Sharek Youth Forum is an independent, non-partisan Palestinian initiative tackling youth development issues from a unique perspective. Sharek works to develop and empower youth as active participants in civil society and encourages youth to participate in Palestinian political, economic, and social affairs. As a nationally and internationally recognized platform, Sharek provides space for Palestinian youth to come together, develop their ideas, and implement projects aimed at community development and policy change. We envision a generation of youth, empowered with the skills and experience to become not only the foundation, but the leaders of Palestine’s future democratic society.
Our primary philosophy centres on the principle of involving youth as active participants within civil society. Our name, Sharek, the Arabic word for ‘participation’, reflects this fundamental approach to the organisation’s work. Our main aim is to provide a space for Palestinian youth to meet, develop ideas, think creatively, implement community development projects, and become better organised in order to meet the needs of the community and to experience participatory group processes within civil society.
Sharek’s key areas of intervention are civic, economic, social, and cultural sectors of Palestinian society. We focus on empowering young people economically, giving them the vocational and soft skills, they will need to both access and succeed in the labour market. Our interventions also encourage effective citizenship, giving young people both the tools, they need to demand greater representation and provision of services from decision-makers, and enabling them to take on leadership roles themselves, within their communities. Finally, we strategically cross-cut advocacy into all our programs, lobbying for the change and/or dismantling of the structural barriers that adversely affect young people in Palestine.