Handige informatie voor vrijwilligers

What to expect and what is expected of you

We will pick you up at Ben Gurion Airport and bring you to a campsite in the south of the Negev desert close to the villages (Moshav) Kmehin and Kadesh Barnea and very close to the Egyptian border. The campsite is called Nitzana and it is run by the Jewish Agency. It is an ecological village that was built to help people get closer to nature. It takes about a two-hour bus ride from the airport Ben Gurion to reach it. The Nitzana campsite will serve as your home base during your stay in Israel. Here you will stay and be served three kosher meals per day.

The costs for accommodation and three meals a day amount to 40 euros per person per day, which equates to 280 euros per week per person. These costs are covered by various organizations in Israel. As more volunteers come to Nitzana, which is fantastic, these costs can increase to as much as 90,000 euros per month, increasing the financial pressure. Therefore, we ask all volunteers for a contribution of €20 per day.

At the campsite in Nitzana there are big tents, that can accommodate from 25 to 40 people and even more. In these tents there is heating and limited electricity. . There are mattresses on the floor. The tents are divided into a part for men and a part for woman. The accommodation is very basic. Do not expect too much luxury. Close to the tents there are two buildings with showers and toilets. It has been our experience that it takes a day and a night to get used to the new situation. But you will get used to this way of life pretty fast and then you will be surprised to see how little you really need. For a certain timespan you will be living together with other volunteers with whom you will be working together and whom you will have your meals together.

Daily routine
At 6 am in the morning a tour bus will pick you up and bring you to the different plantations where you will work. At 6 am in the morning a tour bus will pick you up and bring you to the different plantations where you will work. You will be given a lunch packet to take with you. Usually, you will work until 1.30 pm with some breaks in between. There is no pressure to work, but of course you are there to support the agriculture as much as possible.

After lunch there is plenty of time to relax and to enjoy the beautiful nature and to go to discover the area. In the evenings there will be a warm dinner provided in the dining hall on the complex. You can work for six days if you want, but five days is also great. On Friday the work usually stops a bit earlier so that you will have time to prepare for the Shabbat. The Sabbath is a day of rest. De invulling daarvan moet zich nog ontwikkelen, daar zijn we nog over na aan het denken. We denken ook na over de andere vrije dag hoe die ingevuld kan worden.

What to bring?
A good and warm sleeping bag and perhaps an isolation mattress to put below the mattress. Thermic -underwear for the night. Also bring warm cloth for the night. During the day it can be very warm, but in the evenings, it cools down fast. A flashlight if you need to go to the toilet at night. For the work an overall or an apron would be handy, the tomato plants extract a black substance. You will receive gloves from the farmers. Sturdy shoes are also recommended . For the ladies it might be good to take a few pee spouts with you, on the farms the toilets can be a bit challenging. At the tent camp they are nice and clean. Pee spouts can be found at uixix www.uixi.eu.

A few more tips

  • When flying to Israel you will be asked many questions at the airport inquiring where you will be going to, what is the purpose of your visit, how long you will be staying and what you carry with you in your suitcase. These questions are necessary because of security reasons. Everybody will be asked these questions. You can usually drop off your hand baggage, if it is a suitcase, as checked baggage at no extra cost. They do this to save space in the luggage compartments. On the ELAL planes, you will be served free drinks and food.
  • When you arrive in Israel, you will have to pass the border police. Here, depending on who is at the counter, they can ask quite probing questions: “Is this your first time here? Why are you here? Where are you going?” etc. Is dit de eerste keer dat je hier bent, waarom ben je hier, waar ga je naar toe enz. This is done in English. If your English isn’t that good, ask someone to help you. This can feel intimidating to some people, but again, they have to do this for security reasons. Make sure you have the correct information about the location you are going to. When you arrive in the arrivals hall, you will be picked up by someone.

Before you sign up
Although the work is not very difficult, you do need a normal basic condition. If you have back or knee problems or other complaints that prevent you from bending or kneeling, it may be wise not to work in horticulture.

Furthermore, this project requires each of us to be adaptable, flexible and willing to work closely together. We are convinced that if you are well prepared and take all these things into account, you will have the time of your life. You’re going to meet new people, you’re going to learn new things, you’re going to spend a lot of time with likeminded people with a big heart for Israel. . It is our vision that, in addition to being able to help farmers enormously, we can promote unity between various communities from the Netherlands, from Germany, Belgium and other places with this project. Moreover, we believe that this project will help to narrow the gap that divides Israel and the believers from the nations.

This document is under development and may still be modified in some respects. We cannot arrange everything down to the last detail, some things you will have to discover for yourself.