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  • Writer's pictureHumans without Borders

Mania Yoel

Spent most of her life on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, five sons and a daughter, and 20 grandchildren (so far).

Tell Us about Your Life

Ever since my arrival at the kibbutz during my military service, I have lived in Ramat Rachel. I even married a local fellow, Yehiel, who was born of the kibbutz, and together we established our family.

To our great regret, our third son, Eyal, was killed in action in 2002 in Jenin, at the age of 29. We established in his name the "Eyal Farm" on the kibbutz: a therapeutic and ecological farm that serves as an educational center for sustainability, ecology, environmental protection and respect for animals. All of these ideals were close to Eyal's heart.

After working at many jobs in the kibbutz itself, I was trained as a teacher. I taught at the Alon School in Ma'ale Hahamisha for 15 years, followed by 15 years of teaching Hebrew to new immigrants at Ulpan Etzion.

My husband died 5 years ago. He and other family members were always involved in the absorption of new immigrants and did volunteer work assisting others. I participated in the Muslala Art Project in the Musrara neighborhood. Through art we tried to reach out to and connect with Palestinians from Beit Hanina. In addition, I also tried to establish my own personal ties with residents of Tzur Baher, the Palestinian neighborhood that is next to Ramat Rachel.

Why HWB?

My connection with Humans Without Border was established years ago when I heard about donations being collected for a sick Palestinian child who needed treatment. Since then I have been an active volunteer.

What Do You Do as a Volunteer?

I have driven Amir, Qassem, Muhammad and Abdalla to the hospital. As you know, Qassem and Amir passed away last year, but on Fridays I still pick up Abdalla and his mum. If needed, I also volunteer for the Qalandia to Augusta Victoria track, and drive either Erin, a 2-year-old toddler, Wiham who is 4 years old, Shahad, who is 10 years old, or Mayar, the youngest of them all.

Because we meet on a regular, weekly basis, my relationship with Abdalla is very strong. I communicate with the family in basic Arabic, but hugs and songs are wonderful means of conveying the love and support that I provide in abundance.


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