Working for a just peace in the Holy Land.
17 May 2013
For over 10 years, CAFOD has worked with The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), which - during that time - has brought 1,062 volunteers from 25 countries to work for peace in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) spend three months providing support to vulnerable communities, monitoring and reporting any human rights abuses and supporting Israelis and Palestinians working nonviolently for peace.
EAs come from all backgrounds, age groups and nationalities. But what they all share is a deep commitment to peace and justice. They get up at 3am to monitor checkpoints, escort children to school, and assist struggling farmers to access their land.
CAFOD has supported EAPPI since they began their work in response to an appeal from the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, and while the programme works with all communities regardless of religion, supporting local Christians remains an essential part of EAPPI’s work. Since it started, EAPPI has expanded to cover seven areas: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tulkarm, Yanoun and Jayyus.
The EAs work closely with Palestinian communities and Israeli peace groups alike. They hear from people with many different perspectives while they are training, and during their period of accompaniment they do their best to get to know families and communities across the entire region in order to understand the different experiences of people caught up in the conflict.
“CAFOD’s Middle East Programme Manager, Mary Lucas commented: ‘One of EAPPI’s guiding principles is “principled impartiality”, and this is a key to its work. It is based on the understanding that conflict harms all communities in the region, and stems from our concern about the suffering experienced by both Israelis and Palestinians.
“The programme demonstrates our solidarity with people on both sides of this conflict who strive non-violently to achieve a just peace.”