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A Day at Anabta

By Mira Al-Ahmad
With passion echoing in their voices, members of the Anabta Youth Shadow Local Council (YSLC) walked through the old town of Anabta, in the Northern West Bank explaining and discussing the heritage and culture of their beloved village. They spoke about the origins and the stories held by the walls of the old town. These youth and children were participating in a heritage walk as part of the launch of the “Cultural Campaign of Anabta”, one of many such community centered campaigns being undertaken by youth in the West Bank.

The youth in Anabta join their peers in 11 other communities across the West Bank to participate in the Youth Shadow Local Council initiative being implemented by CHF International with funding from USAID through the Local Government and Infrastructure (LGI) program. LGI is building on the work undertaken by a previous CHF International program, the Local Democratic Reform program, which had initiated this innovative concept in the towns and villages of the West Bank.

As youth council members, these youth develop plans for community improvements that they can implement and many youth councils mobilize funding from diverse sources for approved projects. The groups get together to organize events and volunteer activities, such as cleaning roads, painting walls or providing services for the elderly and disabled amongst scores of other community development activities. The campaign being implemented by the Anabta youth council was determined as a need by the youth themselves in consultation with their local government stakeholders. This consultation and coordination between the youth and their local government, in fact is one of the key indicators of the youth council initiative as it works at building linkages and promoting concepts of good governance amongst the youth and their local government mentors. The youth council then presented this campaign to the staff at LGI in a proposal; one of 10 received by LGI from the various youth councils post the training they received on proposal development.