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Save the Children holds closing workshop for EU funded project YALA

Feb. 27, 2019 12:54 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 27, 2019 12:54 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Save the Children international non-governmental organisation, along with its partners the Palestinian Counselling Center and MAAN Development Center celebrated a closing workshop for the 20 month EU-funded project Youth Advocacy for Leadership and Action (YALA). 

Community based organizations and beneficiaries from the four impact locations: Qaryout and Duma villages in the northern uccpied West Bank district of Nablus, Qalandiya and Shufat in Jerusalem, were also in attendance.

Save the Children Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jennifer Moorehead underlined the importance of the YALA project in the context of the occupied Palestinian territory, during the opening of the event, saying:

“The YALA project is at the heart of Save the Children’s shared mission with partners MAAN Development Center and the Palestinian Counseling Center to support and empower children, adolescents and youth in their communities and in governance processes, to live healthy and stay safe. It is vital that we inspire young future leaders to be agents of positive change in their communities. We are proud to say that, thanks to EU funding, we have reached 15,310 boys and girls, youth and adults, and 127,646 indirect beneficiaries through this project.” 

Adolescents and youths in Palestine face a variety of threats to their development, including occupation-related violence (by soldiers and settlers), as well as poor socio-economic conditions, unemployment, unequal access to social services and the lack of opportunities. 

Under this environment, the YALA project has strengthened youth identity, empowerment, and positive engagement in their communities as a means of addressing and reducing levels of violence and risky behaviors in adolescents and at-risk youth. This project also delivered a series of interventions to reach vulnerable children to support their psycho-social well-being, as well as their personal development through training and resilience sessions with specialized counselors.

Noura Latif, a 17-year-old girl from the Shufat refugee camp, took part in training on confidence building and leadership. She was chosen by her peers to represent YALA at today’s event and said that the project has helped her and her peers on different levels:

“I’m a very shy person, and taking part in this project has helped me to overcome this. It also made me feel that I was of value and important, because I was chosen to represent all the girls at today’s event. Since our initiative focused on education, the majority of girls are now focusing on completing their schooling and pursuing higher education.”

The organizations highlighted key achievements of the project as follows:

• Youth say they have an increased confidence in themselves, which has prevented them from getting involved in risky behaviours and empowered them to stay safe and seek help when feeling threatened.

• We have improved the personal and social life skills of 1321 targeted youth.

• We have provided training and enhanced the skills of 1000 caregivers and teachers in positive discipline, prevention, and awareness of violent and risky behavior.

• We have provided employability, entrepreneurship and technical training, grants and internships to 930 youth.

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