As part of the East Jerusalem YMCA, the EJ-YMCA RP provides an ideal model of a Christian ecumenical association that offers equal opportunities to all. It provides developmental and humanitarian services related directly to the needs of the Palestinian society that has been living for decades under a deeply rooted political conflict. Palestine's strategic location and being the birthplace of main monotheistic faiths made it a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce and politics. The Palestinian society as part of the Arab culture has been by far dominated by Islamic traditions although it is the witness to the birth of Christianity and has hosted many Christian missionaries that left an impact on the life pattern of the Christian Palestinian communities residing there and to some extent shaped the history of Palestine. The atmosphere is complex when considering the blend of social, cultural, and political elements that left their mark on Palestine and Palestinians. The historic Holy Land that has for long attracted pilgrims, scholars, and powerful rulers has become an assemblage of conflicted and ruptured geographic areas known for the world as the occupied Palestinian territories, and lately acknowledged by many as Palestine.
The EJ-YMCA RP offers interested individuals from all parts of the world the opportunity to become part of its affluent organization and experience the overwhelming structure of Palestine and the Palestinian society through either internships or voluntary work. International volunteers can join the EJ-YMCA RP as interns willing to observe and learn from the rich trauma counseling work and the psychosocial interventions carried out to respond to the emergency needs of the marginalized groups living under armed occupation, or they can choose to help develop and maintain the YMCA premises through a variety of efforts.
To become part of the nucleus of volunteers at the EJ-YMCA RP, it is recommended that you fit within the following criteria:
- Have a background in social work, psychology, mental health, or disability.
- Be over eighteen years old.
- Possess a sense of commitment to the Program's mission and bylaws.
- Be open to provide help to others.
- Respect the code of conduct in development and humanitarian settings.
- Be passionate towards the rights of persons with disability.
- Be ready to work under the supervision of the relevant EJ-YMCA RP supervisors.
- Have a general background on the Palestinian culture and society.
- Fluent in English.