Youth and Adolescent Development Program
MA’AN’s Youth and Adolescent Development Program aims to empower youth and enhance their involvement and participation in developing themselves, their communities and Palestinian society as a whole.
Challenges faced the sector
Palestine is a young society, 64% of the population is under 24 years old and 49% is under 15 years old. Despite this, there are insufficient and inadequate services to support youth. Although there are many youth centers located throughout the oPT these mainly cater for men, leaving a lack of services for young women and the services they do provide for men are inadequate.
The socio-political context of military occupation has led Palestinian youth to suffer from the absence of a secure environment for physical and mental development. The occupation has meant that young people are unable to plan for a successful and happy future and opportunities for self-expression and employment are limited. As a result unemployment among the young is extremely high and most young people are depressed about their present living situation.
Young Palestinians are extremely marginalized and there is weak participation at political, economic and social levels and especially and most importantly in decision making at the community level.
Youth, especially young men, are particularly targeted by the Israeli occupation forces. Most of those who have been imprisoned, injured or killed by the Israeli occupation forces have been young men.
Currently, the political and social agenda does not prioritize youth issues, leaving young people without secure established structures or adequate venues for exploration and personal development. The absence of focus on the crucial sector of youth development is represented in the disparity of investment; many civil society organizations face funding problems.
Goals and development objectives of the program
In response to these multiple issues MA’AN’s Youth and Development program aims to enhance the capacities of young people within Palestinian society and provide both skills and approaches that allow for successful careers and the ability to develop themselves and play leading roles within their communities.
Strategies for implementation include:
1. Enhancing leadership skills, knowledge and attitudes appropriate for the local labor market
2. Creating environments suitable for active participation in social transformation, free from violence, abuse and racism
3. Providing and improving educational and youth orientated spaces
MA’AN’s program is creating and improving venues for youth participation and improving the quality of services for youth and adolescents. Within these youth centers, MA’AN hopes to improve the infrastructure, capacities, the ability to provide quality services and the good governance, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of these youth centers.
It also aims to enhance values of citizenship and belonging among the young by increasing their participation at all levels of society and including them at every level of decision making. It hopes especially to help women participate on an equal basis with men in society. MA’AN’s interventions also aim to contribute to the enhancement of youth’s participation in policy formulation.
The Youth and Development program also comprises various training and developmental programs in with the aim of encouraging young people to have a more active role in participating in their communities and becoming the future leaders of Palestine.
The problems, interests and needs of youth and adolescents will be integrated into all MA’AN’s different sectors in order to create jobs, opportunities and increase the participation of young men and women. MA’AN also seeks to advocate for the rights of young men and women in order to protect their rights and enhance their position in society.
MA’AN seeks to improve the partnership, complementarity and cooperation with different stakeholders, including government, NGOs and the private sector.