The Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution implemented the first training program, “Developing Youth Capacities in the Social Accountability and Advocacy Campaigns“, for 25 males and females within Steps towards Change project implemented by the Center in partnership with the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). This program is considered as the first step of the project which aims at forming an activist youth collation in the social and political fields on the national level to promote freedom of expression and forming associations. This program included many Palestinian cities such as Gaza, Nablus and Hebron. The most important topics in the program are the social accountability, democracy and citizenship, social participation, freedom of associations and the advocacy campaigns with the participation of a group of trainers all over the areas which were included in the program.
Raed Al Attal, one of the participants, confirmed that this training program is an effective step towards merging the activist youth in the social field and adding lots of concepts and new useful experiences to the participation of a group of special trainers. Another participant, Inas Abo Dalal, added that this experience would help in deepening the gender- based concepts.
Moreover, Mr. Abed Al Monem Al Taharwi, the project coordinator, emphasized that the project idea is based on forming a youth coordinating committee in all Gaza governorates to be the core of the youth work based on the citizenship concept. This would help in promoting the social accountability for a wider youth participation in the future political issue.
The trainer, Wael Balousha, talked about the importance of social accountability. The social accountability which is based on the discussion would open new horizons in front of a citizen regarding the questions in his/her mind. Moreover, the social accountability would reduce the gap between citizens and officials and improve the response of officials. Therefore, if we want to succeed, we have to improve a method which helps in restoring trust in citizens to actively contribute in society.
Moreover, Ms. Samar Hamad, the Advocacy Specialist, talked about the 25- hour training program in 5 days for 25 males and females within the youth collation and the most important activities which were implemented during the previous period and ended by an election day in which 7 representatives ( males and females) were elected for the youth coordinating committee.
Furthermore, Ms. Hamad assured that the coming stage of the project would include training for a group of female leaders who were nominated for the local municipalities to develop their capacities for the election process to represent women to the fullest . There will be a cooperative work between the youth collation and the female leaders within the advocacy campaigns later on.