mr Pauro said the ambassador saw the school's work on Twitter and direct messaged to see if he could come and see it first-hand.
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"His reaction was surprise," Mr Pauro added. "He was really taken back by our students' creativity.
"He had a lot of praise for the staff, their hospitality to the Palestinian people. He was quite humbled. He was booked in for an hour, but ended up staying the whole day.
"As well as the rivers project, the school is hosting six teachers from the Middle Eastern country. Six from the Dagenham school will be going to Palestine to complete the exchange.
"He met the school dog, he really did get involved."
As well as All Saints, six other schools in the borough are taking part in the rivers project: Robert Clack, Barking Abbey, Dagenham Park, Eastbury and Riverside.
"It's of priceless value for our children, getting an enrichment experience seeing beyond borders, knowing they're in a connected world," Mr Pauro added.
"Knowing even a little bit of the Palestinian situation gives them food for thought."
"We just start it at the level of the human condition. From then, no topic is inaccessible when we think about people and people's involvement in something."