Active Citizenship

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Programme Statistics

  • 13 years
  • Over 200,000 youth
  • 40+ projects
  • 45% men
  • 55% women

Although traditionally active, involved, and engaged in leadership roles in their communities, many young people are now idle, disenchanted, and disengaged. They lack opportunities due to the strictures of occupation in Palestine and are often uninspired to conduct their own initiatives as well. As youth (aged 15-29) comprise 30% of the population, they are a force that must be mobilised to build a democratic, sustainable, socially active, and forward-thinking Palestinian society.

Active citizens are those that get involved in their local communities, participate in democratic processes at all levels, and engage with issues bigger than themselves. In Palestine, youth face both the strictures of Israeli occupation and the democratic deficit within Palestine, which has led to greater rights violations.

Sharek takes a human rights-based approach to all of its initiatives, encouraging long-term and sustainable change with youth at the forefront. To this end, we encourage young people's participation in both formal and informal political processes to effectuate real change at the local and national levels, in a manner that will benefit the entire society. Weensure a special emphasis at all times on young women, noting that Palestine has one of the lowest rates of representation of women in decision-making roles in the entire Arab world at only 18%.

Through Sharek, young people find a place where they can meet other youth from different areas, religions, beliefs, classes, and with whom they have an opportunity to exchange ideas, discover new ways of thinking, and break down internal differences. All our initiatives are underscored by a strong belief in volunteerism and the important role it will play in Palestine's eventual transition to an independent, democratic, autonomous state.

Through our active citizenship programmes, we:

  • Develop educational programmes for young people to raise their awareness of democratic processes, human rights, and participation
  • Build the capacity of young people to become leaders and frontrunners of Palestinian development
  • Encourage and support youth-led community-based activities that benefit both youth and the wider community

Our innovative initiatives are grounded in the belief that young people are not only the future, but are also the present and must be meaningfully engaged for the organic and sustainable development of Palestine.

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