Zyara, a personal journey of discovery          Volunteering

Volunteering on selected projects as part of Zyara creates a special bond with local communities

Cinema Jenin Project

'Our first stop was in Jenin where we spent 4 days as guests of the Cinema Jenin project. This project, to renovate the old cinema in Jenin is intended to encourage Palestinians to renew their cultural heritage, to enjoy films again and to use the cinema centre to organise cultural activities for the community. 

The cinema is virtually derelict and needs masses amount of work, which the director Fakhri is hoping will involve many volunteers as well as some professionals. Anyone who volunteers to work on this project will be offered free accommodation and the work of our group was to help prepare the living accommodation, affectionately called ‘Chez Jenin’ guest house.

 It was not much more than a building site when we arrived but some of our group bunked there and the improvements over the next few days were a credit to the hard work of the group and some wonderful young Palestinians, working together to clear stones and rubble to make the building accessible and to clean and paint . Progress was certainly made in those few days, ready for the next group of volunteers to carry on.' Linda, Zyara 2009

Plough & Plant in Palestine, Zyara 2008 

Volunteering to plant the gardens of Edward Said Music conservatory summer camp

We lived in a basic setup.. there was no TVs around, which meant we’ve spent all evenings outdoor & fully enjoying the stars.

Water was scarce at times. We had our heated discussions with suppliers occasionally. Muscle ache was in abundance. But the 10 days passed unmatched. Heavenly evening breeze, good food, and a great company (without a mention of mosquitoes, that is..!!)

As for the ‘plough & plant in Palestine’ project results, satisfaction level is pretty high, achieved all targets and a bit more. The photos we took probably tell a better story,  http://picasaweb.google.com/LellyFair/PalestineJuly08  

Shame though, photos do not reflect sound or smell (among other senses..!!)


Oyooni, the mobile eye clinic in Palestine

Zyara participants are always privileged to volunteer at an 'Oyooni' clinic, witnessing first-hand how the clinic is run and helping nurses and admin staff.

Oyooni is founded by Dr Ali Dabbagh to provide specialised eye care for patients of diabetes and glaucoma. After an initial survey at the inception of the organisation, Oyooni has conducted several trips to Palestine aided and supported by ‘Zyara’ volunteers. In August 2009, the pre-visit target of screening 50 patients over a two week period was exceeded by over 400 percent, resulting in a total of 257 patients being screened on site. 

Some of those wonderful moments are captured by Zyara participants on http://picasaweb.google.com/dralidabbagh/OYOONISUMMER2009# 

To know more about Oyooni, please visit http://www.oyooni.org  

Mixing cement at the site of Jenin Cinema Guest House


 A music lesson in open air.

 
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