IPYL runs annual work camps for international volunteers. These usually last for two weeks. IPYL takes on 20 to 30 volunteers and situates them in various locations in the West Bank. The program of morning activities alters from camp to camp, but it most often consists of renovation work at historic sites, usually Battir, Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus. The afternoons are dedicated to cultural activities that enable volunteers to learn about Palestinian culture and history, with an emphasis on the challenges brought about by the Israeli occupation.
IPYL usually runs two work camps a year, in July and December. The December work camp is oriented towards Christmas celebrations in the city of Bethlehem. In the mornings volunteers conduct renovation work in the village of Battir, an ancient site that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage program. Volunteers also work at sites inside the city of Bethlehem. Then in the afternoons volunteers enjoy a program of intensive cultural events. This gives volunteers a feel for cultural life in the West Bank, and enjoy in the area’s Christmas festivities. It also introduces them to the history of Palestine and enables them to understand the challenges of life under Israeli occupation.
The July work camp consists of a similar balance between physical work and cultural activities. The work program varies from year to year but usually consists of renovation, agriculture or working with refugees. In the afternoons volunteers gain an understanding of Palestinian culture and history. The program includes visits to historic locations including Bethlehem and the old cities of Hebron and Nablus. Volunteers also visit Aida camp in Bethlehem, where they meet with the camp’s inhabitants and gain an understanding of life under occupation.
Spaces are now available on the 2017 July and December Work Camps.
Dates for the July Work Camp:
Dates for the December Work Camp:
22/12/2017 – 01/01/2018
For more information about these work camps view the 2017 Work Camp Directory here:
Hosting Organisations for Previous International Work Camps:
Bourj al Luq Luq Center – East Jerusalem
The IPYL has previously organised work camps at the Bourj al Luq Luq Center, within the Old City of Jerusalem. The center was established in 1990 to serve the inhabitants of the Arab Quarter of the Old City. Bourj al Luq Luq’s spacious grounds are situated on a hilltop in the North East corner of the Old City. The center provides an array of services to Jerusalem’s poor and marginalised Arab population. It hosts a nursery, a kindergarten, sports facilities and space for artistic endeavours.
The program of work during these camps consists of gardening, painting, tree-planting and renovation work, with the afternoons dedicated to cultural and educational activities.
Community Center – Beit Duqqu
The IPYL has previously hosted volunteers at the Community Center in Beit Duqqu village. Beit Duqqu is a village with a population of 1600 located ten kilometres to the northwest of the city of Jerusalem. It is surrounded by six other small villages. The total population in the area is around 15 000. The area has suffered from a shrinking of its agricultural land, as much has been confiscated to make room for Israeli settlements. The area hosts five Jewish settlements with a total Jewish population of 40 000.
The Arab population of the area depends upon agriculture, particularly grapes, for which the village of Beit Duqqu is famous. August is the traditional month of the grape harvest. Volunteers have assisted the inhabitants of Beit Duqqu in harvesting the grapes this year. This served as an expression of solidarity with the grape farmers and as a gesture of defiance towards the Israeli occupying regime.
General Union of Palestinian Peasants and Agricultural Cooperatives – Jericho
In previous years volunteers have been hosted in Jericho by the General Union of Palestinian Peasants and Agricultural Cooperatives. This union is one of the most active workers’ organisations in Palestine. The union has several branches in districts across Palestine. The union aims to empower agricultural workers to confront the complex challenges they face in their daily lives.
Jericho is one of the world’s oldest cities, recently celebrating its 10 000 year anniversary. It is a peaceful city located at one of the lowest points on earth, 260 below sea level. The city enjoys a warm climate all year round. Jericho is home to both Christians and Muslims, who live in a liberal environment with parks and restaurants aplenty.
Agriculture in this region has suffered under the Israeli occupation. Land is frequently confiscated and constructions destroyed by Israeli bulldozers. Volunteers in Jericho aided local farmers to harvest winter crops and to rehabilitate damaged pastures. Volunteers also helped farmers to load and unload crops into trucks and to sell them in the local market.
Women’s Center – Shuf’at Refugee Camp – East Jerusalem
Volunteers have been hosted in Shuf’at refugee camp by the Women’s Center. Shuf’at was established in 1965 following the evacuation and closure of M’ascar camp, that had been located in the Arab Quarter of the Old City. Shufa’t became the only refugee camp in the West Bank falling within the municipal boundaries of the city of Jerusalem.
The Women’s Center is a not for profit organisation established in 1998 to aid the female inhabitants of the camp. The organisation from a lack of funds and from restrictions on its activities put in place by the Israeli government. Volunteers have carried out a variety of tasks at the camp including gardening, painting and tree-planting. Work camps at Shuf’at have frequently fallen over the Christmas period, and volunteers have been able to join the annual Christmas Feast in the city of Bethlehem.