Global Communities continues to work closely with communities on the ground to help mitigate the effects of limited employment opportunities and an unstable economy, and the harsh effects both have on young people in particular. Its programs are targeted to the needs and circumstances experienced by
As part of our ongoing commitment to youth, Global Communities works to 1) improve youth employment, 2) increase youth participation in local governance and 3) improve youth access to education and developmental opportunities through
One such program is the Engineering Fellows Program, funded by USAID and implemented in partnership with the Engineering Association Jerusalem Center (EAJC). The program provides recently graduated engineers with hands-on, paid work experience to enable them to develop their workplace skills, while also building local capacity and promoting best practices for implementation of labor-intensive infrastructure projects designed to revitalize the local economy.
Fellows are employed for up to one year working in a range of capabilities including site supervision, assistance to local government engineering offices in design preparation, quality control/assurance, review of designs and specifications and basic design production. They are also mentored by Global Communities and EAJC
II. Participation in Local Governance
Though youth constitute an overwhelming majority in the West Bank & Gaza (65% of the population is between 13-38 years old), there have been few opportunities for them to engage in community affairs and local governance. Global Communities piloted the Youth Local Councils (YLC) initiative in four communities in 2008 in partnership with a local organization, Al-Mawrid, with funding from USAID. The initiative now continues through a partnership with Sharek Youth Forum (begun in 2010 through the Local Democratic Reform program and now continuing through the Local Government & Infrastructure program, both funded by USAID).
YLC’s are democratically elected bodies made up of 11-15 members aged 15-22. The council mirrors the elected LGU in size and formation. Working in partnership with the municipality, the purpose of the YLC is to sensitize youth to good governance practices and give them an opportunity to take a leadership role in their community. They do not represent political parties, but they serve as elected representatives with a direct democratic mandate to give young people a voice and to serve the interests of youth.
As of February 2014, the initiative is now operating in 19
Basha’er Othman, Youth Local Council former President from Illar, served as Minister of Local Government for one day on 22 August following her recent appointment by Minister Sa’ed Al-Koni. On her day as Minister, Basha-er said her top orders of business were to continue the work she has done in her capacity as YLC President
III. Access to Education and Development
In addition to engagement in many other types of infrastructure projects, Global Communities constructs and rehabilitates primary and secondary schools and youth and community centers, as part of our commitment to improving access to education for Palestinian youth. To read more about these projects, please see our Infrastructure and Construction page.