Churches in Britain and Ireland are contributing to peacebuilding in Israel Palestine by sending ecumenical 'accompaniers' to conflict zones. So far this year 32 accompaniers from 30 churches and ecumenical partners in six different countries have been sent to work in various locations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the programme, lead by the heads of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem, coordinated by the World Council of Churches, and supported here through CTBI's Churches' Commission on Mission. There are currently seven accompaniers working in various locations in the West Bank, of whom three are from Britain and Ireland. Another nine volunteers from Britain and Ireland, who are carefully equipped and trained for their role, will go out in November. Quaker Peace and Social Witness manage the British-Irish component of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), with the active involvement of Christian Aid, the Church of Scotland, the United Reformed Church, the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD), and the CTBI International Affairs Office. "This practical partnership, which enables people from Britain and Ireland to give on-the-ground support to those working for an end to conflict and occupation, shows what can be achieved when the churches work together," said Dr David Goodbourn, General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). "This is a people-to-people initiative," emphasized Floresca Karanasou, Quaker Middle East Programme Manager. She said: "As important as the work in Israel-Palestine are the stories which the accompaniers have to tell when they return home." Source: CTBI
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