Each year, and each semester of the programme had their importance. They were pivotal for the achievement of certain milestones necessary for qualitative development of the trainees. However this semester – as the closing chapter of the programme, after which the trainees would depart onto their individual and / or collective journeys – was particularly important.
This semester needed to:
Therefore a different structure was introduced this semester. A structure that required a lot of investment and dedication on the part of the trainees, one that could only support them if they supported themselves.
In addition to the employment possibilities YANTE created for the I CAN MOVE soon-to-be-graduates within the Palestinian private sector – which are elaborated on in section 4.8.3 of this chapter – the trainees were required to independently plan, coordinate, network and expand their classes to fulfil the terms of their employment. They were also required to submit:
The above-mentioned documents built the basis of discussion for the individual one-hour sessions each trainee held twice a week with the artistic director and academic mentor of the programme – Nadia Arouri. The sessions were held every week on Mondays and Thursdays. The Monday sessions were mainly dedicated to discussing administrative challenges, difficulties as well as successes based on the weekly reports submitted by the trainees. The Thursday sessions mainly focused on pedagogical and artistic successes and challenges faced by the trainees based on the class reports and on their progress within their envisioned semester plans. Details of the individual sessions will be elaborated on in section 4.8.1 of this chapter.
This semester marked the introduction of book discussions to the programme. Believing in the value of continuous education, it was important for us to emphasise the importance of further developing one’s knowledge especially as a teacher within the current age we live in; that of a very high level of inflation in education and advancement of information and knowledge.
Every two weeks the trainees were expected to listen to an audiobook assigned by their academic mentor and artistic director Nadia Arouri. After every two weeks a book discussion was held under the direction of one of the trainees on an alternating basis. The medium of audiobooks came about due to our awareness of the logistic difficulties of timely attaining specialised books in Palestine, as well as the challenges associated with reading in today’s society:
Our final semester required our trainees to prepare for their careers after the conclusion of the programme. They were expected to plan, coordinate, and deliver classes to existing groups and to add new groups to their community dance networks. All this was done according to a plan they prepared for the whole semester. Every week they produced two reports, one administrative, the other pedagogical and each report was discussed with the artistic director, Nadia Arouri, in individual sessions. This way each individual received constant personal guidance which enabled them to achieve their goals.
This semester focused on the individual development of each of the trainees, therefore Nadia Arouri – artistic director and academic mentor of the programme – held individual one-hour sessions twice a week with each trainee. The sessions were held on Mondays and Thursdays of every week. The Monday sessions were mainly dedicated to discuss administrative challenges, difficulties and just as much successes. The Thursday sessions mainly focused on pedagogical and artistic successes and challenges faced by the trainees.
The trainees were required to submit:
1) A detailed weekly administrative report of their activities that reflects on the successes and challenges faced during that week and provides an outlook of their plan for the coming week.
2) Detailed class reports on every class they held, including a reflection on the process (successes and challenges) as well as the participants’ development;
3) A detailed, over-arching semester plan of their classes.
The above-mentioned documents built the basis of discussion for the individual one-hour sessions. The Monday sessions were for the largest part built on the weekly reports submitted by the trainees, whereas the Thursday sessions were based on the class reports as well as the trainees’ progress within their envisioned semester plans. These were guidelines for the sessions, however where necessary the sessions were switched and sometimes both content and administrative topics were discussed in the same session.
The sessions were individually tailored to the needs of each of the trainees. It was important to factor in the different levels and stages they are at regarding personal development, pedagogical skills, understanding of development and trauma psychology, understanding of managerial tasks, experience in external and internal communications, among other aspects. A few examples of each topic covered are illustrated below:
1) Pedagogy skills
a) Class structure. Some of the trainees joined the programme after the first semester had passed, where the basics of class planning and pedagogy were taught. Therefore it was often necessary to review basic pedagogical concepts, such as length of class for different age groups or just how much time to dedicate for each segment. It was also important to emphasise the importance of bringing young children back into reality when working with images, to avoid injuries after class. It was also necessary in some cases to focus on the main topic of the class, to firstly encourage them to take more time for the body of the classes, and secondly provide tools on how to build warm-up and cool-down sections that support the main topic of the class.
b) Choice of language. In the I CAN MOVE education system, a strong emphasis was placed on non-violent communication and choice of language. Since it is much more difficult to break behavioural patterns than it is to theorise on them, much time was spent supporting the trainees in reprogramming their teaching towards avoiding words such as “must” and “have” towards being more inviting in their classes. Also, to avoid judgmental words and emphasise the issue of choice and collective processes.
c) Structure of exercises. Time was dedicated to look into methods of breaking down exercises into gradual and simple steps. This was important for creating series of classes that built up on each other and for enhancing the trainees’ understanding of movement and physical patterns, therefore enabling them to teach persons with differing physical as well as cognitive abilities.
d) Define your class target. Although it seemed easy for some of the trainees to define their class intentions, others needed support in reading a group in order to be able to identify the needed targets and milestones. This was also one of the topics often discussed in individual mentorship. Hala Sweidan went as far as developing a series of classes that would convey the science curriculum of a certain age group through dance and movement classes. Her classes were implemented at the Latin Convent School in Zababdeh.
2) Personal Development
a) Body image. Some of the trainees had themselves been shamed in their body image as children. Special sensitivity was required on the one hand in processing such trauma amongst the trainees, on the other hand in mentoring the trainees as they attempted to support children in their classes who were undergoing bullying and shaming by their fellow classmates and colleagues. Special tools were also developed with the trainees depending on the group they were dealing with on how to voice the issue amongst the group, rebuild healthy group dynamics, and ensure bullying and shaming does not continue.
b) Be kind. Asserting oneself, especially as an educated secular woman in Palestine, often means developing a hard shell for protection. It was important to work with the trainees and supporting them in finding the balance and developing individual techniques to generate a sense of trust that would allow them to let go of this hard shell before entering a class, to only put it on again after finishing the classes and going out in society.
c) Define individual target. For some of the trainees it was quite clear they would like to be dance pedagogues, others would like to become performers while still teaching. However, for some of the trainees it was a journey throughout the last semester of experimenting and looking for their preference. Some felt under pressure to choose between one path and the other. It was important throughout the mentorship to emphasise that choices are not exclusive; a combination of possibilities is always an option.
d) Effort vs. Monetary Compensation. The idea that we need to provide an effort or service in order to get something in return has been cultivated across the globe throughout centuries as humans offered a service to the soil, nature and trees, and in exchange for that would receive fruits and vegetables from nature. The changing world systems from manual labour towards intellectual services, together with the predominant sense of entitlement amongst the Palestinian population generated by decades of development aid and the cultivation of corruption by both local and foreign agencies has presented a challenge for and amongst the trainees. They often faced logistic challenges in upholding their classes due to the mal-performance on the side of coordinators within partner organisations. In their individual sessions they exclaimed, “X is getting paid to do this job, he/she needs to do it, why do I have to do his work, or arrive and find his work not done”. Nonetheless, the trainees themselves generally also felt entitled to receiving their monthly payments notwithstanding whether they have fulfilled the terms of the contract or not. This is further elaborated on below.
e) Incentive for Quality. Throughout school and university education a mediocre level of academic performance, be it in writing, reporting or researching is tolerated, which instigates a disinterest for quality amongst young people and the market work force in general. It also makes work place policing the main task of an employer, rather than them being a mentor; a source of inspiration and creativity for the employees. The policing technique might deliver results on the level of manual labour and ford production lines, however not for intellectual products as illustrated in the study performed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago and Carnegie Melon. (https://goo.gl/tbtWqy).
Passion for quality was one of the pivotal issues tackled in the individual sessions. Reports were sometimes sent back to the trainees for improvement three or four times. A lot of patience and understanding were required towards the trainees, yet a stubborn quest for quality was necessary to maintain. The topic was openly discussed with the trainees; the above-mentioned video and others on the topic were presented and discussed with them. Experiential learning has again proven to be the most important tool for personal growth. Every time a trainee achieved a higher level of quality, the satisfaction experienced raised his/her benchmark of self-expected quality.
Defying the general sense of social disinterest and the celebration of “who is smarter at cheating the system and their employers” remains an obstacle. With humbleness we conquer this remaining challenge faced by YANTE for a qualitative and successful closure of the I CAN MOVE programme.
3) Development and Trauma Psychology
a) Development Psychology. Strong emphasis was placed on development psychology. Therefore class contents devised by the trainees were always analysed from the perspective of development psychology and where necessary questioned. The trainees were supported in creatively developing alternatives, changes or adaptations.
b) Violence amongst children. In the beginning it was shocking for the trainees to witness the amount of violence present amongst some of the children in villages, where settler and army violence are a constant factor of life. Children as young as 7 years old presented alarming use of violent verbal and body language. The trainees were encouraged to study and implement various tools towards rewiring of neurons and changing behavioural patterns. Yousef Sbeih created this video with one of those groups of children. https://goo.gl/U77oNR
At the outset of the semester it was important to dedicate some time to explain and illustrate the necessary tools for sound and professional reporting practices. It is important to note here that the trainees demonstrated and still do demonstrate great resistance towards reporting. We believe this is due to a psychological subconscious apathy towards control, stemming out of daily Israeli control of all life aspects on the one hand, and a lack of professional reporting practices in society in general on the other. However, reporting is and remains one of the most important tools of management controlling, which is essential to ensure quality and avoid slacking as well as mal-performance. Therefore, whenever necessary, time was dedicated to discuss this and elaborate on it. We expect reflected and qualitative reporting from our trainees, and have remained persistent in our expectations.
a) Communication Channels. Although written communication is generally avoided in Palestine, the trainees were encouraged to use and develop the habit of using written communication to avoid misunderstandings. Both in internal communications with their mentors or when communicating with partner organisations, the trainees were encouraged to use written channels of communication. Where a phone-call is necessary, strong emphasis was placed on sending a short summary and follow up of the conversation per e-mail.
b) Persistence. The trainees were encouraged to be persistent with partner organisations, by regularly following up via e-mail, phone, and conducting field visits. This has proven in the organisation’s past experience to yield results, therefore it was important to encourage the trainees to adopt it as a strategy.
The personal and professional support provided did not only help the trainees with challenges and difficulties, but also encouraged them to address occurring issues with creativity and confidence in themselves. Through the individual mentorship sessions the trainees took another leap in their development as dancers and educators.
Intensive Module XXV – Audio Books – December 2015 – March 2016
Palestine is no exception to the global decline in reading for pleasure and as an effective form of continuing education. In order to instil the value of continuous learning in our trainees for them to pass on they were required to listen to a carefully selected audio book every two weeks and then hold a discussion amongst themselves and Nadia, which was moderated by one of the soon-to-be-graduates.
In the past semesters we were able to observe how the lack of imagination is a reflection of the social lassitude, which in turn is chiefly – but not solely – caused by politico-economic stagnation. Here is where thinking outside of the box becomes challenging, and sometimes dangerous. The Palestinian writer and critic Adania Shibli noted in her piece “Palestine: UN Vote Reveals the Limitations of Imagination” on Dec.18.2012, “[I]t is unflattering to realize the limitations of one’s own imagination. When various forms of malice and wretchedness come to light, trust in the very ability to imagine begins to fade, let alone the ability to stop the iniquity in question.” That said, I CAN MOVE is one of a number of attempts to break through those imposed as well as self-made barriers; to innovate, and chiefly, to open a window of fresh breeze.
The impact of I CAN MOVE’s classes in schools and communities is more than the evident psychological and cognitive empowerment of some of the marginalized strata. I CAN MOVE is helping schools indirectly reform their archaic memorization-based education system by incorporating an additional element focusing on social interaction, inter-group communication and equally important, creativity and the confidence in the ability of the individual. In the same line, it is contributing to breaking the recently constructed high walls of social “otherness” amongst and within the communities of the West Bank, hence directly working on reducing the dimensions of present social fragmentation.
Book discussions were introduced in this semester for the first time and were partly continued after the trainees’ graduation from the programme. Believing in the value of continuing education, it was important for us to emphasise the importance of further developing one’s knowledge, especially as a teacher in the current age we live in, a time with very high levels of inflation in education and advancement of information and knowledge.
Every two weeks the trainees were expected to listen to an audiobook assigned to them by Nadia Arouri. After every two weeks a book discussion was held under the direction of one of the trainees on an alternating basis. The medium of audiobooks came about due to our awareness of the logistic difficulties of timely attaining specialised books in Palestine, as well as the challenges associated with reading in today’s society:
1) books are too heavy to carry around on daily basis
2) one’s eyes are often too tired to read because of extensive working on the computer
3) the underdeveloped network of intercity roads in Palestine often cause motion sickness and make it impossible to use travel time for reading
The book discussions were held in three cycles of one book each, over a period of 6 – 8 weeks. At the time three out of the four graduates Hala Sweidan, Summar Rasras and Yousef Sbeih were engaged in teaching regular community classes within the framework of their employment. This was with the exception of Kamel Seif, who was preparing for his school leaving examinations. Therefore each of the three graduates was in charge of leading the discussion of one of the assigned books.
The first series of audiobooks covered:
21.12.2015 – 03.01.2016 Ken Robinson: Out of our Minds. Learning to be Creative. (Moderation: Hala Sweidan)
04.01.2016 – 17.01.2016 Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability. Teachings of Authenticity, Connection and Courage. (Moderation: Yousef Sbeih)
18.01.2016 – 31.01.2016 Wendy Kopp: A Chance to Make History. What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All. (Moderation: Summar Rasras)
The second series covered:
01.02.2016 – 14.02.2016 Marshall B. Rosenberg:
1) Non-Violent Communication. Create Your Life, Your Relationships and Your World in Harmony with Your Values.
2) Speaking Peace. Connecting with Others Through Non-Violent Communication.
15.02.2016 – 28.02.2016 Barbara Fredrickson: Positivity. Ground Breaking Research Reveals How to Embrace Positive Emotions. (Moderation: Yousef)
29.02.2016 – 13.03.2016 Tian Dyton: Neuro-Psychodrama in the Treatment of Relational Trauma: A Strength-Based Experiential Model for Healing PTSD. (Moderation: Summar)
Each one of these books was chosen to support the graduates’ work within the communities by providing historic and contextual knowledge, communication and psychosocial tools, or best practice educational and therapeutic tools. The trainees were advised to attach great importance to the study of the books and prepare their own notes and remarks on them.
1) Ken Robinson: Out of our Minds. Learning to be Creative.
Ken Robinson offers an approach to understanding creativity in education and in business. He argues that people and organisations everywhere are dealing with problems that originate in schools and universities and that many people leave education with no idea at all of their real creative abilities. Out of Our Minds is a call for the retrieval of our creativity, emphasising our creative potential in education, the workplace and communities.
This book provided the trainees with a critical look on education and the development of education systems in the past 150 years. It provided them with a new perspective and strengthened their convictions of the importance of the work they are doing in various universities, schools, community and education centres.
2) Brene Brown: The power of Vulnerability. Teachings of Authenticity, Connection and Courage.
In her book The Power of Vulnerability, Brene Brown offers an invitation and a promise that when we dare to drop the armour that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.
The book was highly contested among the trainees, as it was difficult for some of them to tap into the potential of the tools suggested by Brown. This is a comprehensible challenge when living and working in a social and political environment such as that of Palestine, where innate instincts of survival are called for.
3) Wendy Kopp: A Chance to Make History. What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All.
In 1990, Wendy Kopp founded Teach for America, a scheme that places college graduates as school teachers in some of the poorest communities in the US with the aim of enabling a positive turnaround in children’s expectations and realisations of life success. Throughout the book the author draws on the observations and insights she gained from this programme over the past two decades to offer informed responses to the global problem of educational inequity.
Similar educational inequalities are observed in Palestine between urban and rural areas. It became evident in the book discussion and the community classes that followed the book discussion that this book inspired the trainees to apply varying tools – especially within rural settings – and generated a sense of solidarity by adding a global perspective to their aspirations.
4) Marshall B. Rosenberg: Non-Violent Communication: Create Your Life, Your Relationships and Your World in Harmony with Your Values. / Marshall B. Rosenberg: Speaking Peace: Connecting with Others Through Non-Violent Communication.
In the audio training workshop Non-violent Communication: Create Your Life, Your Relationships and Your World in Harmony with Your Values Marshall B. Rosenberg presents his complete system of Non-violent Communication; addressing our unrecognized needs and emotions and honouring those same concerns in others. Marshall Rosenberg talks about peacefully resolving conflicts in families, schools, businesses, and governments through non-violent communication. He also touches upon issues such as the potential of empathy to safely confront anger, fear, and other powerful emotions.
The audiobook Speaking Peace: Connecting with Others Through Nonviolent Communication focuses on how our words have the power to create profound healing – or incredible suffering. The book illustrates how sometimes even with the best intentions, it is difficult to express ourselves in ways that build harmony and trust. Speaking Peace elaborates on the seminal four-part model of Non-violent Communication. Amongst other topics, the audiobook focuses on skills for overcoming “dehumanizing” communication patterns that block compassion and ways to see through the eyes of others to foster understanding.
These audiobooks further strengthened the trainees’ knowledge of non-violent communication, which had been acquired throughout the previous semesters, and also deepened their understanding of this technique. The book discussion focused on possibilities of applying some of the mentioned tools in classes and within training facilities. The trainees also acknowledge the challenge of applying new communication tools, such as those of non-violent communication, within existing relationships and environments where a different set of channels prevails.
5) Dr. Barbara Fredrickson: Positivity. Ground Breaking Research Reveals How to Embrace Positive Emotions.
This audiobook discusses Dr. Barbara Fredrickson’s tools for a healthier, more vibrant, and flourishing life through a process she calls “the upward spiral.” Her approach is based on positivity and touches upon how it can enhance relationships, work, and health, and relieve depression, broaden minds, and build lives. She further focuses on different sources of positivity and how to access them. The process is designed to broaden the listener’s horizon to new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of ourselves.
Similarly to the book of Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Fredrickson’s techniques were challenging for some of the trainees to accept and apply. The book discussion turned into an enriching debate of differing perspectives and approaches. The trainees walked out of the room agreeing to disagree, which in itself is a great gift of growth.
6) Tian Dyton: Neuro-Psychodrama in the Treatment of Relational Trauma A Strength-Based Experiential Model for Healing PTSD.
There is a growing awareness that the body, as well as the mind, needs to be involved in therapy. Neuroscience and attachment theories have demonstrated that emotion is a physiological as well as a mental phenomenon. Dr. Dayton’s approach is used in treating relational trauma and PTSD and designed to be easily incorporated into existing programs and one-to-one practices. The Neuro-Psychodrama approach combines education with a healing, interactive experience. It mobilizes, engages, bonds, and motivates groups through a process that is interactional and relational and progressively imparts skills of emotional literacy and emotional regulation.
This book being the last of the second series the trainees were instructed to firstly write down every exercise suggested in the book, and then develop a new version of each of the exercises using dance instead of drama. This exercise was designed to demonstrate to the trainees that they do not need to reinvent the wheel. Rather, there are many tools readily available from different artistic or pedagogical contexts that they can adapt and use within their classes and community groups.
Additionally, the following audiobooks and lectures on psychology, anthropology, philosophy, post-colonial studies, urbanism, Greek mythology, management and leadership have been made available to the trainees for independent study.
1) Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities.
2) Peter A. Levine. Healing Trauma: Restoring the Wisdom of the Body.
3) Peter A. Levine. Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma.
4) John Bradshaw. On The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem.
5) Friedrich Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
6) Dale Carnegie. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
7) Daniel Goleman. Emotional Intelligence.
8) Simon Sinek. Start With Why.
9) Stephen Covey. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
10) Immanuel Kant. The Critique of Pure Reason.
11) Homer. The Iliad.
12) Homer. The Odyssey.
13) Thomas Hodge. Psychotherapy.
14) Viktor Frankl. Man’s Search For Ultimate Meaning.
1) Carl Jung. How To Believe
2) David Harvey. Rebel Cities: The Urbanization of Class Struggle. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
3) David Harvey. The Seventeen Contradictions of Capitalism. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
4) Naomi Klein. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
In order to support our graduates in getting out into the public, forming dance communities and helping to develop a peaceful, non-violent and inclusive society by actively communicating our message and our values we managed to successfully conclude support agreements with a number of leading private enterprises. Many people have benefitted from these agreements and continue to do so, with hundreds of monthly dance classes being held all over Palestine and important steps being made in the personal development of the graduates involved.
YANTE believes in an open and inclusive society, which goes hand in hand with an involvement of all different kinds of actors in society in order to foster change from within. We believe in the power of all its members to contribute to making a difference for the better. Therefore, we are very happy to have been and to still be engaged in a successful partnership with PADICO Holding.
The team succeeded in developing three partnership agreements with the important Palestinian private sector corporations Padico Holding (ongoing), Palestinian Beverage Company / Coca-Cola & Cappy (3 months), and Aramex Palestine (ongoing), wherein the first two have employed one dancer on full-time basis with an above average salary to work in communities with children, young people, disabled participants and [violated] women. ARAMEX Palestine has covered the University tuition fees of three I CAN MOVE graduates who taught classes with children, young people, disabled participants and women in communities supported by ARAMEX through the NGO Ruwwad alTanmiya. (The partnership with ARAMEX and Ruwward alTanmiya will be elaborated on in section 5.)
The graduates taught an average of 250 classes per month with 30 – 40 participants in each class. Through the mentorship mentioned in section 4.8.1 the team supported the trainees in their growth process especially in tackling the various challenges within the communities. They were encouraged in their artistic research, which guaranteed the quality of the classes and ensured the longevity of the private-public partnerships mentioned above.
Our I CAN MOVE graduate Summar Rasras had the opportunity to engage in this public-private partnership between YANTE and PADICO Holding. The aims of the partnership were to bring the experiences and knowledge from I CAN MOVE to a new setting: Teaching adults in universities throughout Palestine. This new framework was challenging, but at the same time enabled many fruitful outcomes and played a significant role in Summar’s development as a teacher.
Communicating YANTE’s work and values to the new partner posed an unfamiliar challenge for Summar at the onset of the partnership. Simultaneously, it enabled her to gain necessary skills in communication and thereby supported her work, as she describes below:
“The CEO of PADICO – Mr. Samir Huleileh – really believed in the partnership and that it can make a significant change, but others who were involved did not have as much trust in it as he did. This meant that I had to make an additional effort to convince them of the importance and potential of our work. This was new for me; when I was working in the communities with YANTE, everyone knew and understood the work that I did, but in this new setting I had to find a way to communicate my work to the organisation. On one hand this was scary, on the other hand I found that it was as important as teaching. Because if I do my work but I’m not able to communicate it to others, then I will not be able to continue with it, as it will be impossible for me to find new people and new opportunities to give classes.”
During the partnership, Summar held monthly classes in all eight Palestinian Universities. Namely (Alphabetically):
1) American University of Jenin
2) Bethlehem University
3) Birzeit University
4) Khadouri University, Toulkarem
5) alNajah University, Nablus
6) alQuds / Abu-Deis University
7) alQuds Open University
8) Technical University, Hebron
In doing so, Summar had the opportunity to deliver her work to a great number of young adults, who were unfamiliar with dancing and movement, but felt its impact on their lives:
“I had the chance to give classes in all the universities of the West Bank, which was an incredible experience for me. It was impressive to meet all these people that have rarely tried to move/dance and were possibly never introduced to exercises such as e.g. just closing their eyes and breathing. In each class I met about 40 or 50 new participants and I had the chance to introduce our work to them. It was great to see how the participants were amazed by the changes they felt in themselves. That really encouraged me to do it more and more. “
Holding these classes constituted a completely new setting for Summar. This setting needed different methods of class planning and implementation than the classes that she had held in the villages. Moreover, Summar adapted the aims and focus of the classes in order to best fit the needs of the target group:
“In the villages I was working with children mainly in schools, where the focus was specifically on tackling social aspects. In universities, the aim was to use our work to prepare the students for dealing with the work environment. The main goal was to prepare them to graduate and go to work. Undoubtedly, we also worked on social aspects such as gender issues, but the focus was on building confidence, e.g. by working on the posture.”
The impact of the partnership between YANTE and PADICO was not limited to the participants of the classes at the eight Palestinian Universities, but also included participants at the Sharek Youth Centre, Ramallah; Girls Technical College in Ramallah; Jalazon Refugee Camp, Ramallah; Balata Refugee Camp, Nablus; and; Amaree Refugee Camp, Al-bireh. The impact of the classes has a wide reach, as the case of Sharek illustrates below.
“Sharek is an organisation for youth and they’ve been working in that field for a long time. What I did was new to them – it was a new way of working with youth. At the beginning it was very difficult, they were hesitant to ask men and women to move in the same room or touch each other. They were scared that young people who attended the centre would boycott them. However, the feedback they received after the classes was positive. Therefore they started encouraging and expanding the work. Now they’ve integrated relaxing exercises, meditation and movement exercises as a main part of their work with youth groups. That was a significant change. “
All in all, the public-private partnership between YANTE and PADICO enabled our community work to expand and reach more members of the Palestinian society. There is high demand and a strong need for further expansion as the methodology has the power to enable a transformation within individuals and communities.
“I held three modules at each university, so each month I went there again and gave them a more advanced module. It’s really touching for me to see the outcomes and the urge for more classes as the participants asked for more – I could see that they felt supported by the work. I could not have done that without this partnership, as working with universities on this large scale requires a lot of organisation, planning and logistics that PADICO and Sharek provided. This experience was complimentary to the work that I do in the villages. The partnership between YANTE and PADICO was a very challenging experience but I benefited a lot from it. I feel that I learned equally as much I taught – maybe I even learned more.”
We are very happy that this partnership has been renewed for another year and are looking forward to seeing the changes it will bring in the future as well as the new possibilities that it will open up for the participants in particular and the work in Palestine in general.