Palestinian youth living in East Jerusalem have long been exposed to violence and often suffer trauma. Many of them drop out of school (36% of students drop out early) or become involved in criminal activities due to the enormous socio-economic inequalities between Israelis and Palestinians living in Jerusalem.
The situation has become increasingly challenging for Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem, affecting their social, psychological, and economic well-being while depriving them of their basic rights. Following the recent evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and the resulting Israeli-Palestinian violence in 2021, youth are exposed to life-threatening incidents of political and religious conflict on a daily basis. This prevents them from leading stable and normal lives, and puts them at risk. As a result, young people are abused, tortured, injured, and eventually imprisoned by security forces.
ALLEVIATING STRESS THROUGH MUSIC THERAPY
Thus, in recent months, YMCA East Jerusalem developed the "Youth for Better Life" emergency relief program. This program, as a temporary intervention of the rehabilitation program, aims to empower youth in East Jerusalem by strengthening their coping mechanisms there and empowering them to reach their full potential. Horyzon is supporting the program for the period 2021 - 2022, with financial support this year amounting to CHF 23,500.
The program focuses on youth facing a range of challenges, including violence, poverty, substance use, mental illness, and a lack of support and resources in society. In particular, art and music therapies are used to address the needs of at-risk youth. These two therapies in particular have been clinically proven to help at-risk youth cope with stress and promote awareness, calmness, and emotional well-being. Concurrent with the therapies, youth will benefit from structured soft skills training sessions to enable them to function well in their communities.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW "YOUTH FOR BETTER LIFE"
- Duration: July-August 2021
- Target group: 30 at-risk youth, between 15-18 years old.
- Funding requirement 2021: CHF 23,500
- Title: Youth for Better Life
- Partner organization: YMCA East Jerusalem
- Locations: Jerusalem
- Goal: Promote growth and coping mechanisms of at-risk youth in East Jerusalem.
- Responsible: Isabelle Aebersold, isabelle.aebersoldhoryzon.ch
This video gives an insight into the activities of the project.