What motivates a 49-year-old woman to leave the comfort of her home in France to come and spend a month volunteering in Hebron?
Meet Bernadette who came to Palestine with her son 18-year-old son Thomas to live with a host Palestinian family and contribute to the Excellence Centre through a range of activities.
Why did Bernadette choose Palestine when there are so many people in the world in need of help and support? Bernadette was compelled to come to Palestine due to the complicated and traumatic history that the Palestinian people have been subjected to through attacks from Israel. She truly wanted to bring something positive to the resilient Palestinian people. A previous visit to Maghreb in Egypt, where she brought essential supplies like clothes and toiletries to the people also led her on the path to Palestine. In fact, according to Bernadette this was an opportunity that she could just not miss.
Another motivating was her son Thomas who wants to become a war correspondent and before starting university what better way to learn about this complex history than to immerse oneself in Palestine.
Bernadette also has a personal friend from Morocco and she wanted to be able to prove to her friend that she could learn to speak Arabic! Bernadette believes that she will gain a lot personally from her time in Palestine but she also feels that “ it is important for the population to learn about other cultures and to meet people from other countries because they cannot travel abroad easily”.
She adds, that “being at an organization such as the Excellence Center is going to be a great experience for several reasons; I want to help students and to set up a variety of activities; I want to work in an Embassy as a Secretary of the Chancellery and this experience will help me pass an exam in October. This experience in Hebron will be viewed highly by the jury’s members; and I will be proud to explain to the students I meet in Hebron how with motivation you can achieve your dreams”.