As some of you will already know this may to july I’m travelling to Palestine to volunteer at the Kalandia youth media program as part of a trip run by Operation Groundswell. The trip is self-funded, and I’ve been lucky enough to have parents with aeroplan points so all I have to pay of my flight are taxes and fees. However, I need to raise 1000$ “mandatory fundraising component”, which goes towards the projects that this trip and others do in the communities that we visit.
During our six-week trip, we will work with the Kalandia youth by leading workshops and classes where the youth will develop their media skills in photography, videography, and the use of social media. We will also be travelling with the youth to Bethlehem and Nablus to collaborate with the radio and videography programs in those areas. Also, there will be time to create site projects such as documentaries and photography collections – the aim is to put these materials together in an arts show at the end of the program for the Palestinian community and also the people of Israel.
Personally I have reasons beyond the volunteering for travelling to Palestine. Politically, I’m motivated by the Palestinian cause – I believe that as residents of an American client state we can not in good conscience stand idly by as America defends Israeli war crimes and blocks a fair settlement for the Palestinians. And as a scholar my work is on the phenomenology of conflict situations, aiming to develop a better concept of the social, resistance, and reconciliation. These reasons aren’t opposed to the volunteering, of course, they intertwine into it – but they also attract me towards other oppertunities that the trip affords. Oppertunities like meeting former IDF soldiers in Breaking the Silence and Combatants for peace. Like meeting Rabbis for human rights (pretty self-explanatory), and Bustan, who work with Bedouin communities in the Negev.
So, if you can afford to make a donation, even a small one, please consider contributing. I promise to do my best to turn your contribution into real value on the ground for people in the communities we visit. You can donate on my pledge page, where you can read more about the program and my reasons for participating.