Volunteer for the EAPPI program, travel to Israel and Palestine and 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 movement standing in solidarity with people of all faiths, building the foundations for a just peace in Palestine and Israel.
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (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.
Your role as a volunteer Ecumenical Accompaniers (EA) is to provide a protective presence for families at risk of harassment; monitor human rights abuses; and, on your return to Australia, use your 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.
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 aims to give you all the essential information you need to know about the program, as well as links to where you can find out more. We’ll also get in touch to answer any questions you may have.
Once you’ve downloaded and read the EAPPI information guide, follow the links in the guide to apply as a volunteer before the deadline of 11 December.
Applications to volunteer are currently closed. A new application round is planned later in 2019.
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.
So once 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.
If shortlisted, you’ll be invited to attend an intensive pre-deployment residential training event. This event is the final step in the selection procedure, and the start of your preparation, training and fundraising phase. At the end of this process, you’ll be ready to put on the distinctive EAPPI vest and deploy alongside your team from around the world.
When you deploy, 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; providing a protective international presence for families at risk of harassment (for example walking children to school to reduce intimidation) and monitoring and reporting human rights abuses when they occur.
It’s a tough, but incredibly rewarding role. 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 first hand 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 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.”
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.
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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