Since its foundation in 1998 MEND has been happy, and indeed grateful, to welcome many international
volunteers looking to make a difference. Below are some of their accounts and thoughts on their time
with us, which have proved to be invaluable help in making the organisation efficient and innovative.
Larissa Normanton, from England, volunteered  for Mend during

to study Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Trinity College,
Cambridge University.Cambridge University.
"Over two fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable months volunteering
for MEND, I learnt a great deal about the situation in Palestine. Taken
under wing by Taka, who has been working for MEND as  Resource
Development Officer for just under two years, I was immediately set
the task of thinking up project proposals and fundraising ideas to put
into action. As a volunteer I spent time both in the office in Beit
Hanina and traveling to West Bank cities such as Hebron and Tul
Karem. A large proportion of my time at MEND was taken up planning
and conducting both ballet Dance Therapy workshops for youth
groups in East Jerusalem and Hebron as well as teaching a group of
young Palestinian girls (aged between 6 and 12) ballet twice weekly
at the Spafford Centre in the Old City of Jerusalem."  
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Pietro Rocco di Torrepadula, from France is 18 and volunteered for
Mend on a year out before going on to study Arabic and Islamic
Studies at St John's College, Oxford University. He spent 8 weeks
with Mend during the period October - November 2008.
"Arriving in Jerusalem, with my traditional lack of organisational
skills, Taka was a breath of fresh air. My first day at MEND, came after
ten days in Palestine, roaming the Old City and East Jerusalem,
getting to all the tourist sites before finding a flat and going “local”.
As a new volunteer, and coming out for eight weeks, my first task
was to go through the web-site and read up on MEND. This gave me
enough knowledge of what MEND does and its prerogative before
meeting Lucy, who gave us her director’s insight. "
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Florence Wolstenholme, from England is 18 and spent two months with
Mend in October and November 2008. She is going on to study Arabic and
Islamic Studies at St Johns College, Oxford University.
"Spending two moths living and working in Jerusalem and the West Bank
was considered an unusual way to spend part of my gap year by many of
my friends in England, but the experience has been fascinating. I arrived
with two friends from England, Larissa and Pietro, who were also
volunteering for MEND and the three of us were welcomed to both
Palestine and MEND by Taka, who worked as MEND’s resource
development officer. Taka suggested that we all looked through MEND’s
website in order to gain a clear understanding of its important work all
over Palestine. We were also asked for suggestions to improve and
update the website. After the initial difficulties of working out how to use
the software used to update the website I spent time adding new photos
and reports of MEND’s recent projects and ensuring any information was
both accurate and up to date. "
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In June 2008 Ingrid Norrman handed in her Swedish master thesis as part of the Politices Magister
programme at the Uppsala University in Sweden. Her main course of study was International Politics
with a focus on Peace and Conflict studies; both her bachelor thesis of ethnic and sectarian conflicts.
In the summer of 2007 Ingrid worked for the first time in Jerusalem, performing a research project for a
local NGO called the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). After finishing her studies,
Ingrid decided to return to the region to work for MEND. She now divides her time between the work at
MEND and a job at al-Quds Educational TV (AQTV)/ Institute of Modern Media (IMM) in Ramallah.
"Having spent a lot of time studying Middle Eastern politics, it is
very rewarding to put the academic knowledge into practice
as part of an internship at MEND in Jerusalem. The organization

educate them in issues such as active nonviolence and very rewarding to put the academic knowledge into practice
democracy, and I work at the organization’s central office in
East Jerusalem with the administrative side of the organization’s
activities: developing, planning, coordinating, and doing fund-
raising for the different projects. My main responsibility is
resource development, especially the development of
different projects on the West Bank such as ’the Curriculum
Project’ that aims to influence the curriculum for Palestinian
school children in order to teach them more about active
nonviolence and democracy. Project development is closely
linked to fundraising, which is a very important part of my job."
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