The World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC EAPPI) was created in 2002 by the WCC in response to a letter and an appeal from local church leaders to create an international presence in the country.
EAPPI provides a continuous presence of 25-30 Ecumenical Accompaniers, who serve in the field for three months, accompanying local people and communities, offering a protective presence, and witnessing their daily struggles and hopes. EAPPI is guided by “principled impartiality”: it takes no side in the conflict nor discriminates against anyone, but it is not neutral in terms of human rights and respect for international humanitarian law.
The accompaniers come from 21 countries worldwide and are supported by a staff team in Jerusalem. A Local Reference Group representing communities and churches who have asked for and are benefitting from the programme helps to guide the programme, along with the WCC team in Geneva and national coordinators in the sending countries.
More than 2000 Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) have served through the programme, and many of them have stayed involved and interested in working toward a just peace in Palestine and Israel.