The first-ever delegation of 20 Israeli teens departed this week for Bahrain, an island country in the Persian Gulf, to promote partnerships between the two nations, an outgrowth of the Abraham Accords.
The mission is an initiative of the Jerusalem-based PICO Kids Ambassadors program, designed to promote collaboration among students in addressing challenges facing the international community.
In the past, the program dispatched missions to the Far East and more recently to Dubai, and Bahrain represents the next important step in advancing youth-based relations between Israel and the world.
The 20 group members are all Jerusalem residents who participated in an intensive program focused on public diplomacy and regional cooperation while boosting their English language skills. The teens represent a diverse makeup of the city’s population, including the more socially disadvantaged communities.
“Our fervent belief––which has been reinforced by the success of these past missions––is that youths present an opportunity for creative collaboration that sometimes doesn’t exist with adults,” said Elie Wurtman, Managing Partner of PICO Venture Partners and Founder of the PICO Kids program.
“We are most excited about this latest mission since Bahrain culture represents a distinct type of authenticity and respect for tradition that will be both enlightening for our students and open doors for lasting relationships that I am confident will lead to real changes for both our nations and the region at large.”
Planning for this mission, the first of its kind, took almost two years, with strong support from the Embassy of Bahrain in Israel.
“The PICO Kids Ambassadors mission is a remarkable example of how the power of the younger generation can contribute to building bridges between our two nations through a spirit of creative collaboration,” said Bahrain Ambassador to Israel Khaled Yousif Al-Jalahma. “There is no doubt that the type of innovative thinking that comes from the minds of young Bahrainis and Israelis will be critical for addressing many of the mutual challenges facing our region today and, in the future, and I commend all involved in bringing this historic program to fruition.”
The main focus of the mission will be on interacting with local students. The Jerusalem participants will team up with local students to collaborate on developing creative solutions to one of the Middle East’s most pressing crises: water scarcity.
“While technological advancements have presented a critical response to this issue, we know that it will continue to challenge our region and the world, particularly as populations increase and urban centers expand,” said Wurtman, and added: “The people who will be most impacted by this crisis are the future generations, so it’s only fitting that they will be the ones to introduce working collaborations to find long-term and increasingly modern answers to this age-old problem.”
The PICO Kids mission is made possible in partnership with PICO Venture Partners and Target Global.