A group of 20 Israeli teens departed this week for Bahrain as part of the first-ever youth delegation to promote partnerships between the two countries.
The week-long mission is an initiative of the PICO Kids Ambassadors program, designed to promote collaboration between students in addressing specific challenges facing the international community.
Israel and Bahrain normalized relations in September 2020 under the auspices of the Trump administration-brokered Abraham Accords.
The Israeli youth group is comprised of Jerusalem residents who recently participated in an intensive program focused on public diplomacy and regional cooperation as well as strengthening English communication skills. During the trip, participants are teaming up with local students to develop solutions to one of the Middle East’s most pressing crises—water scarcity.
“Our fervent belief, which has been reinforced by the success of these past missions, is that kids 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. “What excites us most about this latest mission is how Bahrain is a culture which represents a distinct type of authenticity and respect for tradition that will be both enlightening for the students but also open doors for lasting relationships that I am confident will lead to real changes for both our nations and the region at large,” he added.
As it is the first program of its kind, planning for the mission took almost two years and gained the support of Bahrain’s embassy 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 Bahraini 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,” he added.
PICO Kids works with more than 60 schools across Jerusalem and enrolls more than 4,000 participants per year. Since its inception a decade ago, the PICO Kids Ambassadors program has led delegations to global partner communities in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai and now Bahrain.