Youth Work in a Colonized Context: Possibilities and Challenges- Case of Palestine

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Abeer MUSLEH, Bethlehem University, Palestine
Youth work in Palestine is shaped with many systems of power that can be divided into both political and social. These systems are shaping the type of interventions, the ability of youth work to be affective tool for empowerment and inclusion. With regards to political front, youth work has to function in a setting of colonization, and internal Palestinian political division. On a social setting, the Palestinian society is similar to other Arab countries where it is functioning in a patriarchal society where power structures are based on age and gender, and has high level of poverty and unemployment, etc… Further, youth organizations interventions were related to enhance young people participation in local societies, tackle some aspects with regards of youth employability, and enhance their involvement in setting policies. Issues of gender, violence for example are seen as aspects to increase awareness about, yet still not perceived as structural factor to tackle. On political aspects, most organizations presents its work as unpolitical and their interventions on the political may be considered as shy practices due to the high risk that is faced. This created a division between youth and organizations, and there have been an increase in youth led initiatives that are introducing new visions on the ground for how youth work should be shaped. This raises a concern about youth work in Palestine and how it can be an approach not only for youth inclusion, but for decolinzation. This research will explore the challenges and possibilities of youth work in a colonized context; It will identify with youth and youth workers what can be done differently so youth work can be a tool for liberation of young people within the systems of power whether political or social.