A group of some forty young people from Sderot recently took a break from living on the firing line to enjoy three days of excursions and nature walks in and around Jerusalem, under the auspices of KKL-JNF. The youngsters were delighted to have the chance to get away from the Gaza periphery, where they suffer intermittent barrages of shelling, and hear birdsong and the rustle of leaves in the wind, instead of the wail of sirens and the crash of falling rockets. The activities, which were organized by the Nes Harim Field and Forest Center’s educational division, were made possible thanks to the support of Friends of KKL-JNF in Australia.
“There’s an enormous difference between the tense atmosphere of Sderot and the peace and tranquility of nature,” said 15-year-old Vicky Shabtayev. “It’s great to go on a trip with friends and see beautiful and interesting places together.”
The group’s guide Sveta Shitrit explained that the activity’s main themes were nature, environment and ecology: “The aim is to offer a different kind of excursion, in which they get to know the countryside by walking through it and learning about environmental issues.”
The youngsters visited the Shimshon water reclamation facility at Kibbutz Tzora, where sewage from the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council is treated. They saw how sewage water is transformed into clean water suitable for irrigation and learned how KKL-JNF is rehabilitating Israel’s rivers.
“Now we’ve got a better understanding of what happens to water after we’ve finished using it,” said 15-year-old Maria Shohat, adding: “We learned about this at school, but at the reclamation facility we didn’t just listen to explanations – we could see and smell exactly what it was all about!”
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