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Changing Lives Programme

About the programme

What is the Changing Lives Programme?

The Coventry University Changing Lives Programme is an international experience programme for Coventry University students, which aims to enhance studies, expand cultural horizons and to improve key skills valued by employers.

What makes this programme unique?

Our programme takes a radically different approach. We use the insight of local partners to create workshops, community projects, tours and discussion groups that present ‘their’ lives. By being involved in their lives, we challenge our own attitudes and create lasting and meaningful human connections and experiences.

There are three tailor-made and unique programmes focusing on community development, youth development and peace building. The programmes are packed full of workshops, volunteering activities, interactive tours and facilitated discussion groups covering historical, political, social and environmental perspectives. Moreover, our programmes engage with local communities and individuals, creating transforming and meaningful connections.

What else should I know?

The programme is been funded by Coventry Alumni. Since its foundation in 2012, the programme has given over 100 Coventry students and ten staff a once in a lifetime opportunity to enhance and enrich the lives of all its participants. The ten day programmes take place three times a year, once each in Jordan, Morocco, and Israel/Palestine.  Read more about donating to Changing Lives.

Who can I contact? 

For more information, or any queries you may have, please contact us at the Development and Alumni Relations Office on 024 7765 8589 or via email at alumni@coventry.ac.uk

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Youth Development

Changing Lives Programme, student helping a child read a book

Jordan

​This once in a lifetime opportunity will give students from Coventry University the chance to visit Amman (the capital city of Jordan) to engage with the youth of the programme’s partner organisations and carry out voluntary activities to help improve their lives.

Students work to enhance the physical condition of schools in Jordan, teaching English to young Jordanians and delivering art and crafts workshops to children. In addition, students raise funds for refugees and distribute household items to children and families in the camps.

A major focus of the programme is about sharing ideas and working with our Jordanian counterparts on cross-cultural activities. Students have the chance to carry out cultural tours and gain a thorough understanding of the geo-political and historical aspects of Jordan and the region.

Please download our sample itinerary and action plan [PDF - 1MB] to see an example of how your time could be spent.

Our Partners

Al-Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans - Their mission is to equip the orphaned youth of Jordan with the education and skills necessary to become self-reliant productive members of society. 

Jordan Media Institute - Aims to be become a Centre of Excellence in journalism education in Jordan and the region. 

Madrasati - Their main aim is repairing and restoring schools to make them safer, brighter, better equipped and more inspiring learning environments. 

Jordan River Foundation - Their mission is to engage Jordanians, helping them to realise their full economic potential and overcome social challenges, especially child abuse. 

Zain Innovation Campus - ZAIN Innovation Campus was launched in 2014 and aims to activate and ignite the start-up and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jordan and Middle East region.

Peace Building

Changing Lives Programme, circle of students and children working together

Palestine & Israel  

How do ordinary people from different regions around the world define peace and reconciliation? What factors do they think are necessary for promoting reconciliation between countries?  What do they think are the best ways for achieving peace? 

Far too often such contexts are mired in political and religious rhetoric and media bias making hard to grasp and understand the real issues that those living in the region face on a day to day basis.

This programme gives its participants the opportunity to work alongside a diverse range of NGOs and local organisations, exploring the social, religious and political complexities as well unlocking new perspectives through dialogue and trust building exercises. 

The programme's goals: 

  • Provide participants with a genuine understanding of the region from a historical, political, social and environmental perspective
  • Provide new volunteering experiences with a range of different local organisations working for peace
  • Enhance and develop its participants’ skills in cross-cultural & inter-faith dialogue and perspectives
  • Encourage its participants to engage with local communities and individuals, creating positive, transforming and meaningful connections.

Please download our sample itinerary plan [PDF - 72KB] to see how students have spent their time in Palestine and Israel in the past.


Our partners ​

Green Olive Tours - This is a social enterprise tour agency providing tours that are informative and analytical, covering the history, culture, and political geography of Palestine (West Bank) and Israel.

Rabbis for Human Rights - Is an Israeli human rights organisation that describes itself as “the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights”.

Alrowwad for Culture and Arts - Alrowwad is an independent, dynamic, community-based, not-for-profit organisation which strives to empower children and women by targeting behavior, knowledge, concepts and practices through creative and non-violent means.

Tent of Nations - Their mission to build bridges between people. They bring different cultures together to develop understanding and promote respect for each other and their shared environment.

Auja Eco Centre - The Auja Eco Center’s team work to protect the landscape and support the people of the valley through environmental education and eco-tourism.

St. Joseph's hospital - Situated in Jerusalem, the hospital is run by Catholic nuns providing basic health care to the local residents.

St. Vincent Guest House - Located in the old city of Bethlehem, the guest house was built with the aim of providing financial support for the crèche and the orphanage, which is managed by the Daughters of the Charity of St. Vincent.

Community Development

Changing Lives Programme, students working with local business women (jewellery makers)

Morocco

The programme immerses students into the vibrant, colourful and diverse communities, tradesmen, merchants and residents of the ancient medina, exploring their connection to each other, and their environment. Moreover, it exposes their ancient practices and customs, the many challenges they face, and how they are learning to adapt and evolve in a fast changing world. In addition, students will take part in community led, re-generation projects that are bringing new life and vigor to a community that has struggled for decades to regain something of its past glory.

How we make a real difference to the Sefrou community:

  • Renovating ancient historical monuments
  • Improving the lives of the residents by creating green spaces and whitewashing the city’s walls
  • Working with street children to help them to read and learn by collecting donated books for the children’s community library.
  • Tackling youth unemployment by teaching career and job skills
  • Supporting the dying trades of local traditional craftsmen and women by learning their skills.

Please download our sample itinerary and activities plan [PDF - 70KB] to see how students have enjoyed their time in Morocco previously.

Our partners

Culture Vultures - Culture Vultures’ mission is to enhance cross cultural exchange and dialogue through art ventures and culture programs, connecting artist to audience, tradition to the contemporary and local to global.  Visit their website for more details.  

Student Testimonials

Rona Karimi

"These children had probably endured more in their childhood than most will in a lifetime."

Rona Karimi took part in our trip to Jordan in 2015 and found her time as a part of the Madrasati Jaber bin Hayyan Boys School and her visit to the Gaza Palestinian Refugee Camp to be a truly special experiences. 

Rona admits that the trip changed the way she thinks about life as a whole.


Malaz Nafaa

"A little girl came up to me at the center and asked me if she could take the paints provided for the activity home...this incident really touched me because we take all these little things for granted."

During her time in Jordan, Malaz's visit to the Queen Rania Family and Child Centre was her highlight. Her experience around people who had had their lives rejuvenated by the centre was something she found incredibly special.

 


Amar Khan

"Every time I step onto the pitch, all my troubles go away. The only thing that matters on the field, is the beautiful game."

Amar found in his trip a unique bond with the people of Jordan through their mutual love of football. He had an incredible time playing 'the beautiful game' alongside others that he could not communicate with in any other way.


Changing Lives Blog

"At that moment I felt like we were all one. All human. All with feelings. All with experiences. It may happen at different times, but more likely than not, we all go through similar things."

You can read all of our students' blog entries below: