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January 30, 2013

Summer Program in International Community Practice

In the summer of 2012, the McGill Middle East Program (currently in the process of rebranding as the International Community Action Network – McGill) successfully organized and ran a pilot summer program, placing six North American university students with community partners in Israel. Expanding on this success, MMEP will launch an expanded Summer Program between May and July 2013, which will run in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. The 10-week Summer Program will give up to 36 North American students a unique experience in rights-based organizing with community centers in marginalized neighborhoods in the Middle East.

The 2013 Summer Program in International Community Practice will offer a program of study which will include a seminar series, field visits and field placements to a select number of American and Canadian students interested in rights-based international practice. The seminar series will focus on comparative social policy and rights-based community practice. Students will also participate in an eight-week (3 days per week) community-based field placement in the network of McGill Middle East Program community organizations and other affiliated organizations. Visits with policy makers and to leading edge practice sites will round up the program.

Field placements
Field placements will consist of two one-month rotations at 3 days per week at a McGill Middle East Program center or at an affiliated rights-based organization in Israel, Palestine or Jordan. These locally-owned participatory rights-based community centers support people in disadvantaged communities to learn about their rights, access their entitlements, gain the knowledge and skills they need to meet their basic human needs, and make a difference in improving their own lives, their communities and their societies at large.

Students with proficiency in Hebrew or Arabic will be able to work directly with clients. Students who lack this basic proficiency will have a field placement focused on research and capacity building. All field supervisors have at minimum an M.S.W., 10 years of direct practice experience, and 5 years of supervision at the M.S.W. level. *Together with the one-day per week field visits, the eight-week field experience can count towards 6 credits, or its equivalent, of the students’ degree program in Social Work. Credit arrangements must be made with your academic advisors in advance of travel.

Field visits
Students will explore the wide range of civil society initiatives in each host country that focus on rights, while exploring the sociopolitical context and local culture. These weekly, one-day visits will relate to the policy and practice issues that are covered in the seminar series that week.

Seminar Series
The Comparative Social Policy and Rights Based Community Practice seminar series will be offered to both graduate and undergraduate students. It will compare major trends in social policy in the Middle Eastern countries involved (in particular policies that have a direct impact on disadvantaged populations and which relate to the global discourse on inequality) with Canadian and U.S. trends. The seminar content will complement the students’ field visits and placements by situating rights-based community practice in the context of community organization and social work practice and allow the students to link their field work to policy and academic discourse. The seminars will focus on the central practice issues and skills in establishing rights based community organizations, the development of participatory structures, the utilization of neighborhood-based voluntary power, and the provision of interdisciplinary services.

The seminar will be offered in English by Professor Jim Torczyner (McGill University School of Social Work) and guest lecturers from Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Students may make arrangements to receive up to 3 tutorial credits for participation in this seminar series by prior arrangement with their academic advisors.

Up to 36 students from Canada and the U.S.A. will be selected to participate in the 2013 Summer Program, alongside local students in each country. While the program is offered through the prism of social work, students from other fields are welcome to apply, encouraging an interdisciplinary experience among the students. Students in International Development, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Women’s Studies, Political Science and other fields, who are interested in working with disadvantaged people in their area of focus, will be an asset to the program.

The 10-week Summer Program will run between May and July 2013, with specific dates to be determined.

The bulk of the 2013 Summer Program will take place in Israel and Palestine, with a module in Jordan. The student cohort will one month in each of Palestine and Israel. The students will rotate to the second country after one month, so that each student has the opportunity to experience two distinct regions and different modes of implementation of rights-based community practice. Our affiliated centers in the Middle East are located in Amman, East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem, Lod (Lydda), Beer Sheva (Bir As Siba), Negev (Naqab) Region, and Nablus.

While most activities of the Summer Program take place in areas without official travel warnings from the Government of Canada, vigilance and caution are recommended during all foreign travel. It is recommended that students check back frequently at http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/israel-the-west-bank-and-the-gaza-strip.

In accordance with McGill University travel guidelines, students will be made fully aware of risks, precautions, and safety measures through detailed orientation materials and mandatory attendance at live sessions. Each student will complete a Student Acceptance form wherein they confirm their attendance at the sessions and confirm their carriage of personal insurance coverage.

Lodging will be provided in a location to be determined, in urban settings close to the practice centres, affording the students opportunities for independent exploration of local culture and society during their free time.

Of all the locations for this Summer Program, only Nablus, in the West Bank, carries a level-three travel advisory from the Government of Canada at present. As the travel dates approach, should this advisory remain in place, decisions will be made to either A) Relocate the activities slated to take place in Nablus to an area in the West Bank with no travel advisory, such as Ramallah, Bethlehem or Jericho or B) Arrange an exemption for students from this Advisory, in accordance with the guidelines laid out by McGill University, in coordination with the students’ academic advisors.

This Summer Program will operate as an independent internship program rather than an academic for-credit program. As such, students must make arrangements in advance, with their academic advisors, regarding credit. In the case of Social Work Students (both BSW and MSW) pre-approval has been arranged for those who wish to have this summer program count as an International Field Placement, with continued responsibilities on their return to campus.

The basic costs for each student for this 10-week Summer Program, providing an in-depth international internship experience is $6,000. This includes:

in-country lodging;
in-country travel costs;
a basic subsistence allowance;
field visits;
seminar series;
field supervision
Students who are able to secure at least 6-credits through their academic advisors for participation in this program will be eligible to apply for McGill Mobility Awards and other funds available through the Arts Internship Office, among other sources.

Students will be responsible for their own visa arrangements, health insurance, and air travel to and from their home country.

About Us
Middle East through the McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building (MMEP) has more than 18 years’ experience in the region, and is in the process of rebranding as The International Community Action Network – McGill (ICAN). MMEP has partnered with NGOs and academic institutions in Palestine, Jordan and Israel to implement its unique rights-based community practice (RBCP) model. We have trained more than 50 Middle Eastern graduate fellows in the model. These social justice leaders have returned to their home countries and established eleven locally-owned participatory RBCP centers in the region that work with people in disadvantaged communities to learn about their rights, to be engaged in accessing their entitlements, to gain the knowledge and skills they need to meet basic human needs, and to make a difference in improving their own lives, their communities and their societies at large. MMEP’s 11 centres, now reach more than 120,000 people each year.

We have the experience of the 2012 Pilot Summer Program to draw upon to plan this year’s program. We also have the infrastructure with 53 M.S.W. graduates from our fellowship program at McGill as well as 2 McGill Ph.Ds. Our alumni will be called upon to help plan and implement the summer program in each country, to plan study tours and to provide links to local organizations to be visited over the summer. This provides critical know-how to make the Summer Program in International Community Practice a success.
Applications are due MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2013.

Completed applications are to be submitted to: mmep@mcgill.ca

Questions can be directed to: mmep@mcgill.ca; 514-398-6717

Applications available online at: http://www.mcgill.ca/mmep/summer-program#applying

Posted by ksosnows at January 30, 2013 11:49 AM


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