According to recent years tradition New Acropolis volunteers cleaned the popular Palmachim beach reserve, but this time 40 IDF soldiers joined them and worked faithfully together with them.
New Acropolis is a School of Philosophy as a Way of living. The school branch members in the town of Rishon-Le-zion, together with 40 IDF soldiers, who usually serve as a combat support unit for one of IDF elite combat units, cleaned the Palmachim beach reserve last Friday.
The reserve serves as a habitat for various animals. Unfortunately many plastic bags and a lot of garbage from the sea is scattered around the reserve area.
The volunteers first met an inspector form the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, who guided them and described the needs and the main problems in the reserve.
As the soldiers were taking part in the clean up with New Acropolis and other volunteers, one of the female soldiers panicked after she encountered a dead sea turtle on the beach. That’s how they found out it was the season for sea turtles to lay their eggs and nest.
The inspector pointed out that there are two main reasons for animals death in the reserve: “The animals which emerge from the sea get tangled up in the garbage stacks which are piled up on the beach; they get trapped inside and dry out in the sun. Sea turtles which are jellyfish eaters, sometimes can not distinguish between jellyfish and plastic bags, which results in nylon causing a blockage in their body systems leading to their death”.
Several volunteers spoke on the importance of volunteering:
Alon, a medic in the unit said: “It is important to volunteer for the same reason that it is important to enlist to the army service. Today, unlike the past, individuality rules. There is no sense of tribalism and unity, and along with them the help we offer to others is disappearing. Therefore it is important to embrace the spirit of volunteering, to know and understand that we are here together as one community, one nation and one state.”
Gili, a female guide in the unit said: “In every volunteering act there is value. It feels good to give to others. This is a personal compensation, and today it is even beyond that. We are privileged to be in this beautiful and pleasant beach and feel we do not belong to that part of the Israeli nation, who are indifferent to the environment, damage it, and pollute it”.
Moran, a member of New Acropolis said: “Volunteering is one of the ways that each one of us can bring values to their every day life and do things for the benefitof others: people, living creatures or nature in general”.
New Acropolis is a voluntary association. A non-profit organization which operates today in about 60 counties all over the world. It has nine branches in Israel.
The School of Philosophy as a Way of Living plans the volunteering activities in order to practice the values of brotherhood, helping others, giving to others and living an active life. These values are passed on during the school’s lectures and courses.