"Majd's Journey: Empowering Palestinian Youth through Education and Advocacy"
Majd “The Journey”
Sharek Youth Forum is dedicated to leading initiatives that serve the Palestinian community, with a particular focus on its youthful population. Acknowledging the prevalence of youth in Palestinian society, Sharek acknowledges the significance of nurturing and shaping their characters from an early age. Considering the profound impact of traditions and customs on Palestinian society—integral elements deeply embedded in daily life and collective consciousness—a compelling necessity emerges to craft and establish the concept of "Majd" and trace its transformative journey.
The journey commenced in 2017 with the launch of the "Brave Boy Diary," initially tailored for males. This initiative embraced educational concepts designed to cultivate positive masculinity among Palestinian boys. Through the engagement of students in extracurricular activities and the imparting of life skills, the initiative concentrated on instilling values such as rights and justice. The impact of the diary's activities reverberated across numerous schools spanning the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, ultimately reaching a substantial number of students across diverse regions.
"Majd's Inclusive Odyssey: Empowering Youth Through Positive Values"
With the growing traction and success of the "Brave Boy's Diary," there arose a need for further development to ensure inclusivity across various age groups, including females. Consequently, a new character, "Majd," was introduced. Majd's journey, portrayed through cartoon characters, presenting the experiences of a 12-year-old boy and girl from Palestine. Navigating diverse mediums, they embark on journeys that revolve around positive values, actively contributing to their personal development and educational future.
Majd, a name commonly used for both boys and girls in Palestine, emerged as the central character, symbolizing inclusivity and representation. This pivotal shift in the initiative marked its expansion to encompass a broader range of themes. Majd's role became instrumental in exploring and addressing diverse topics, including the exploration of ideas, the understanding of differences of opinion, the examination of various forms of violence, and the promotion of awareness about rights and responsibilities. This evolution not only broadened the scope of the initiative but also reinforced its commitment to fostering a more comprehensive understanding of essential values and principles. Collaborating with guidance counselors, the initiative evolved to include essential themes, facilitating a holistic educational approach tailored to the social and educational context of boys and girls.
Understanding the challenges of conveying complex topics like human rights, duties, justice, and equality to school children, Majd's Journey simplified these concepts through art, drawing, and dialogue. The initiative addressed fundamental topics integral to Palestinian democratic culture, serving as a valuable tool for educators in countering stereotypes associated with traditions and social upbringing that perpetuate violence in Palestinian society.
Majd’s Journey on YouTube:
Majd's innovative concept has laid down common recognition, extending its influence to a wide range of educational institutions, encompassing governmental, private, and UNRWA schools, as well as training and vocational centers. The imperative for a seamless transition to the digital age became apparent. Consequently, in response to the escalating trend of e-learning, Majd has consistently maintained a remarkable presence on its dedicated YouTube channel, properly named "Majd Journey." The channel presents educational videos targeting a diverse range of topics, serving as a companion on Majd's educational journey and effectively resonating with various segments of society. The overarching goal remains to instill positive values in children and address intricate issues through accessible and high-quality methods, encompassing art, animation, and engaging dialogue.
Check the YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_dJHz_8hvPz8fEv3Lu3S1sY1VZuQT5km
Majd mobile application
Recognizing that creating content solely on Majd's Journey on YouTube was insufficient due to its non-interactive nature for children's learning, Sharek embraced technological advancements by introducing the interactive Majd app, which also integrates disability considerations. Understanding the prevalent use of technology and social media among children, the app emerges as a valuable virtual tool, providing a distinct Palestinian perspective.
Within the digital realm, the Majd app covers various sections designed to meet diverse situations children may encounter in different aspects of life: at home, school, in the neighborhood, and public places. It includes educational Majd cartoons, impactful awareness campaigns, and content focusing on positive practices. The aim is to offer a holistic and culturally sensitive approach to children's engagement with the virtual world.
The application presents an electronic version of the diary, incorporating interactive games and worksheets that emphasize positive practices across various scenarios children may encounter whether at home, in school, within the neighborhood, or in public places. Moreover, the application provides digital security resources, animated videos, awareness-raising posters, and interactive games to enhance the learning experience. Notably, the application, named رحلة مجد (Majd’s Journey), has garnered over 500 downloads and is currently accessible on Google Play.
Majd against COVID-19
In times of crisis, Majd remained a constant companion for children, notably during the COVID-19 pandemic. Campaigns like #ProtectTheCountry encouraged children and youth to be active contributors to society. Majd's online presence extended to campaigns such as #WhatAreYouDoing, focusing on digital security and educating youth on responsible internet use. The campaign featured educational videos, informative posters, and Majd animation.
Majd's key role in the lives of Palestinian children, whether through sessions, competitions, applications, or books, empowered students to become agents of positive change within their communities. Majd and Majd are the friends of Palestinian children, guiding them towards positive transformation as individuals and groups, independent of external reliance. They represent the core of society and the bright future they will shape one day.
You, too, are invited to meet Majd and Majd and join them on their journey.
Around 300 items of educational material (videos, posters, and posts) have been created and introduced attracting 137,699 views and 11,150 accounts.
47 young volunteers worked to develop content and introduce it through a variety of means, including but not limited to summer camps, reading competitions, health and well-being sessions, interactive sessions centered around Majd's diary, PSS (Psychosocial Support) sessions, and Q&A sessions.