Sharek Youth Forum was originally launched as an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) in 1996. The success of the initiative led to its institutionalisation in 2004, as a non-partisan, non-profit, non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Since its initiation, Sharek has always performed groundbreaking in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sharek has managed to build a broad network with youth from all over the Palestinian territories, as well as different local, national, and international stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Various programs were conducted in partnerships with ministries such as the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to list a few, in order to connect youth’s interests with governmental institutions and achieve change on a structural level.
As a leading Palestinian youth organization, Sharek has been determined to facilitate positive social and political development by implementing strategic interventions and empowering youth as active participants in their communities. Over its 21-year history, Sharek has diligently built relationships across Palestinian society, connecting with key stakeholders in social, economic, civic, and political spheres. These connections, including ties with the private sector, government, and educational institutions, provide Sharek with the capacity to design and implement innovative initiatives for community development and policy change. The organization's commitment lies in nurturing resilient youth, fostering independence, social responsibility, and active citizenship.
In 2012, Sharek launched the Tamayyaz program, meaning "to seek excellence" in Arabic. Designed as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Tamayyaz is the first Palestinian-led program leveraging local resources and networks established by Sharek in collaboration with the private and public sectors. Strategic partnerships with vocational and higher education institutions, along with small local businesses, have fortified Tamayyaz's sustainability and scalability. Over the past eight years, the program has evolved, positively impacting the lives of over 4,000 Palestinian youth who have participated. Sharek's enduring commitment remains centered on supporting youth resilience and fostering a generation of self-assured, independent, and socially-minded individuals who actively contribute to Palestinian society.