Gaza Community Mental Health Programme organizes a Workshop entitled "The Realities of the Youth in the Gaza Strip"
Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) recently organized a workshop entitled "The Realities of the Youth in the Gaza Strip" with the participation of Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei, Director General of GCMHP, and a number of local and international NGOs representatives, in addition to several professionals, researchers and workers in the fields of mental health and youth in the Palestinian community. The workshop took place at the Lighthouse restaurant in Gaza city in June, 28th 2018.
In the beginning, Dr. Abu Jamei welcomed the participants and presented some of the psychological and social realities of the Palestinian youth and families in the Gaza Strip based on the practical observations of the crisis intervention teams and GCMHP centers. Dr. Abu Jamei highlighted the increase of the psychological problems, poverty and unemployment among youth resulted from the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip. He also stressed on the importance of the Palestinian reconciliation in order to restore hope among the Palestinians.
Then, Mr. Muhsen Abu Ramadan, the Writer and Analyst in Development Affairs presented a paper entitled "Youth of the Gaza Strip, between Threats and Opportunities", in which he discussed the difficult conditions experienced by the Gaza Strip as a result of 11 years of siege and three destructive offensives. This has resulted in the demolition of the infrastructure and production facilities, the obstruction of the exportation process, and the delay in the reconstruction process.
Mr. Abu Ramadan also stressed on the need to invest more in the youth power. This investment can occur by activating their role in the society in order to achieve the reconciliation, build a plural political system, unify efforts to face the siege and occupation.
Mr. Saber El Naerab, Human Rights Officer at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) presented in his turn a paper entitled "The Role of the Youth in Promoting the Culture of Human Rights”. He explained that the human rights system and all international conventions focus on the values of dignity, freedom, justice, equality and impartiality, stressing on the importance of the youth role in maintaining and defending these values. Mr. El Naerab stressed on the need to integrate the youth in the reform processes in the community, and to restore the youth spirit through voluntary work, as well as providing employment opportunities.
Ms. Hedaya Shamun, a Researcher in Women’s Affairs and Coordinator of Monitoring and Studies Unit presented a paper about the conditions of the young Palestinian women under the political, social, economic and cultural context of the Palestinian society. She tackled about the challenges of young women in the contexts of lack of opportunities for empowerment and existed forms of gender-based violence in e society. The workshop included session for the youth participation sharing their experience and challenges. These presentations demonstrated successful models of youth facing the current conditions of the Palestinian society in the Gaza Strip. The youth representatives were Abeer Abu al-Naja from Save Youth Future Society, Ahmad Mortaja from Tamer Institute for Community Education and Anas Jniena from We Are Not Numbers initiative.
The last part of the workshop included an open discussion to answer the audience questions and to confirm on the youth role in the development process and in restoring the national unity.