Tamera Co-Workers to Support Youth Festival in Farkha, Palestine’s First Ecovillage

This summer we plan to deepen our cooperation and friendship with Farkha (Palestine’s first Ecovillage), and with Qambaz Baker (“Baker”) and Saad Dagher, two of Farkha’s core visionaries. Currently, the most important collaboration they need is a small international group to support the Summer Youth Volunteer Festival (July 22–29 2018).

Aida Shibli & Frederick Weihe

The festival, now in its 25th year, is organized mostly by Baker to give 100 to 150 young Palestinians a community experience during their summer school holidays, offering positive social, political, ecological content to an underserved community. Baker’s gentle and playful radicalism offers young people in the West Bank a novel perspective on selfless service, community, love of the Earth, a positive and peaceful political identity, gender equality and social justice.

The small local team leading the festival is often stretched by the task of guiding the energies of over 100 teenagers, many of whom have never spent a night outside of their family homes. The summer camp is also offered to both girls and boys together, which is especially unfamiliar to many who are unused to even partly mixed-gender environments.

We are currently seeking about 25 experienced adult community members who can support the core organizing team for the summer camp, with about 3 weeks available from mid-July 2018 to the first week of August 2018. Participants would need to pay for their own travel arrangements and will be asked to cover the costs of their stay during the camp on a by-donation basis. We would like to send personal invitations to members of Tamera, GEN networks, and among our Global Campus veterans first in order to emphasize the importance of forming a conscious, community-aware group of adults who can bring their experience home to their communities once the festival is over. Interested people should contact Aida Shibli directly for more information or to apply (aida.shibli (at) gmail.com).

Once selected, our picture would be to come together as an international group, a week or so before the beginning of the festival in Farkha (located just North of Ramallah in the West Bank.) This group would live together on the land of the Farkha ecological farm demonstration site and create ecological educational content – as hands-on as possible – with work projects on the land and in the village. For past work projects we have built swales and traditional fieldstone terraces, constructed biogas digesters and a composting toilet, built raised beds, planted trees and so on. During the festival itself, we would model community life, continuing to live together on the land and also accompanying a subgroup of festival participants to experience sustainable habits and life practices. For example, this festival group would commit to not use disposable cups and plates, but rather to collect food waste for compost and biogas, to wash (with ecological products) and reuse cutlery, etc. This example is just to give an idea – the details would be decided by the international team, in contact with Saad and Baker, during the preparation time before the festival. Activities during the camp would take place in Arabic with simultaneous English translation.

After the festival, members of this international ecological/community group would be invited to participate in a political journey through the West Bank, organized in collaboration with the Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian organization based in Bethlehem.

Sign up for the event on Facebook.