Westminster travelers to Palestine/Israel spend two days helping with the olive harvest. The program was sponsored by the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine.
The 2010 Olive Picking Program was the 7th program, in which the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine (JAI) and the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) organizes as part of the JAI Olive Tree Campaign. About 90 participants participated from 17 different countries in the world, excluding the JAI and ATG staff and volunteers.
The objective of this program is to mobilize as many people as possible for olive picking, especially in areas that are situated in proximity to Israeli settlements and bypass roads, in order to help Palestinian farmers harvest their olive trees which they might be unable to do without international support.
Besides picking olives, the program features introductory presentations about the organizing institutions, the current situation in Palestine and the effect of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a tour of Hebron, cultural evenings and social gatherings.
Here are some pictures from our trip: