Pal-Think for Strategic Studies held a closing ceremony for the (Civic Education Corps – Phase 2) Project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which aims at disseminate democracy concepts among the youth, enhancing their roles in society, and enabling them to participate in decision-making.
The ceremony was moderated by Suha Sukkar, one of the CEC members, who introduced the project coordinator, Sally Al-Sammak, who initiated her speech by welcoming the audience and thanking the trainers and trainees for their great effort during the project.
Al-Sammak stated: “The first phase lasted for a year, during which we established a Civic Education Corps whose members conducted sessions to raise awareness amongst their peers at universities. Based on the outcomes and success of the project, the second phase was implemented and the trainees imparted the knowledge they acquired to their youth peers whether college students or not, and we will be implement the third phase throughout the next year.”
She pointed out that they have received around 250 applications to take part in the project, however, only 23 trainees were selected based on criteria followed by Pal-Think within the goals of the project.
Al-Sammak assured that one of the essential outcomes of the project is the production of research papers written by trainees that addressed issues affecting the daily life of youth in the Gaza Strip, and presenting them in sessions attended by experts, activists and researchers, and participated in radio episodes to reach out to various groups of the society.
In his turn, Omar Shaban, the director of Pal-Think, expressed his pride regarding the results of the project and the effort of the trainers and trainees during and after the training.
Shaban said: “Pal-Think always works on using its limited resources for sustainable human development and youth investment. Our training succeeded in contributing to the success of tens of youth to reach effective positions in prestigious international organizations to serve their communities.”
During his speech, the guest of the ceremony, the international expert and business development consultant Paulo Skala, thanked Pal-Think for allowing him the opportunity to meet elite Palestinian youth, noting that he needed such an opportunity to meet more Palestinians.
Paulo stated that Gaza has taught him a lot through its population and their intelligence and hospitality.
He emphasized that: “it is the responsibility of the youth to change the future for the better.”
Three trainees reviewed the impact of the training on their lives. The trainee Ahmed Abo Salah, 25 years, was able to apply what he learned throughout the project in serving his area of residence.
Ahmed said: “My area in East Khan Younis lacks a sewage network, so I released a lobbying and advocacy campaign under the name of “Eastern Khan Younis “Al-Sharqiyah” is collapsing. The estimated cost of the project was $15 million. We executed the first phase successfully with a value of $200,000.” emphasizing that this is one of the benefits of Pal-Think’s training.
Trainee Abdallah Hassanein, 20 years old, stated that the training has refined his skills in research writing which made a difference in his academic life, where he has published a policy paper regarding the means of advancing the Palestinian youth under a disrupted political life.
Abdallah added: “Pal-Think enabled me to meet the European Union Peace Representative, Sven Koopmans, and attend a welcoming ceremony for representatives of EU ambassadors. It was the first time one of the decision-makers ask about my personal opinion on solving the Palestinian cause, and about my passions and dreams.”
Trainee Jumana Abo Sanjar, 21 years old, ended by mentioning the benefits of the training and said: “The training helped me with improving my soft skills, accepting different concepts, and co-existing with others. I have also written a research paper with regards to the means of enhancing community-based actions, and have participated in writing another paper about the repercussions of elections on the political life.”
The ceremony featured Palestinian Dabke and was concluded with awarding certificates to the trainees.