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In Photos: Balata cleans up for a place to run free

by Amal

3 December 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

It is hard to describe the joy of a simple yet so meaningful clean up day, and the beauty of children playing in a stress-free environment. We joined residents of Balata Refugee Camp in a clean up and play day. Many people came out Friday, December 2nd and Saturday December 3rd to help with cleaning a field. The youngest volunteer was barely over two years old, but that did not stop her from clearing scattered rocks.  The anticipation for the games to come excited us all.

Volunteers and locals make room for children to run free - Click here for more images

Balata children are clearly affected by the Israeli Occupation and possibly one of their biggest struggles is lack of space to play. There is no area where they can play freely. Even the field they cleaned up this week will be plowed in two weeks. They already knew this field will be no place to play in two weeks, and they still wanted to clean up the field. They did not give up when the job of field cleaning seemed never ending.  The spirit of never backing down when the odds are against them is apparent in all of these children. We have no doubt that these children will continue to resist for their right to play, one game at a time.


Amal is a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).