Who We Are
We are a group of dedicated volunteers committed to social and humanitarian action. Between us, we have many years of exposure to Palestinian life, and have become deeply familiar with the struggles faced daily by the people there. We are now bringing our organisational skills, educational background, and experience of engaging in nonviolent projects for change, to offer a helping hand to Palestinians who wish to pursue further and higher education.
We have been active in peace and reconciliation work in this part of the Middle East since 2000 and know both sides of the conflict well. Zohar lived in Israel for the first 25 years of her life, while Nathan and Chris have been coming to Israel and Palestine regularly for the last 20 years. Clare and Jess have also visited Israel and Palestine and bring the passion and focus engendered by those visits to this project, along with their skills and experience in both the community and business sectors.
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We have a strong connection with the village of Deir Istya in the northern West Bank and since 2009 have been taking Israeli and international groups there so they can get to know ‘the Occupation’ first hand2. We have heard many stories from the village’s inhabitants over this time, borne witness to the retelling of painful experiences, and have seen up close the damaging and demeaning effects of living under military control as aggressive and unprovoked incidents are actually taking place.
Naturally we have asked the people in Deir Istya, “What do you want most, how can we help you?” Initially, they responded by letting us know how important it was for their stories to be told to ‘our own people’ once we went home. And we did that, but for real change to occur we felt we could do more. We asked the same question again in the spring of 2016 and this led to discussion about the possibility of raising money for young people to access further and higher education. The idea resonated well with us, and we hope it does with you.
We don’t imagine that this initiative alone is going to bring the decades of suffering to an end, but we do feel it is going to light a candle against the darkness in one, two, or many lives. And we bring a heartfelt wish to the work that we do together here, and to this kind of work happening anywhere in the world, that it be for the benefit of all beings who are suffering wherever they are. This ethos is integral to our dedication and focus in all the work we do and is at the heart of Spring Up Foundation.
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Spring Up Foundation is a non-registered charity in the UK. Follow these links for more details like our bank account details and registered address. We have no employees, and very low overhead costs. Spring Up is entirely run by committed volunteers in the UK, Israel and Palestine, all of whom are experienced in developing projects in complex and difficult circumstances. This allows us to ensure that all the money donated gets directly to the people who need it most.4
We are very clear that Israelis and Palestinians both suffer in relation to the military occupation of Palestine by Israel. But we believe the suffering is not equal as Palestinians experience severe restrictions in making life choices in a way that is not the case for Israelis. For more about this please read Why This Is Needed.