Stephen Dando’s message

Eight years ago I spent a month on the outskirts of Jerusalem, in sight of and within walking distance of Bethlehem. So I often walked the few hundred metres to the Separation Wall, went through border control and into The West Bank. Many of the Palestinian people  (the lucky ones with the relevant permits) used that same crossing to get to and from work each day, but what took me half an hour took them many hours. They had to queue from 5.00am each morning to get through the checkpoint in order to arrive at work on time and they were often refused entry for no discernible reason.

The medical provision on the West Bank is also very poor so those needing good quality medical care have to apply to use that same crossing (Palestinians are not allowed to use the road crossing that tourists and Settlers use) to reach hospitals in Jerusalem, but if permission is granted the crossing is always slow, so slow that it is very common for pregnant mothers to give birth at the crossing and if they are lucky and do get to hospital on time their partners are often still being held up at the checkpoint.

I found the treatment of the Palestinian people very distressing and it was made worse by the frustration of being able to do nothing to relieve their suffering.

So when Elaine discovered Trek Palestine 2019 I was delighted. It meant that I could make some small contribution towards improving the lives of Palestinians. So plans for a big 70th birthday party were abandoned and instead I am asking you and everyone I know to sponsor me for this Trek. The best birthday present which I could receive is to double my original target of £2,500 for Medical Aid for Palestinians. I have already passed my original target and with promises added to donations I have now passed £3000

Will you help me get to £5000?

Please give whatever you are able via my just giving page or via the sponsor sheet in church.

Many thanks

Stephen Dando