Church volunteer on Palestinian mission
A church volunteer will embark on a dangerous journey to the West Bank to join an international team of human rights observers.
Kate Cargin will fly to Jayyous, a village in the north-west of the territory, on Sunday, September 2, to live and work alongside vulnerable Palestinian communities for three months.
The Quaker, of Thompson Avenue, Kew, decided to join the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment programme in Palestine and Israel because she felt strongly about the issued faced by people living in the conflict-ridden area.
She said: “I have been interested in Israel and Palestine ever since my parents went there on a pilgrimage in 1967 and I have visited several times.
“I believe that this is the most important conflict of today and the driver of so much violence in the Middle East and around the world.
“As a Quaker, I am committed to non-violence and hope by working on some of the causes of violence that I will be able to add my voice to those working for a just peace.”
Miss Cargin said about 3,700 people lived in Jayyous, which is next to a separation barrier that deviates from the internationally recognised borders and cuts the village off from 80 per cent of its agricultural land.
Only about 20 per cent of farmers from Jayyous have been able to get permits from Israeli authorities to get access to the fields, she said.
The volunteer programme was set up in 2002 to stand alongside Palestinians suffering from the conflict and to work toward peace.
Miss Cargin will join a team of independent witnesses, monitoring checkpoints and helping people get to work, schools and hospitals.
She will write a blog about her experiences and will give talks when she returns.
To follow her during the project, visit kateinpalestine.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/my-placement.