Every day, persecution and human rights abuses destroy people’s lives and fuel conflict in the Holy Land. But your presence can help prevent these injustices.
By taking part in the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), you’ll spend three months being a protective presence for families living under occupation. You’ll bear witness to their suffering; keep watch with their communities; and work alongside an international Christian network standing in solidarity with people of all faiths, building the foundations for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel.
Find out how your presence can help prevent injustice in the Holy Land, download the EAPPI information guide:
LIFE UNDER OCCUPATION
Imagine your home, containing all your possessions, was demolished without warning. Your children were so scared of the intimidation they get on the way to school that they wet the bed at night. Or that you weren’t allowed to cross a checkpoint on your way to work, meaning no income to support your struggling family.
Settlements. Home demolitions. Restriction of movement. Violent harassment. These are just some of the injustices faced on a daily basis by Palestinian families living under occupation. It’s destroying people’s lives and livelihoods. And it’s fuelling conflict in the region. As Martin Luther King Jr said: “There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.”
WORKING TOWARDS A JUST PEACE
Appalled by the pain and injustice they were witnessing in their communities, local church leaderscame together to take action, and in 2002 established the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Their vision was a just peace, where all people in Palestine and Israel could live with freedom, dignity and security based on international law and human rights.
EAPPI brings together volunteers from around the world (that’s you!) to spend three months living alongside communities under military occupation in Palestine and Israel. The volunteers, called Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs), provide a protective presence for families at risk of harassment; monitor human rights abuses; and, on return to their home countries, use their firsthand experience to advocate for international pressure on decision makers to comply with humanitarian law and to find long-term solutions to the conflict.
The program is based on an internationally recognised model called Accompaniment. It is a theoretical model for humanitarian work in conflict zones, and a biblical model for acting justly in the way of Christ. The effectiveness of the model comes from a combination of strategic local presence and international pressure.
Since the program was established, more than 1,800 international volunteers from 20+ countries have served as Ecumenical Accompaniers. EAPPI has more human rights monitors on the ground than any other organisation in Palestine and Israel. And we're making a difference.
By deploying as an Ecumenical Accompanier, you’ll be joining an international Christian network standing in solidarity with people of all faiths.
YOUR ROLE AS AN ECUMENICAL ACCOMPANIER
Being an Ecumenical Accompanier is challenging, rewarding, and undeniably vital work.
After intensive pre-deployment training and preparation, you’ll be ready to put on the distinctive EAPPI vest and join the other members of your multi-national team placed in one of seven locations throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Over the following three months you’ll live alongside a local community under occupation; providing a protective presence for families at risk of harassment and monitoring human rights abuses when they occur.
But your work doesn’t end when you return to Australia. Your firsthand experience of what’s happening on the ground is a powerful advocacy tool that can change hearts, minds, policies and ultimately, improve conditions for the people whose stories you share. Once back in Australia, you’ll work with the Act for Peace team, other returned Accompaniers and advocacy groups to develop and implement an awareness-raising and advocacy plan.
HAVE I GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
Putting on the EAPPI vest is not for everyone. While extremely rewarding, this is a physically and mentally demanding role, living under prolonged, stressful conditions.
While on deployment you’ll need to be flexible, hard-working, physically and emotionally robust, open to hearing from different perspectives, and able to represent the program in a professional manner.
HOW DO I TAKE PART?
There is a rigorous selection and recruitment process of volunteers well in advance of their service, to allow time for preparation, training and fundraising.
We hope you’ll be inspired to join us in this vital mission.
EAPPI is a World Council of Churches program, and national chapters worldwide work in partnership with the World Council of Churches to implement it. In Australia, EAPPI is managed by Act for Peace (the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia) in conjunction with the volunteer EAPPI Australia Committee.
If you're ready to apply to become an Ecumenical Accompanier, please complete the online application form
before the deadline of 17 December 2017.