“I believe that the future is based on ties and collaboration between young people from different parts on the world,” declared 18-year-old Linus Bornemann
from the town of Bielefeld in Germany. “Together we all need to take action to conserve the environment, for the sake of our own futures and those of our children, too.”
, which was initiated by JNF-KKL Germany and other partners, was launched about a year ago to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany
. Activities included shared study through a specially designed internet site in Hebrew and German. To conclude their studies, the students created their own environmentally conscious transportation project and presented their original ideas in short video films.
“Sustainable transport is an issue that affects the lives of all of us,” explained Sharon Ryba, one of the program’s initiators, who is in charge of education
at JNF-KKL Germany. “Environmental activities help young people to get to know a new country, while from our point of view this is also an opportunity for us to display KKL-JNF’s environmental contribution.”
Eleven teenagers from three German high schools who had won the first three places in the video film competition took part in the tour. For eight days they visited a variety of sites in central and southern Israel in order to get to know the country and learn about transport-related and environmental projects.
The fascinating tours included a visit to a number of KKL-JNF projects: they volunteered in Sataf
, where ancient agricultural
practices have been revived at a restored site in the Judean Hills; they learned about forestry work in Eshtaol Forest
; they observed desert agricultural research at the Ramat HaNegev Research and Development Station; and they visited Ben Gurion’s hut at Sde Boker.Bus, bicycle or solar car?
Together with three of her friends, eighteen-year-old Uli Dahms
of Königs Wusterhausen initiated a project for improving safety for child cyclists
. On a particular day they asked primary-schoolers to bring their bikes to school, and local police paid a visit to check that their bicycles met all the required safety standards. This original project won the girls first prize in the competition.
“We decided to encourage the use of bicycles, because they’re a green form of transportation, but we also realized that it was important to protect the safety of the children,” explained Uli.
Her fellow group member seventeen-year-old Susanne Linke
spoke about joint activities they had shared with the Israeli youngsters: “We live in different places and there are a lot of differences between us, but it was actually thanks to these differences that we discovered that we have a lot to learn from each other,” she said.
Other noteworthy films made by the German delegates dealt with a car powered by solar energy and wind (second place) and the production of clean energy from hydrogen (third place).
The Israeli representatives
likewise made impressive films on a variety of issues, including: using a bus instead of private cars to travel to youth movement meetings in Gdera (first place); a solar-powered application for organizing transportation for young people in Shoham (second place); and using a bridge to link two school campuses in Petah Tikva (third place).