Community Service & Development Department

This department aims at empowering young Palestinians in various fields to prepare a young leadership that cares. It also aims at providing a good environment for Christian and Muslim youth, males and females to work together for a better future. The department is currently running two projects, the “Education for All” program” and “Tunes for Peace.” The education program is aimed at providing free-of-charge support classes for student of less fortunate families who need support to enhance their academic performance. So far, the program provided classes in Arabic and English in addition to non-curriculum activities such as communication skills, drama and art. The program attracted 25 young boys and girls, Christians and Muslims from the five schools in the town of Beit Sahour. The program is still running with funds from “A La Calle”, an Italian organization working for social change. The Tunes for Peace project is mainly a music training project that aims at providing music training for young people on five main instruments, namely Oud, Violin, Guitar, Saxophone and percussions. So far there are around 20 young students from Bethlehem area. The project started in May 2009. In addition to empowering young Palestinians through music, the project will allow PCR to create a musical group that will be able to perform it music in local and international forums. The department has also completed “The Young Advocates Program” YAP which is a capacity building program that aims at preparing young Palestinians form more involvement in their society and in the civil based nonviolent resistance in Palestine. The program is a continuation of the community program launched in 1997. Around 30 young people from Bethlehem area were involved and received basic and advanced training in Human Rights, Communication Skills, Media and Web Design and Advocacy skills. The program was funded by Oxfam-GB and the Mennonite Central Committee. The CS department has also completed two training projects in video production. The projects aimed at enabling young people in tension areas in the West Bank to use video cameras to document nonviolent activities in their regions and also to empower young Palestinians and enable them to find a good job in this flourishing field. One of the projects focused on producing Public Service Announcements, that are short video blurbs that usually does not exceed 30 seconds, but carries a political or social message. Six PSAs were published by the participants targeting issue like smoking, violence in school, effect of the wall on education, child labor and other social issues.