Summer Academy for Youth in Nablus

SVF completed a summer academy for youth in the West Bank city of  Nablus, funded by the European Union. The program aimed at enhancing concepts of dialogue and community-based reconciliation in cooperation with Almostaqbal local society of Nablus on June 16, 2013. More than 70 youth participated at the summer academy

All participants expressed various viewpoints towards a better future building and engaged in a civilized dialogue regarding some positive community values that would help build up a better civil Palestinian society.

From his part, Hassan Alkhatuib, coordinator of the SVF’s activities in the West Bank, maintained that the summer university program is a part of community outreach program for the reinforcement of dialogue  and community-based reconciliation across the occupied Palestinian territories, being funded by the European Union and aimed at reaching community-based conciliation and enhancing concepts of community peace.

Alkhatuib also emphasized that the summer academy was important for youth to meet up and reinforce among them some constructive thoughts and values that would in turn help them develop their various capacities towards a better future.

Alkhatuib pointed out that through some youth initiatives, implemented in Nablus-based villages, the SVF sought spreading the summer university idea as far and wide as possible, based on some practical and theoretical concept of community-based peace and dialogue. They also included, according to Alkhatuib, training youth on how to organize conferences and  engagement in voluntary works. Alkhatuib added that all well-qualified academics and trainers trained the participants.

In a related note, Alkhatuib made clear that the summer academy included implementation of some voluntary individual and collective campaigns like graffiti, media campaigning via social networking websites and reinforcement of rhetoric of dialogue and pluralism. All such campaigns have aimed at spreading culture of community-based peace.

Dr. Fakhry Dwaikat, a lecturer in one of the summer academy sessions, believed that the summer university idea itself is such a very distinguished one that targets an important category of the society and representing the community. He made clear that such an initiative help creating a new generation of young community leaders and open up new prospects for more youth innovation and creation.

Dwaikat added that the workshops implemented in the summer academy time, aimed at creating an efficient generation of Palestinian state building, based on values of tolerance and dialogue. The lecturer praised the diversity of activities, conducted during the summer university in a way that made the summer university itself,  alive and interactive.

Participants,  including Saner Abu Ghdaib abd Asala Hejazy, believed that such initiatives and new ideas greatly would reinforce concept of community-based participation among Palestinian youth and give them a broader scope for more creativity and connectivity inside their local communities.

Participants recommended the following :

  • Passing special legislations and policies regarding youth, in a way that would help them maintaining some well-established leadership roles and help them taking part in decision-making.
  • The need for respecting youth political rights and helping youth assume some leadership roles inside their political parties.
  • Enabling women to assume some high-ranking political posts including decision-making.
  • Urging other various institutions to follow the summer university initiative for the sake of experience exchange and embracing some concepts like culture of community-based peace. Setting up a strategic plan that would aim at reinforcing community-based peace and ensuring some basic material and managerial capabilities as well as holding some related training courses for the sake of community-based peace.
  • Adopting ways of proper social upbringing for the upcoming generations and finding ways to develop media in relation with women reality and ensuring a proper cooperation by some other relevant bodies like courts. All should aim at enhancing concepts of community-based peace in accordance with international standards.
  • Satisfy the need for respect of pluralism inside the Palestinian community as well as respect of others’ viewpoints.
  • Urging media outlets to help promoting political participation through some media programs or campaigning within the aim of reducing incitement towards violence or internal fight.

West Bank: Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Training

Society Voice Foundation in coordination with Coventry University and the Arab American University of Jenin, held an intensive course on conflict resolution and peace building. Training held on March 16, 2013, with the participation of 25 participants from different sectors.

 Abeer Qasem, SVF representative in theWest Bank, said that such a training is the first in a series of upcoming similar activities including training on  local initiatives , essay writing and holding debate sessions with decision makers. She added that such trainings aim at enhancing role of youth in disseminating concepts of peace and tolerance in the Palestinian society. SVF will organise a number of activities in theWest Bankand Gaza Strip. Currently, SVF produces and broadcast a weekly radio programs and spots to promote the values of dialogue, reconciliation, tolerance. SVF has been preparing to run a summer academy for 100 young leaders from the North of theWest Bank. The summer activities will include educational and cultural activities to discuss and promote the role of youth in community peace, dialogue and changing the society based on democracy and human rights. In addition, some youth will participate in organising community initiatives to enhance community voluntary work and the concept and practices of non-violence in the North of West Bank.

 Dr. Mofeed Qassoum, head of international relations of theArabAmericanUniversityemphasized on the significance of outreach among local NGOs with local Palestinian universities, saying that such trainings promote good values for the sake of a pluralism-based Palestinian civil society, on basis of peace and tolerance. He also appreciated the SVF’s role in helping coordinate such activities.

 Dr. Marwan Darweesh and Carol Rank ofCoventryUniversityparticipated as a trainers and gave trainings on various topics including dismissal of violence, promotion of peaceful means to resolve conflicts. They both appreciated all efforts that aim at promoting such values and raising awareness of young generations towards better involvement in their local communities.

From his part, Abdelhakim Shibany, representative of Human Society for Community-based Development emphasized  on the importance of community members’ involvement in such activities , calling for continuing holding them in the future, based on principles of tolerance, dialogue and respect of human rights.

At the end, this training is a part of intensive peaceful and non-violence intervention of youth to promote the culture of dialogue, tolerance and reconciliation in the Palestinian society. The second part of training will take place in June 2013 to empower the trainees’ theoretical and practical skills of non violence intervention and practices.

SVF Conducted a public session at community-based peace in city of Jenin

3 September, 2012 News, Trainings No comments

SVF held a public session on the spread of community peace in city ofJenin. The meeting was held at the Human Development Society in cooperation with Sawaed Society ofBethlehem, Students Education House Society on September 8, 2012.

Mufti of Jenin city, Sheikh Mohammad Abuelrub, Police Major, Mojahed Rabay’a , head of public relations at the Jenin Police Station and many other local community representatives including right activists, took part in the session.

Coordinator for SVF in Jenin area, Abdelhakim Shebani, inaugurated the seminar by asserting on the concept that holding such event inPalestinein general and in Jenin city in particular is of significance in terms of the need to spread the culture of community-based peace.

Abeer Qasem, coordinator for the community-based peace with the SVF, emphasized on the need for such a project across the entire West Bank, with the aim of reaching all categories of the local community here for the best of community-based peace and a free-of-violence community. Hassan Alkhatib asserted on the need for partnership between the SVF and other local governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as men of local tribal conciliation, for the best of spreading such a culture.

Mufti, Mohammad Abuelrub, addressed saying “Islamic teachings pertaining to non-violence based on reconciliation and tolerance advised by the Islamic religion”. The Sheikh cited a number of Quran verses and Hadith ‘ Prophet Mohammad’s utterance” as well as historical episodes by companions of the prophet, which all instigated Muslims to embrace concepts of non-violence, tolerance and reconciliation. He said that the Palestinian community should embrace such concepts by spreading them inside homes, schools and universities.

Major Mojahed Rabay’a, emphasize on the need for holding such seminars as a reminder to the local community that would break the barrier between locals and police. He said this would help locals connect to the police department directly for the best of disclosing cases of violence or harassment or attack. He also called on locals to spread among themselves such a culture of peace for the protection of the community out of the various forms of violence.

Laila Sobaih, a social activist, emphasized on the need for spreading such a culture among locals especially between members of the same family and she called for setting up plans or strategies that could promote such a culture.

Nsh’at Abu Murad, a social and sports activist, said that there needs to be a real work on spreading culture of community-based peace in cooperation with local concerned bodies including the Mufti and the police and others.

The participants regarded the session as very good and that participation was effective. The participants raised with a number of recommendations that follow:

  • Amending laws pertaining to crimes by imposing certain capital punishment on those involved in impeding culture of community-based peace.
  • Holding seminars and workshops for family members to enhance such a culture at the family level.
  • Focusing on youth in terms of awareness programs for the best of training those youth, especially adolescents, on ways to embrace dialogue and tolerance as a means to solve problems, therefore, the society could be free-of-violence community.
  • Coordinating fully with concerned bodies, either governmental or non-governmental, in terms of spreading the culture of community-based peace far and wide.

SVF organized training courses to enhance women’s political participation

Gaza – SVF’s Empowerment Women Social and Political Participation Program accomplished four training courses entitled ‘ Empowerment  political and social participation of Palestinian women ‘  in cooperation  with Women Programs Centers of Nusseirat, Khan Yunis, Rafah and Beach Camp. The  training courses targeted 130 active women graduates and volunteers. The training courses are funded by the NGOs Development Center – NDC. The courses discussed and analysed a number of themes to empower women social and political participation. These topics discussed social and political reality and reflection on women in the international conventions and Palestinian laws. They highlighted also the experience of women’s leadership in the election of local councils, the role of media in strengthening and activating women  political participation as well as management and implementation of advocacy campaigns to strengthen women role in the political process.
Mrs. Fidaa’ Ghanem, program manager, said that these courses aimed to enhance political participation of Palestinian women . She continued: ‘ this kind of participation contribute to achieve a genuine partnership in policy-making process’ . In this sense, she confirmed on the fact that young women play a crucial role in society and have enough capacities and energies to affect decision-making process.
Mrs. Ghanem also emphasized  that these courses are parts of other community activities aiming to increase women engagement in the political and democratic process. These activities are public meetings,  producing  a number of  publications and newsletters, and radio shows discussing urgent political issues with decision makers and community leaders.

A number of highly qualified coaches whose professional experience in the field of training and community work supervised and conducted the training sessions.

SVF Organised Community-based peace, Tolerance and Dialogue Training in Jenin

SVF completed a training course on promotion community-based peace, tolerance and dialogue in Jenin. The course lasted for four days (30 hours) and targeted 32 young leaders. This training is funded by EC. The training conducted in cooperation with Human Community. A number of the civil and governmental institutions in Jenin governorate participated in the opening session.

Mr. Abed Al Hakim, director for Human Community Association appreciated the great role of Society Voice Foundation in spreading culture of community peace. He also confirmed the vital role of disseminating community peace to increase cohesion and constructive understanding within community.Mr. Loa’y Oka and Hassan Kateeb delivered training to promote peaceful concepts of civil peace and their impact on Palestinian society. Mr. Oka tackled different types of advocacy and lobby campaigns to promote and disseminate the culture of community- based peace in the Palestinian society.Mrs. Abeer Qasim, SVF’s coordinator confirmed the significant active role of NGOs and CSOs in promoting and increasing culture of community and social peace. She also maintained the great need of conducting such kind of courses to empower the Palestinian youth in spreading the culture of community-based peace. She added: this training will contribute to resolve internal conflicts peacefully and build democratic society based on non-violence and accepting others.

Mrs. Qasim emphasized that the SVF will organize a number of public awareness meetings and live radio shows in the West Bank to disseminate those peaceful concepts and practices.  She continued: these activities will reach the largest number of participants and beneficiaries in order to mobilize new energies and capacities of young leadership to build democratic civil society free of violence.


SVF Organized a Workshop, ‘ Activating Palestinian Laws to Stop Violence against Women

18 January, 2008 News, Trainings No comments


SVF organized a one day workshop on “Activating Laws on Violence against Women” targeting 90 participants from different stakeholders such as (media, human rights’ specialists, civil society representatives, active women, some active civil society organizations, academics…etc.) The workshop organized at Grand Palace Hotel on November 22, 2007 between 10:00 a.m. 13:00 p.m. Mr. Ibrahim Natil, SVF director inaugurated the discussion of the workshop welcoming the participants. He ensured the importance role of the Society Voice along the other active civil society institutions and stakeholders to establish a democracy civil society based on multiplicity and tolerance.

According to the studies, Mr. Taal’at Bathatho (Civil Society Specialist – SVF) pointed to the studies proved that violence is not often take place on legal and Islamic backgrounds. They are happened on the cultural heritage without punish the commission.

The lawyer Mr. Ameed Ashour focused on the necessity of protecting women from all forms of violence. He ensured that woman is still faced social discrimination, because of the absence of legal materials and conducting the traditions and the habits in spite of her great role, struggles and sacrifices, side by side with the man. Mr. Ashour pointed to the applicable Panel law which had never modificated, and the separation between the applicable laws in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Mrs. Sherien Shaheen blamed the law which provides the protection and the cover to continue the serial crimes, and she pointed to the Islamic view which forbids the killing and she cited Qura’nic verses.

The participants makes the following recommendations to assist the PA in reforming its laws and practices to comply with international standards in order to ensure that Palestinian women are able to exercise their full range of human rights free from violence:

  • There is a need for long-term work on transforming attitudes and beliefs about the acceptability of violence against women and girls, whether stemming from tribal customs or interpretations of religious norms, or other sources. These efforts are best led by local advocates for women’s rights who live and work in the community, but deserve public support and promotion by the PA and international support.
  • To preventing violence against women and pursuing these crimes through effective investigations and prosecutions. The PA should enact laws criminalizing all forms of family violence and repeal legal provisions that in intent or effect perpetuate or condone violence against women.
  •  The PA should also train all government employees (including police officers, doctors, governors, and forensic experts) who come into contact with victims of physical and sexual violence on how to deal with such cases appropriately and establish clear and explicit guidelines of intervention in line with international standards. Many of these training materials have already been developed and pioneered by Palestinian NGOs and should be considered by the governmental and supported with any available funding.
  • Establish specialized centers, for legal consultation and psychological support services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. These centers should be accessible and adequately staffed and funded to assist all victims in a timely manner.
  • Establish quality shelters or other safe spaces for women survivors of violence that function as refuges without compromising women’s privacy, and personal autonomy.
  • Increase programs providing services for victims of violence. These services should include women’s shelters, medical care, counseling, literacy classes, job/skills training, and legal aid