“Welcome to the Middle East”
MIDDLE EAST INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTARY WORKCAMPS DIRECTORY 2010
Volunteering in the Middle East is indeed very different from any other spot on earth. Different attractive elements combine with each other; make it a unique experience for travelers, volunteers, students and journalists to take part in it. Those elements can be summarized by the following:
The first element is the continuation of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and being the last occupation as such in modern history, makes the voluntary work here very interesting and mind opening, by simply living it fro few weeks and this gives the opportunity for participants to live this one of a kind experience. The Workcamps usually include serious cultural and political program that tackles all the aspects of the conflict and diminishes the deformed images the media gives about it.
The second element is simply the religious factor. Having the Middle East- Palestine in particular- the holiest place on earth for the three religions makes it an interesting experience for internationals to live this spiritual richness. Visiting the different religious and historical sites with locals is for sure an interesting experience.
The third element is since the Middle East is the oldest inhabited area in history provides the volunteers an amazing picture for the mixture of civilizations and the unique combination in modern and ancient lives.
While the fourth element to be mentioned is the real need for this type of work in the region. Helping communities in realizing some work that they can not afford for a reason or another, support the locals in their hopes for better and peaceful future, and by assisting us in developing the concept of voluntarism and benevolent work in the Middle East. It is a dream that we have been working on since our inception over twelve years ago. Volunteers will simply feel the significance and influence of their contribution on local communities and people.
Despite the hardships we face organizing those camps we still get our energy, enthusiasm and stamina from the international volunteers and the continuous request from our international partners to arrange for more camps in the region.
In this directory, which we are all proud of presenting to you, volunteers will have the chance to attend Workcamps in different areas in the region; Palestine, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.
As part of our de-centralization working method, the inscriptions for the camps are done directly through the hosting partners.
Final word, we would like to see as many international volunteers and possible enjoying the exotic of the Middle East and the richness of our culture and history…and finally to enjoy the delicious cousin of our region.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to join our adventures in the Middle East anytime during this season, and we promise you will love it!
ME049/IPYL60/ 2010 Christmas in Palestine “Different Taste”
Code: ME049/IPYL060/ 2010
Date: 14/12/2010 – 27/12/2010
Place: Bethlehem city
Work type: Agriculture and renovation
Number of Volunteers: 30 Internationals
Participation Fee: 200 Euros
The project seeks to bring young people of various cultures together to build bridges of understanding, reconciliation, and peace. The long term goal of project is to prepare youth to make positive contributions to their future and society through the values of understanding, helping, contributing tolerance, and respectful coexistence. These goals are achieved through education –awareness reaction, youth empowerment and work camps.
SVI Partner in Palestine : International Palestinian Youth League (IPYL)
IPYL aims to empower Palestinian youth through non-formal educational programs, intercultural learning, training, media literacy and youth leadership activities. Since its inception, IPYL has implemented hundreds of activities, including international voluntary Workcamps, exchanges, cross-cultural study trips, leadership seminars, think tank groups and community meetings. By undertaking these activities, IPYL has developed strong alliances with a wide network of individuals and organizations. IPYL is running this work camp, for the first time, in partnership with the Palestinian Society for Peace and Development (Al-Amari Refugee Camp- in Ramallah city 12 Km north of Jerusalem).
The volunteers will work in different villages in Bethlehem and they will help the municipality of Bethlehem in achieving the projects they’re working for.
They started to build a kindergarten, Parking, Youth Houses, Gardens, Hospital and so on. So the volunteers will work in this area with the municipality, all the work days will be in this area but different tasks, like “Painting, Farming, Cleaning … etc.
The afternoon will be used to give volunteers an inter-cultural learning experience, with a focus on showing the international volunteers Palestinian culture within the context of the occupation and hopes for the future. This will involve visits to refugee camps in Bethlehem, visiting the associations in the city, tours of place of interest, lectures, and most importantly interaction with the local people. The volunteers will be able to visit the different associations and centers where they can watch Documentaries, about the situation in Palestine and the Middle East. They will also have the opportunity to speak with the Palestinian politicians and Authors to open the space for them to find the answers for all the questions they want to ask.
The volunteers will also have the opportunity to visit other cities in the west bank, Ramallah, Hebron etc…
Why in Bethlehem?
Bethlehem is considered a central hub of Palestinian cultural and tourism industries. The city has significant value for Christians as it is considered the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth according to the Gospels. Bethlehem is also home to one of largest Palestinian Christian communities in the Middle East. In addition, Bethlehem has three Palestinian Refugee Camps (Dhisha, Al-Azza and Aaida). The construction of the Israeli apartheid wall has had a severely negative impact on Bethlehem; politically, socially, and economically. The wall runs along the northern side of the town’s built-up area, within meters of houses in ‘A’ida refugee camp on the one side, and the Jerusalem on the other.
The work camp will be running in the period of Christmas, where Bethlehem is the best place to celebrate the Christmas in, so the volunteers will have the opportunity to celebrate the Christmas with the Palestinians sharing their celebration and solidarity.
Service Volontaire International, a.s.b.l
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