Jessica Campbell is asking for local artists and schools to come together for an artwork exchange between Oregon and Gaza schools to encourage cross-cultural education.
The project will ask students to create art based on the project’s theme, “What I See Outside My Window.”
Campbell, an Oregon State University senior majoring in bioresource research, hopes the artwork exchange will teach young people about the need for peace and encourage them to continue learning about issues affecting other countries.
The project is seeking local artists to mentor students with their artwork at partnering schools.
In addition, retired Lebanon teacher Gail van der Heide is designing a geography lesson to accompany the artwork component.
Campbell, a native of Cottage Grove, has been working with South Eugene High School, and said van der Heide is reaching out to schools in Lebanon and Corvallis. They hope more will join the project in the near future.
“Whoever wants to participate is going to be welcome to,” Campbell said.
The city of Gaza is located in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas-governed region that is part of the Palestinian territories. It has seen political and military conflict since Israel was established in 1948. Israel took control of the strip in 1967.
The CIA World Factbook reports 70 percent of the Gaza Strip population lives below the poverty line; conversely, 12 percent of the U.S. population lives below the poverty line.
The World Factbook also reported that more than 1 million refugees lived in the Gaza Strip in 2007; its population in 2010 was approximately 1,604,000.
Though she visited the area briefly in early 2010, Campbell hopes to spend the entire month of July in Gaza. She will work with Gaza’s Beach Camp School, a United Nations-administered elementary school that serves 1,300 students and is one of the poorest in the region.
“It’s going to be an interesting place to go into,” Campbell said.
To participate, contact Campbell at 541-288-3210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.