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Author: Stefano Cossu
Subject: [Dalnulla]pal
Cari amici Dalnulla,
purtroppo domenica a Roma non son riuscito a venire per la parte
organizzativa, quella che mi interessva di più, come speravo. Intanto vorrei
contribuire lanciando un "sasso" a chi fosse interessato, che mi è stato
mandato da un mio fidato amico di Nablus.
Nelle righe qua sotto il progetto. La mia proposta è : che ne dite di un
workshop interculturale di teatro, in cui coinvolgere soprattutto i bambini?
Mi sembra giusto che in un programma di ricostruzione non invadano
ricostruite solo le case bombardate ma anche le menti strapazzate delle
persone che ci abitavano.
A presto


Dear Sir/Madam.

Greetings from Palestine
I am Alaa Yousef from Zajel Youth Exchange Program/Public Relations
An-Najah National University.Nablus, Palestine .

We would like to invite you to read the below invitation of the
Voluntary Workcamps which we are organizing in July and August 2003.

We hope you or your institution`s members or friends would be interested to
us in the
Reconstruction Project of the Youth Clubs in Nablus City/Palestine.

We would also like to ask you to pass this invitation to the interested
Dont hesitate to contact us for any question.

Thanks in advance

Alaa Yousef
Zajel Youth Exchange Program
Public Relations Department
An-Najah National University
Nablus, Palestine
Phone: ++ 970 9 2381113/7
Fax: ++ 970 9 2387982

Reconstruction Project

A youth initiative for Palestine

ZAJEL Youth Exchange Program
Public Relations Department
An Najah National University/ Nablus.Palestine.

Service Civil International/SCI.
German Branch

The Project statement

The joint initiative of ZAJEL Youth Exchange Program, An-Najah National
University, Nablus and SCI-Germany is a pilot project, which takes place in
of two international Workcamps in the summer 2003.

Manual work of international and local volunteers supports the
reconstruction of
the youth institutions in Nablus. Common cultural activities with the youth
the clubs and centers attempt to create a platform for dialogue between the
different cultures.

The idea of this project results from a screening, which took place in
Nablus in
September 2002. Representatives of SCI-Germany and ZAJEL Youth Exchange
consulted several youth institutions and identified reconstruction of the
facilities and activities for emotional release and educational empowerment
the urgent need of the youth in Nablus.

Rational/ Background

Youth in Palestine

Youth (below the age of 24 years) represent approximately 66% of the
in Palestine. However, they are a marginalized group.

Deprived of the right to evolve democratically and culturally, and isolated
through repeated closures of Palestinian areas, young people are left with
little exposure to outside ideas, customs and cultures. Only few resources
clubs and associations are available to them to engage in stimulating and
enriching extra-curricular activities. The youth in Palestine lacks
and productive outlets through which they can use their time to their own
others' benefit.

This increases the chances of becoming involved in dangerous activities or
increasing their frustration, making them more susceptible to join extremist

Occupation and the 2nd Intifada

The Israeli Occupation has had a negative and serious effect on Palestinian
youth culture.

First and foremost, the occupation implies insecurity and threats the lives
youth. Soldiers have killed and injured mostly young Palestinian males.
September 2000, approximately 22% of those killed have been children, aged
years or under. Furthermore, of those injured in the West Bank, 36% are
children, and in the Gaza Strip 20% of the injured are under the age of 18 .

Furthermore the Occupation has stifled independence and freedom of young
which limits their creativity and ability to create better futures. It
their ability to develop a positive self-identity, and tries to dismantle
Palestinian culture.

Youth institutions

During the current emergency, in which villages and towns are isolated from
other for long periods it is of vital importance that youth have a forum for
communication. Youth institutions help young people feel less isolated and
unified. Creating connections among Palestinian youth also encourages them
learn more about the country, to learn about its people, places and
organizations, thereby promoting volunteerism and responsibility for their
country and fellow citizens. It also broadens their horizons by exposing
them to
different career opportunities.

The centers and clubs provide youth with opportunities to acquire skills
such as
basic life-skills, computer and Internet skills, and education. They also
about concepts such as leadership and democracy. The activities of the
institutions also promote emotional release. Here, youth is offered a third
to learn and to release, in order to express their feelings, needs and

Youth institutions like clubs and centers give young people a place to
socialize, to receive training, and to experience integration. In addition
promote equality and democratic values. Youth also connect with university
students who volunteer at the center, who provide them with positive role
of educated young adults who are working toward the advancement of
and their country. Such facilities offer them the chance to connect with
peers, learn about themselves, have more control over themselves and their
communities, and discover new options in all areas.

Youth Institutions in Nablus/ West Bank

In the Old City of Nablus there were 13 youth institutions: either youth
forum centers or organizations. Now only 5 of them are operating. This is
enough for the youth under curfew. Despair and hopelessness are growing. The
youth needs physical and emotional support in order to reconstruct their

The IBAL Sports Club is one of the oldest youth centers in the Old City of
Nablus. Since 1959 the club has offered various activities, especially
school vacations. Young men and women participated in sports like football,
basketball, table tennis, volleyball, handball and body-building. The
members of
the club also provided training on computer skills and lessons in foreign
languages. Furthermore, the club involved young men and women in social and
cultural activities such as small festivals with actors.

Approximately 1000 young men are members of the sports club. They are youth
leaders or youth trainers over the age of 18 or participants from the age of
The club is composed of approximately 60 per cent pupils and students
graduated students) and 20 to 30 per cent workers. Around 60 to 70 per cent
the young workers are unemployed.

During the invasion in April 2002 the facilities of the club were completely
demolished. The renovation attempt failed because of a lack of financial
support. Since then the sports club has not been able to run any of its
activities in their rooms. Nonetheless, some members have continued for
the table tennis team, which plays daily in a private place or the disabled
train in a school.

We have chosen workcamps as the tool to implement the identified objectives.
workcamp is considered to be a place where people of all races, ideologies,
nationalities live and work together on a project organized by a local
for two or three weeks. Workcamps generally have 10 to 20 participants, who
volunteer, socialize and work with the local people.

The message of workcamps is to promote equality in living (all work camp
live by local standards) and internal decision making, problem solving,
developing a sense of group identity and seeking to increase tolerance.

The vision

The vision of SHABAB reconstruction project is to contribute to the
development of the Palestinian youth by addressing their needs.

Therefore, we, ZAJEL Youth Exchange Program and SCI-Germany, work united:

-to assist in the reconstruction of youth institutions through joint
work of Palestinian and international youth;

-to initiate intercultural learning between the different cultures in order
promote understanding and respect between the youth of the Oriental and
Occidental culture;

-to dismantle and minimize prejudices and misperceptions about the different
cultures through workshops on history, society, religion and cultural

-to influence the local community in its most diverse spheres, such as
environmental protection, education, health, and promotion of peace;

-to raise awareness about the situation of Palestinian youth and their


The project aims to contribute to the reconstruction of youth in Nablus by
organizing international Workcamps in summer 2003.

Therefore the joint initiative of the ZAJEL Youth Exchange Program and
SCI-Germany wants to achieve:

A) For the Palestinian youth and their organizations:

-to support the reconstruction of youth institutions and their facilities
education, skills development and emotional release;

-to empower Palestinian youth with open mind, respect and mutual
for the Western society and their habits by experiencing intercultural

B) For the international volunteers:

-to participate actively in the reconstruction of youth institutions
Palestinian volunteers and the local community;

-to empower the youth from the Western countries with open mind, mutual
understanding and respect for the Palestinian youth and their Oriental
by experiencing intercultural exchange;

C) For the youth institution:

-to assist in the reconstruction of the youth institutions;

-to provide the youth institutions with more possible activities run by a
of local and international volunteers;

-to experience intercultural learning in their local community.

The project partners

Keeping in mind the needs of the youth and the common objectives of ZAJEL
Exchange Program and SCI-Germany, we work in united action for the
of the youth, both local and international.

This initiative of the ZAJEL Youth Exchange Program and SCI-Germany includes
cooperation with the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC)
the local IBAL Sports Club, which provide the necessary facilities.

Project description

The overall aim of the proposed project is to support the development of
in Palestine.
Delineated within this broader goal are two specific objectives: 1) to
reconstruct the IBAL Sports Club in the Old City of Nablus; and 2) to
local and international youth to respect and understand different cultural

1. Target group

Therefore, ZAJEL Youth Exchange Program and SCI-Germany identified the
target groups for the SHABAB project:

A) For the Workcamps

Young men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 from different social
backgrounds: students, workers and unemployed, from the local community of
Nablus and from abroad participate in the Workcamps. This includes a
distribution of gender.

B) For the activities of the Workcamps

The activities of the Workcamps target children and young people between the
ages of 6 to 26.

2. Description of the Working place

The IBAL Sports Club is located in the Old City of Nablus. During the
in April 2002 the Israeli military entered several times the club. They were
trying to make a path to the neighbor building. Thus, most of the walls and
floor were demolished. Windows were destroyed, electricity and water were
off, stairs and doors were damaged. Fortunately, most of the equipment was
removed before the invasion. Only the abandoned equipment was destroyed .

3. Project activities

To continue with the renovation endeavors, ZAJEL Youth Exchange Program and
SCI-Germany organize two international Workcamps for the following dates:

Workcamp 1: 10th -31st July 2003
Workcamp 2: 10th -31st August 2003

The number of participants desired is about 30: 15 international and 15
volunteers. We intend to have gender balanced workcamps. Two specially
volunteers; a female international and one male local volunteer function as

The Workcamps consist of a working part and a study part, as well as leisure

A) Working part

For the working part the project partners have decided to reconstruct the
of IBAL Sports Club in the Old City of Nablus.

In the first step of the renovations for the volunteers is to clean the
Professional workers assist the volunteers preparing the floor and the
Afterwards the walls are painted. The work is considered for 4 to 5 hours, 5
days a week.

The final decision about the working place is made in consideration of the
current situation in Nablus. Therefore we, the project partners, have
developed an alternative plan for the working place.

B) Studying part

The studying part of the Workcamps is held in form of workshops and other
cultural activities. The workshops are closely related to the interests and
needs of the local youth of the youth institutions.

There are lectures about history, religion, gender roles, refugees, and
itself which provide an insight into the different cultures. To create
interaction the workshops include various role plays.
Furthermore, the group visits local community associations for women and
cultural clubs and forums to have some activities with them.

During the weekends the activities of Workcamps focus on cultural
activities. On
the first weekend the program for the group consists of trips to historical
places in the surroundings of Nablus. On the second weekend the families of
local volunteers host the international volunteers.

The expected outcome of the workshops and the renovation work itself is a
event in form of a street festival with an art gallery and sports
The volunteers and the locals prepare these cultural activities during the


Volunteers have to afford their flights tickets, and we are working hard to
some donations for their accommodation, which is $150.

Application Form

I want to apply for the Workcamp: (please mark)

Zajel Workcamp 12: 10-31 July 2003
Zajel Workcamp 13: 10-31 August 2003

 Name      ____________________________________________
 Address   ____________________________________________
 Telephone:  ____________________

E-mail ______________________________________________
Date of Birth ___________
Sex ______________________

Emergency Contact

Telephone: (day):______________________(night________________

What is your motivation for participating in this work camp?

Remarks on Health /Special Needs /Diet

Have you ever done voluntary work before? (if yes ,please explain)


SAFETY and Other Issues

As a foreigner with a passport, passing though Jordan's Amman, or Ben
Tel Aviv Airports, all visitors may be questioned minimally and allowed to

But because of the current situation in the region, we recommend that you
into Jordan's Amman Airport. There you will be met at the airport by a
representative of An-Najah's Liason office in Jordan where you will be
accompanied to the Israeli border, for you to continue your destination.

In this way, you avoid having to go to either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
cost and time are similar to arriving in Ben Gurion Airport, but the Jordan
route is safer since you will pass through the Jordan Valley where there are
fewer settlements, with less potential for contact with Israelis.

Health, safety, and security risks are an unavoidable part of life and of
Volunteer service.

Service does involve certain risks, including road accidents, natural
crime and civil unrest.

Everything possible is being done to eliminate all risks associated with
Volunteers' service overseas.

This is surely an exciting time, and we want your expectations to be as
realistic as possible.

However, there are many variables beyond the agency's control that impact
Volunteers' welfare

Being a Volunteer requires changes in lifestyle preferences and habits in
deference to host country cultural expectations. Choices in dress, living
arrangements, means of travel, entertainment, and companionship may have a
direct impact on how Volunteers are viewed, and thus treated. Navigating the
differences in gender relations may be one of the most sensitive and
lessons to learn. Build respectful relationships with those in the local

Safety is, for the most part, best assured when they are well integrated
the local community, valued and protected as extended family members, and
as contributors to development.

Our Policy requires that Volunteers report their proposed plans if they
away from any City or their place of residence.

Access to medical, banking, postal, and other essential services,
transportation, and local markets, living arrangements are available.

It is necessary to ensure that Volunteers relations can be contacted in case

If a situation arises that poses a potential threat to Volunteers, Zajel
immediately assess the nature of the threat and respond in a manner that
the Volunteers' safety and well being.

Volunteers will have full access in receiving phone calls immediately from
relatives, overseas.

Every staff member at Youth Exchange is committed to providing Volunteers
the support they need to successfully meet the challenges they will face to
a safe, healthy, and productive service.

We hope that the information provided here will help you gain a sense of
challenges, the changes in attitude and lifestyle that may be required to
to a new environment, and the level of support that can be expected from
Exchange, local colleagues, and host communities.

The success of each Youth Exchange Volunteer is our goal. We rely on
to exercise personal responsibility, demonstrate a keen awareness of the
around them, and a willingness to adjust their behavior in a manner that
enhance their safety and well-being. In the end their efforts will be
with an incredible, unique experience.

We will be working in the Old City of Nablus, where people used to move
in most times, even hard times, so, you will be far away from the hot zones.
will also cooperate with our project partners; the UPMRC, United Palestinian
Medical Relief Committees, which normally move freely during hard times,
will help us to run our workcamps in most times.