Since 2007, through the dedicated work of a growing number of organizers and with the help of a wonderful and ever expanding group of volunteers as well as generous donors, we have been bringing groups of Palestinian children, ages 4 - 15 living in the West Bank to the sea in Tel Aviv. Most of the children have never been to the sea in their entire lives nor enjoyed its wonders.
The project has resonated on the Palestinian side, thirsting for the sea, and the requests to join this fun at the beach are too numerous to facilitate.
Each year we bring 24 groups of Palestinians coming from the West Bank, mainly from poor villages or those whose routine has been deeply disrupted by the occupation, approximately 1400 children and mothers every summer.
When the children arrive in the morning, it is beyond heart warming to witness the joy in their eyes at discovering the sea, the waves, and the sand. After a few hours of swimming, where we provide sun screen, water, and snacks, we have lunch at an Arabic restaurant in Jaffa. We then proceed to the Rabita Community Center in Jaffa, which has graciously opened its doors to our guests from the West Bank. At the community center, the children participate in various activities depending on the day: art workshops, drawing, dancing, carpentry and craft, storytelling, yoga, social games, and even children’s theater - led by professional actors from well known theaters. All arts and crafts are guided by skilled volunteers.
We also often organize special listening circles for the mothers to allow their voices to be heard. This is an opportunity for them to talk about their hardships as women and mothers in a twofold oppression of a traditional community under occupation.
The day ends in a boat trip along the shores of Jaffa, followed by a half an hour of rest in a beautiful Jaffa park beside the sea.
We feel we have been privileged to share the happiness with so many children and mothers, and would like to invite you to take part in this wonderful experience as well.