Recently we hosted at our Centre a group of nine students and professors from North Carolina, USA, taking part in a study trip organized by Amizade Global Service.

Amizade (meaning “friendship” in Portuguese) is a non-profit organization that works with universities, high schools, companies and various community groups to create educational programs for them and direct volunteers to volunteer work in 13 communities in 11 countries. The organization acts as a catalyst for improving intercultural education and positively influences the development of sectors such as education and fair trade, through the implementation of innovative teaching programs and consulting activities. Amizade Global Service develops empathy in others and encourages pro-social attitudes among its project participants. The organization’s primary goal is to contribute to the creation of a world in which diverse communities create lasting relationships and work together to care for the well-being and justice of the inhabitants of our planet.

The participants of the two-week study trip that we hosted at our Center were 7 students and two professors- Sandy Lookabaugh and Lisa Godwin from the Faculty of Child and Family Studies at East Carolina University. They formed a very diverse group, specializing in fields such as psychology, foreign languages ​​and business, and the main focus of their project was the study of intergenerational trauma,  mainly through the lens of the tragedy of the Holocaust. The participants of the trip discovered how the experience of trauma manifests itself in the second generation and compared the horror of Nazi Germany’s oppression to other traumatic events that took place in the world, such as the genocide of Native Americans, slavery brought to the USA by settlers from Europe, or the tragedy in Rwanda. During the first week of their stay in Poland, the group also explored the history of the Jewish community in Poland from the renaissance to the present day. In the second week of the trip, participants learnt about the history of the Jewish community in Prague and Vienna, and the trauma that the inhabitants of these cities experienced during World War II.

We were very pleased to hear that the time spent in Poland was very fruitful for the students and lecturers from East Carolina University, also thanks to the nice, homely atmosphere at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer.