My boots sink into the freshly turned soil as the sun breaks over the horizon and casts a golden glow on the branches of newly planted olive trees. Haytham and his family are walking peacefully among the new olive tree plantings. A sense of hope glimmers in their eyes.
One hundred and fifty new olive trees have been re-planted on the land that brought livelihood to this family for generations. In this area, just outside of Bethlehem, where land is limited and natural resources are precious, olive trees are a symbol of self-sufficiency, hope, and relief.
Thanks to your support, momentum is being created in reviving the agricultural prosperity of Palestine. Over 20 volunteers from Amsterdam-Holland, Switzerland, Canada and the USA traveled to Palestine this January to help plant olive trees. With the help of To Be There, a charitable organization that provides olive trees to farmers, they assisted in restoring hope and empowerment in an area surrounded by settlements.
After a day of hard work, the volunteers are treated to a traditional Palestinian dinner where they get to taste the fruits of their labor. Our plates are overflowing with falafel and pita drizzled with freshly pressed olive oil from nearby groves.