Anne Sofie Bukkehave is 28 years and has a bachelor’s degree in French Studies. Anne Sofie is living in East Jerusalem and has been volunteering in the rehabilitation centre “Treatment And Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture” in Ramallah, where she has been a working in the organisation programme development and fundraising department for six months.
“As a volunteer I have mainly worked to find programs for us to seek funding for – such as the EU or the UN. I have studied what the various institutions focus on and whether we can do a project that meets the requirements. Then we have developed projects and background material. For example, we have just been working on a project in which we have focused on an issue that has escalated since the war in Gaza last summer – namely settler violence against children in Hebron. In this context we try to find out what the kids have been exposed to and we try to find the legal basis for seeking funding.”
“I get to go in depth with international human rights and to investigate which are being violated. I find statistics and I contact a number of organisations. I think it is really exciting to find out that I can write to the United Nations or the Norwegian Refugee Council and that they react instantly by sending me material or advise me who to contact. My academic studies has been a huge help in my work here. Especially in doing research and in finding the right sources for information, which is extremely important. Additionally, it has of course been important to be able to write. So I find that my academic background has helped to give me some other tasks than if I came here with no education. I have got a lot of responsibility.”
“I have had an interest in the Middle East for a long time. In connection with my studies in French I have mainly focused on Lebanon and Syria. But I have always found the conflict between Palestine and Israel interesting. Further I think that there will alway be need for knowledge about human rights in the world and especially in the Middle East there is great need for knowledge about human rights of women and children.
“I came here with a very objective view of the conflict. For it is really complicated and I will not make judgements or comment on anything until I have seen it first. But being here for six months has changed a lot for me. It is hard to hear about torture of the Palestinians, and especially on children. I live in Jerusalem and every day I am confronted with things that I think is very very unfair. When I was at home in Denmark a few weeks ago I had a long break. And when I came down here again it struck me completely over. All the things that I have read and heard about and seen the last three months came back to me. And it is definitely not insignificant thing one have to witness working here.”
“It is definitely harder to live in Jerusalem than it is in Ramallah. Jerusalem is placed in Area C – which is under Israeli control – and people live under different conditions than here in Ramallah – and I can easily feel that difference. My impression is that Ramallah is more cozy, people are really nice and friendly and you can not sit somewhere without people saying hello wanting to know where you come from. I am really happy that I am going here every day with work, because for me it is a relaxing and fun place. I am a little sorry that I have not lived here. It would probably have made my stay more exotic and relaxing.”
“When I come home, I will continue studying and I will definitely focus more on Israel and Palestine. It is not something that I can escape, since after living and working here knowing how life here is and what happens, I really feel that I have to act and do something. I will continue to follow Israel and Palestine closely and I will come back soon. I will ever forget my stay here.”