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FAQs about Becoming an EA

What do Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) do?

EAs work in small multinational teams placed in a variety of locations and are linked to local Palestinian and Israeli communities and/or organizations.

The purpose of the EAs is to provide presence, accountability, protection and carry out advocacy for the local organizations or communities to which they are linked.

The tasks in which the EAs are engaged include:

  • Provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, such as farmers and shepherd’s who face settler violence while accessing their land.
  • Monitor access through checkpoints and agricultural gates for farmers, workers, school children, and worshippers.
  • Report & monitor human rights violations of international law.
  • Accompany children to school, monitor and record children’s access to education.
  • Support local churches & organizations by attending services, events, and engaging with local theologians.
  • Receive training for your advocacy back home as well as meeting with your country’s representative office while here.
  • Support Palestinian and Israeli nonviolent peacemakers by attending peaceful demonstrations.
  • Participate in the daily life of your community and visit surrounding communities.
  • Write articles, take photographs, and video incidents for EAPPI communications and those of your national coordinator.
  • Share your experience and knowledge of the situation on the ground with media and churches in your home country.
  • Engage with local peace and human rights organizations both in the field and in lectures during training.

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How old should EAs be?

EAs must be between the ages of 25 to 70. Applicants must be able to demonstrate maturity, commitment, mental and emotional stability.

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What is the time commitment?

The time commitment is 3 months. There is also mandatory training beforehand and you must commit to doing extensive advocacy on return to your home country.

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What kind of commitment is expected beyond the 3 months stay in Israel and Palestine?

Advocacy and awareness building work of EAs following their stay in the field is an essential part of the programme. Sending organizations have different expectations for the number of articles being produced during the stay as well as public speaking engagements upon return. Volunteers with specific skills like video filming or photographing might want to produce exhibitions or documentaries in cooperation with their national coordination.

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What orientation and training is an EA given?

EAs receive an orientation in their home country and are then provided with a training of about 10 days in Jerusalem prior to their placement. 

The Jerusalem training sessions include:

  • Introduction to the World Council of Churches, its policies on Israel/Palestine, as well as EAPPI’s values and model of Accompaniment.
  • Basic International, Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, introduction to the present humanitarian situation in Palestine.
  • Training in principles of monitoring and impartial reporting.
  • Introduction to several local Israeli and Palestinian non-violent organizations.
  • Review and role play situations that EAs may encounter in Palestine and Israel, for nonviolent practice and response.
  • Review of risks involved, coping with fear and trauma.
  • Liasing with relevant embassies/representative’s offices of respective home country.
  • Logistics, including transportation, finances, and procedures of EAPPI office in Jerusalem
  • Security & evacuation measures – what can we do in order to minimize the risks involved in living, traveling and working in Palestine and Israel.
  • Team building, team dynamics, decision making and team support.
  • Intercultural communication, cultural norms, including gender relations, appropriate behavior and dress.
  • Communications guidelines and requirements.
  • Preparation and training for advocacy upon returning to home country.

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What type of debriefing is an EA given at the end of his/her service?

In Jerusalem, the EAs participate in a two day debriefing including group discussion, evaluation of the programme, storytelling and preparation for cultural re-entry as well as tips for public speaking & advocacy.

The home country debriefing includes an evaluation of the programme, as well as advice concerning advocacy, reporting and networking. Psychological evaluation and counseling is provided by some sending organizations and is available if needed for the others.

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Are there other options for joining EAPPI?

We welcome visiting groups with a minimum of 10 people for visits to one of our placements. Please fill out the visitor delegation form.

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What are the requirements to be an EA?

  • Shares and embodies EAPPI’s values, including nonviolence and principled impartiality and committed to Our Model of Accompaniment.
  • Respects Christian, ecumenical, and inclusive nature of the programme.
  • Willingness to participate respectfully in prayer life and activities of local churches and church-related organizations.
  • Very good mental and physical health.
  • High level of emotional stability and impulse control, including ability to experience unpleasant emotions, such as anger, anxiety, and vulnerability.
  • High level of resilience, flexibility and maturity.
  • Ability to cope with stressful/critical situations and to adapt to rapidly changing demands and circumstances.
  • Ability to engage constructively with people in authority and stay calm when provoked.
  • Ability to (re-)think situations in a creative way: review things from a new angle/perspective and reflect this in everyday work.
  • High motivation and the ability to be proactive.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills, including individual and social intercultural competence.
    • Openness to, appreciation and understanding of different cultures
    • Readiness to learn.
    • Tolerance of ambiguity.
    • Optimistic attitude.
    • Capability to mediate and reflect on interpersonal and team communication
    • Self-awareness and ability for self-reflection.
    • Awareness of role as part of team, a larger programme, and a larger context.
  • Ability to work well in a team environment, committed to living and working cooperatively, and contribute positively to a team-based approach to decision-making.
  • Ability to cope with modest living conditions, lack of private space (shared bedrooms), and working long hours, including early mornings and nights.
  • Compassionate personality and ability to develop relationships with both Palestinians and Israelis and recognize the humanity on both sides in accordance with our value of principled impartiality.
  • Ability to (re-)think situations in a creative way: review things from a new angle/perspective and reflect this in everyday work.
  • Commitment to participate in programme for designated 3-months in Palestine and Israel.
  • Acceptance of application by family/spouse.
  • Experience in human rights and advocacy and/or development work an asset.
  • Experience in or willingness to work in a different cultural context as well as a context of crises/conflict.
  • Sensitivity to different cultures and religions, and commitment to follow guidelines set out to respect local context, such as appropriate behavior and clothing.
  • High knowledge of and interest in the Middle East regions and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and its history.
  • Competent spoken and written English:
    • Ability to clearly communicate with colleagues and staff as well as local and international partners and authorities
    • Ability follow and understand lectures given during training periods and engage in discussions
    • Ability to contribute to daily log writing and writing of reports for online EAPPI communications and written publications, as well as for international organizations as required
  • Arabic and/or Hebrew skills an asset
  • Computer literacy, including ability to use email, internet, Microsoft Office, mobile phones,  memory sticks, digital cameras and video cameras.
  • Strong photography and video skills an asset.
  • Committed to continue advocacy work upon return to home country, including public speaking and follow-up work as set by sending organizations or EA individually.
  • Involved with church/ecumenical/inter-religions and/or peace networks in own country desired.

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What is the selection and recruitment procedure?

The selection and recruitment are done by the sending organization and its partners in the home country of the applicant, according to the requirements and the needs in the field. Please contact the national coordinator in your country.

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How much does it cost?

Please contact the national coordinator in your country for further information about costs.

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What kind of insurance is the EA supposed to have?

EAs must have insurance for medical care, accidents and sickness, in Israel and Palestine. In some cases this is provided by the sending organization. In others, the individual EAs must provide their own.

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How do I apply?

Please click here for more information on how to apply. All applications should be sent to the National Coordinator in the country of the applicant and not to the World Council of Churches.

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