Run Across Palestine
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August 1, 2011


On The Ground, in partnership with the Palestinian Fair Trade Association, is thrilled to announce a new, philanthropic event, The Run Across Palestine, (RAP) for early 2012. The event will raise funds and awareness for the fair trade olive farmers of Palestine. Funds raised from RAP will have several immediate impacts including purchasing and planting thousands of olive trees, and provide scholarships for the children of Palestinian olive farmers. All this is designed to reestablish sustainable olive growing practices in a place who’s history, economy, culture, and identity is rooted in the ancient olive tree.

The Run Across Palestine will use the same model that On The Ground developed for the successful Run Across Ethiopia. In 2011, On the Ground organizedthe Run Across Ethiopia – a multi-stage 250 mile running expedition which raised over $200,000 to build 3 schoolsand multiple education projects in farming communities in Ethiopia. During the next few months, a team of endurance runners will be selected. These dedicated athletes will each be tasked with raising part of the $100,000 target of the RAP before the run begins. The run will span the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories, from Hebron to Jenin. Participants will run from one olive growing community to another, and sleep on farms at night, using established relationships with the Palestinian Fair Trade Association, and other organizations involved with the immediate survival of farm communities.

The setting for the run is the birthplace and confluence of many of the world’s religions. Many people only know this geographical area of the world as an ongoing media sidebar to the decades of struggle for peace in the Middle East. The run seeks to transcend the daily news stories and address the the visible and hidden impacts from the loss of traditional farmlands for the individual farmers and their families. A media team will accompany the runners, and transmit daily multimedia reports, to schools, community groups and individuals throughout the world.

Olive trees have been used to represent peace for thousands of years. The Palestinian Fair Trade Association has a statement that sums up the project, “At its heart, Fair Trade is about connecting people across the Globe in a spirit of equity, trust and openness.” This is the foundation of our work here at On The Ground, and the Run Across Palestine will seek to enlist the support of the world community for these hard-working farmers.

On the Ground is currently taking applications from runners who would like to be part of this amazing adventure. Contact On the Ground at info@onthegroundglobal.org to receive more information.

Join On The Ground in this incredible journey. You can do this by volunteering your time on the project, helping us to fundraise, creating an event in your community or by making your case to become one of the runners.

Click here to read about the importance of the olive tree to the Palestinian Farmers. Written by Chris Treter, OTG board member and Co-founder of Higher Ground Trading Co.

Run Across Palestine from Stone Hut Studios on Vimeo.

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