Support to Safe Spaces for Women, Youth and Children in Gaza Strip
Switzerland promotes social cohesion and civic peace through creating safe spaces for women, youth, and persons with disabilities in the Gaza Strip. By fostering local capacities and promoting community-led initiatives Safe Spaces strengthens the resilience of vulnerable groups. This second phase puts a stronger accent on skills and economic empowerment for youth in line with the Cooperation Programme 2021-24. By advocating for inclusive societies it contributes to mitigate the spread of extremism and radicalization.
Culture / development awareness
Democratic participation and civil society
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Culture & recreation
Education facilities and training
|Background||For the last 15 years, 2.2 million Palestinians have been under an Israeli closure within the 365 km² area of the Gaza Strip. They do not receive adequate services. The population has suffered from four major military hostilities since 2008, and has a chronic unemployment rate reaching 49%, of whom 70% are youth. The intervention seeks to improve the situation of children, youth and women, including PWDs in the middle and the southern areas of Gaza Strip, where the offer of services is particularly weak.|
|Objectives||Empowered women, youth and persons with disabilities take active part in community initiatives and have better access to livelihood opportunities with the support of inclusive and capacitated educational and cultural institutions.|
- Middle Area, Gaza Strip, Deir Al Balah, Zawaida, (NAWA): 9’000 children, 600 youth, 600 parents & women, 450 educators, including persons with disabilities.
- CBOs within the Middle Area of the Gaza Strip.
- Municipalities of Deir Balah and Zawaida and private sector service providers.
· Capacities of children, youth, woman and persons with disabilities are built and access to services improved to foster social, economic and political inclusion at community level.
· Access of youth to marketable skills and innovative livelihood opportunities are enhanced.
Institutional capacities are improved and learning processes among partner organizations are strengthened to promote transformational change on community level.
· Through formal and informal/in-job training, thousands of young adults, and youth improved their educational, interpersonal capacities and enhanced their cultural identity.
· Numerous community initiatives are initiated and conducted, mobilizing men and women to actively participate in the development and beautification of their communities.
· Hundreds of youth and women are trained and skilled to improve their employability or create their own income generation opportunities and reduce dependency of humanitarian aid
Partner institutions improve their internal control systems, strengthen their capacities and diversify their service offer through structured exchange and mutual learning.
Results from previous phases:
· Over 50’000 children and youth and over 20’000 women empowered and involved as agents of change within their communities.
· Capacities of over 2’000 parents and educators enhanced through formal and non-formal educational activities.
· Resilience fostered and negative impact of crises reduced through community-led responses.
· Strengthened organizational capacities in human rights based approach (HRBA) promoting community-positive change.
· Knowledge shared with smaller CBOs, boosting their outreach and community impact.
The implementing partners of Phase 1, CFTA (Khan Younis based) and NAWA (Deir el Balah), found innovative ways to overcome social fragmentation and shrinking of democratic and safe spaces in their respective areas. In dialogue with local authorities, they were leading the community response to mitigate the spread of COVID19 pandemic and its dramatic social, economic and cultural consequences.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign NGO
Nawa for Culture and Arts Association (NAWA)
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
Safe Spaces is complementary to other SDC interventions in the Gaza Strip: Municipal Development Program MDP-3, Gaza Vulnerable Communities Development Program GVCD and “Enhancing Social Engagement and Accountability through Culture and the Arts” CASE.
In the second phase, NAWA will continue cooperation with Gaza Community Mental Health Program on mental health and psychological support. Synergies will be sought in Phase 2 with youth employment interventions through UNDP and Oxfam.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 1’168’500 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 296’448 Budget of the organisation CHF 0 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF 2’166’224 Budget inclusive project partner CHF 8’000’000|
|Project phases||Phase 2 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024 (Current phase) Phase 1 01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021 (Completed)|