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.
When you volunteer for this life-changing program, you’ll travel to Israel and Palestine, and spend three months living and working alongside families living under military occupation.
Throughout, your protective presence as an international observer will be helping to deter and reduce human rights violations in Palestinian communities. The program is based on an internationally recognised model called Accompaniment. And it’s proven to work.
On your return to Australia, you’ll apply your first-hand experience to become an advocate for lasting change. You’ll help to put international pressure on decision makers to comply with humanitarian law and to find long-term solutions to the conflict.
The program, called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), is effective because it combines strategic local presence and international pressure. By volunteering as an ‘Ecumenical Accompanier’ or EA, you’ll be standing in solidarity with oppressed families.
You’ll meet inspirational people from across the globe. And you’ll be part of an international movement of Israeli, Palestinian and international people and organisations building the foundations for a just peace in the Holy Land.
Being an Ecumenical Accompanier is challenging, rewarding, and undeniably vital work.
Find out more about the program and how to volunteer by downloading the EAPPI information guide.
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HOW DO I TAKE PART?
Apply. Get trained. Deploy. Share.
Your first step is to download the EAPPI information guide by entering your details on the form on this page. The guide contains all the essential information you need to know about the program, so you can decide if you want to apply.
Once you’ve downloaded and read the guide, we’ll email you a link to the online application form. We’ll also get in touch to answer any questions you may have.
Applications are currently closed. A new application round is expected to open around September 2020.
Being an Accompanier is not for everyone. While extremely rewarding, this is a physically and mentally demanding role, living under prolonged, stressful conditions.
So after you’ve applied, you’ll go through a thorough recruitment and selection process that has been designed to make sure the program is right for you.
During deployment, you’ll join the other members of your multi-national team placed in one of seven locations throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
For three months you’ll live alongside a local community under occupation and provide a protective international presence for families at risk of harassment (for example walking children to school to reduce intimidation). You’ll also monitor, as well as report on, human rights abuses when they occur.
This is a challenging, incredibly rewarding role. So, 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.
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.
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What is life like 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 only 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.”
How did EAPPI START?
Appalled by the pain and injustice they were witnessing in their communities, local church leaders in Palestine and Israel came 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.
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.
While EAPPI is run by the World Council of Churches, please note that you do not need to be a Christian to take part in the program.
Who runs EAPPI?
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).
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