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Michal Preminger

Professional clinical psychologist and volunteer at Humans without Borders since 2017.

Tell Us about Your Activities at Humans without Borders.

For the past three years, in addition to driving between checkpoints and hospitals, I have been a transportation coordinator, connecting trips for families and volunteers.

What Is Volunteering for You?

Meeting Palestinians in their difficult moments, when a child is ill, on the long and exhausting journey to the hospital, allows me to express empathy for their difficult situation and create a personal and human connection.

For me, this is the least I can do in a situation of on-going occupation, which makes it so difficult for the Palestinians to deal with the hardships of life. The bond formed with the families is important to me and I hope and believe that this encounter creates a closeness that opens hearts on both sides. Also, the encounter with the dedicated volunteers really inspires me.

Recently, at the Bethlehem checkpoint, I have seen more and more change in the attitudes of soldiers who are responsible for the transfer from vehicle to vehicle. It seems to me that the close encounter with the families in distress and the encounter with the dedicated volunteers make them more empathetic towards the Palestinians.

What Are the Challenges Posed by Volunteering in the NGO?

Volunteering is challenging. I experience emotional difficulty in dealing with the suffering of families in difficult cases, and in the face of the loss of children's lives, especially after I have become attached to them. In practice, in my role as coordinator, the desire to ensure that every child receives the transportation they need, along with consideration of the financial situation of the NGO, is also sometimes challenging.

How Would You Describe Humans without Borders?

Humans without Borders, as its name implies, is an exciting encounter between different worlds, between different life styles, between different cultures and − in the reality of the occupation − abysmal differences on opposing sides of the barrier.


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