Palestine: Reintegration of youths
The so-called Autonomous Palestinian Territories of Gaza and the West Bank have a population of over 4.3 million. Many of them experienced expulsion from their original homeland as early as 1948, after the foundation of Israel. Since then they have lived as second-class citizens in a country where they have no sense of belonging. The average age of the Palestinian population is under 18, and this young generation, in particular, has virtually no future prospects. Moreover, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused permanent injuries to thousands over the last years – people who need to learn to live with disabilities or with post-traumatic stress disorders.
The reintegration programme of YMCA East Jerusalem helps young people and young adults who have suffered physical or psychological harm through the armed conflict. It works in two directions: On the one hand, people with disabilities or traumas are enabled to take an active part in the life of community again. On the other hand, awareness campaigns are run among the population with the aim of reducing prejudice towards people with disabilities.
Giving young people hope for the future
The youth support part of the programme seeks to pursue a comprehensive approach whereby each beneficiary is given the widest possible rehabilitation assistance. This means setting up a specific programme to suit the individual, always with the aim of boosting a person’s self esteem and autonomy. The YMCA offers both therapy and practical support for jobseekers and for anyone starting a job. Workshops and courses are run where young people learn basic job skills and receive support in their search for employment as well as in gaining access to universities or in setting up their own businesses. The programme is currently benefiting over 500 children, young people, young adults and their families.
Strengthening the rights of people with disabilities
Disabled people are often the worst sufferers in a crisis region. The YMCA has therefore set itself the important goal of sustainably improving the position of disabled persons in society. It does so through public events and media activities that provide information about the special needs of disabled people and the consequences of traumas.
|Program Info||Programme sum 2016|
|Palestine: Reintegration of youths||CHF 180'000.-|
Success Story: Reintegration of Bilal Mahmmud Al-Ghafi-Yatta
In january 2011, Laurent Burst, independent photographer for Horyzon, visited young Palestinians being involved with the YMCA. One of them is Bilal. Aged 19, israeli soldiers shot him in the head while he was trying to save children from the fire zone. His exceptionel story shows the importance of the development project in Palestine.
News related to the projects in Palestine
- Horyzon-magazine over the projects in Palestine (in German and French)
- Travel report project visit 2011 (in german only)
Multimedia & activities
- Video report about the rehabilitation programme of East Jerusalem YMCA
- Pictures from the projects in Palestine
- Experience reports of former volunteers (German and English)
Support & donate
Links to the topic Palestine/Israel
- SDC in the Westbank/Gaza (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation)
- OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
- UNDP (UN Development Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People)
- UNICEF (UNICEF in Occupied Palestinian Territory)
- UNRWA (UN agency for Palestine refugees)
- B'Tselem (Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories)
- The Electronic Intifada (Palestinian view on the conflict)