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DNTA - What a Year!! (2011)
Convener's Report 2011
Presented at the DNTA AGM on 21st June 2011
Fraser Patrick, our Convenor, looks back at some of the challenges of the past year
Since its inception the DNTA has confronted a little controversy and a number of challenges. This year has reminded us of the need to face these moments carefully and confidently. At the beginning of the financial year three of our delegation to Nablus were caught up in the Icelandic ash crisis. This ended up costing the Association a four figure sum.
A few months later, immediately after the arrival of our two volunteers from Nablus, the sponsoring body for the visit, the Edinburgh University Settlement, went into receivership and all funding for the volunteers programme was lost. The Association Committee decided to assume responsibility for the programme and set about raising well over £2,000. Our volunteers, Rami and Rafiq have now returned to Nablus the former to seek employment and the latter to successfully complete his studies, before he too seeks employment. They thoroughly enjoyed their experience and made a significant contribution to our work. We wish them well.
And as we were recovering from that episode we were delighted to see the YYI youth group head off for Nablus to enjoy a programme organised by our opposite number in Nablus - the NDTA. But that did not happen. The group met the intransigence of the Israeli Occupation Force at the Jordanian border and after a seven hour interrogation period the group of young men was sent back to Jordan and, eventually Dundee. Trees, for which the group had raised money, have now been planted in one of the villages outside Nablus and will grow as a reminder of the Dundee group's efforts.
So another year has come and gone. Many positive developments have taken place, particularly those associated with our 30th Anniversary events and exhibitions, but this year, we have been reminded - more often than we would have wished - of the impact of the unplanned on our day to day activities.
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