“The Palestinian Girls” Club is a world that exists on its own – it has its dynamics, creative initiatives, and surprises. It is like the Palestinian girl – in a permanent state of charm.” The words of Zafer AlKhateeb, the Chairman of the Administrative Committee of Social and Cultural Nashet Organization.
Established in 2009, the Palestinian Girl’s club has consistently grown from a small club to a well-known and well-established entity on its own level. Currently, the club has around 100 members, eighty of which are girls and the remaining twenty are boys. The merging step is one that was recently followed in an attempt to include boys in this system of support. The ages of the Beneficiaries ranges between 8 and 16 (3rd grade and Brevet). The club currently has two established programs that work in a systematic manner: the academic support program and regular activities. These activities are based on clubs that cater to encourage creativity, support expression, and enhance skills. The clubs include poetry, basketball training, theater, Dabke (traditional dance), Karate, and Chess. It is remarkable that the once beneficiaries of these clubs and the support have grown into volunteers and trainers themselves. This is a move towards empowering the youth and granting them a sense of responsibility and independence.
This summer the main focus is on two different fronts. First of all, the club is focusing on a series of activities that enhance environmental and social inclusion. These events are recycling, life skills training and psycho-social support. It is important to note the psycho-social support is a main element of the club’s work and they regularly receive cases in coordination with UNRWA.
This highlights an essential factor that contributes to the constant growth of the program which is the consistent coordination and cooperation with the UNRWA and local organizations including INERA, DPNA, Aleghatha group, Ard El Bashar (the land of people), and Somod.
The second aim of this summer’s program is to work with the students who were automatically promoted to the following class. The work targets their weaknesses and aims to enhance their academic skills by the time they start school again. In addition, there are weekly workshops with the parents that focus on topics like children’s human rights and the proper way of dealing with children’s behavior and needs. This three-month long program will end with three days of trips outside the camp.
The once small initiative of a Girls’ Club continues to grow into a marker of the ability of the Palestinian girls and youth if their skills are subjected to training and then used accordingly.