And with the new volunteers sun arrived at town eventually….Of course, thanks to Allah The Great

By Adrien, Annika and Cristina

After days with never-ending rain and unprecedented snow, weather changed for the better and -how could it be otherwise – the sun arrived at theMiddle East. In fact, two days after the worst snowstorm within the last 20 years, temperature rose to 20ºC! And with such a good weather,Jerusalemwelcomed the new volunteers: Adrien and Annika. While the rest of us….caught a cold!

After their arrival (and after six long waiting hours to get the visa for Adrien), the team is more than complete! Currently, in regional Jerusalem office, the team consists of 5 workers:

  • Cris, the Middle East representative.
  • Sagra, the regional gender coordinator.
  • Elena, the gender project coordinator for Palestine.
  • Lubna, the administrator.
  • Adel, the administrator assistant.

And 4 volunteers:

  • María, a Spanish Journalist who is doing her internship in communication.
  • And Cristina, Adrien and Annika, the EU Aid volunteers  team!

As the office is only composed by 3 rooms (one of them is the meeting-dining room, another one is a kitchen and finally we have a smoking-meeting-dining terrace!), it will be crowded with 9 people working together in the four upcoming months. Additionally, sometimes we even have an extra visit J

Anyway, due to its international character in the office – with a slight Spanish majority – one can people speaking in Spanish, Arabic and English, and from time to time a bit of French and German.

This first month, after Adrien’s and Annika’s arrival, we are supposed to stay at the office inJerusalemto make ourselves familiar with the work of the organization. Later on we will start to spend some time with the local partners we’re working with. One partner organization, named UAWC (Union of Agricultures Work Committee), has its office in Ramallah, where we are supposed to spend some days per week also.

The three of us have very different kinds of tasks:

  • Adrien is supposed to work closely with Cristina Muñoz, the Middle East representative, on proposal writing in humanitarian action. For example, currently an assessment mission is conducted inJordan in order to apply for a project of assistance to Syrian refugees inJordan. After, he will also have to work with local partners to help them in these issues.
  • Annika works in the Communication Unit, where she is in charge of creating a Communication Strategy for Emergency Situations. Also it’s planned to go into the field and interview people from the local communities in order to collect life-stories. With those placed on our Website, Palestinians affected by the Israeli Military occupation, will be given a voice, which can contribute to create awareness within the European Citizens for the Situation on the ground eventually.
  • Cristina is supposed to develop a gender mainstreaming strategy in the local organization, the Union of Agricultures Work Committee, which means a huge challenge to her since she will have to deal with farmers who have lot of job in their lands and know almost nothing about gender issues (and most of them are not interested in them neither). Due to this reality, currently, she is working on defining a proper strategy in order to not end up planting trees with the farmers instead of discussing gender issues!

Otherwise, although we work full-time, in our spare time, we try to take benefit of it by making different trips e.g. to the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv or simply, by walking around Jerusalem and knowing new areas and neighborhoods of this complex, historical and multicultural city.