International Summer Work Camp in Palestine
– 30th June 2008
At Zajel Youth Exchange Program
Public Relations Department
An-Najah National University
“Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious
development of his or her personality, should grow up in a
family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Zajel Youth Exchange of the Public Relations Department at An-Najah
National University is pleased to invite youth and adults up to
35, to take part in the “Hope for Tomorrow”
summer work camp. This project has been designed to provide
international students and professionals the opportunity to meet
and discuss the Middle East conflict, share ideas, enhance
practical skills, foster relationships, and give assistance to
members of the Palestinian community.
The international summer work camp, “Hope for Tomorrow”,
will bring together 25 young people from around the world
who are interested in helping create a better world. We are
specifically targeting people who are working with organizations
led by young people that address humanitarian issues and social
justice. We strongly encourage highly motivated and serious
young men and women to apply.
Zajel is a youth exchange programme that was established by An-Najah
National University in 2001.
Hope for Tomorrow
is one of Zajel's promising projects and will
offer the opportunity for international volunteers to work with,
and provide support for Palestinian refugee children, and to
experience life in one of the Palestinian refugee camps, which
unfortunately are home to many people in Palestine.
Zajel International Voluntary Work Camp
The work camp will be a challenging three weeks. The
participants will have the chance to discuss relevant issues in
the world and particularly Palestine. They will visit
historically significant sites and refugee camps, and create a
positive and real impact in our community through a variety of
activities related to Social Youth Development. Living and
working together in Nablus, the participants will gain a better
understanding of themselves, Palestinian social/political
questions, the world around them and the continuing Palestinian
struggle for freedom.
The work camp will be a place where people of all races,
ideologies, and nationalities live and work together on a
project organized by a local host for around three weeks. The
work camp will consist of 25 participants, who volunteer,
socialize and work with the local people.
The international summer work camp is run by young people for
The program consists of:
There are a number of different forms of work that volunteers
can participate in, which will be based in one of the refugee
camps in the city of Nablus. The work program has been designed
to best suit the needs of the people (Kids) living in such hard
places, as well as to effectively utilise the talents we
anticipate volunteers will bring from abroad. The work will be
divided into the following sections:
Counselling and Psychological Support:
The Counselling and Psychological Support Program organizes
sessions for both groups and individuals to provide support and
counselling for the refugee community. The occupation and the
frequent military invasions into the camp have caused tremendous
psychological damage, especially for young children.
Hope for Tomorrow
will assist this program in a number of ways,
performing roles that do not require specialist training. This
will include organizing and supervising educational and
recreational activities for children to help them relax. It is
of fundamental importance to give the children some time to act,
think, play and feel like children should. Any recommended
activity that might be useful in this regard is more than
welcomed. We hope the international volunteers will initiate and
conduct new methods that will assist the local volunteers in
running this project.
Providing assistance in counseling and psychological support is
one of the most important aspects of the work camp and a great
deal of attention has been put into this area. Although
volunteers will have a professional working with them all the
time, they must nevertheless be prepared. This part of the work
camp promotes self-confidence and psychological release whereby
group activities and games involving cooperation, music and
drawing are often used to achieve this. International volunteers
often find these activities the most enjoyable.
We encourage some of the more athletic volunteers to help
supervise sporting activities at the camp for children aged 10 –
12 years old. Normally the children play games such as football,
volleyball and martial arts. International volunteers will help
in organizing matches and also directly participate. What
more can we say, sport is what kids love and often do best.
Games can vary from football which is very popular, to rope
jumping or even tug-o-war. For this part of the work camp don't
worry about supplies. Just pack up your gym shoes, cap and hope
you'll keep up.
A number of workshops have been organized to allow children to
develop their creative talents through art.
The arts program involves teaching kids how to make art objects
out of common items like bottles, rocks and plastic glasses.
Other activities run by volunteers have included face painting,
drawing, and painting on rocks, sculpture, hand prints and lots
The idea behind this project is to let kids have fun and be
Galleries were organized to encourage the children to exhibit
their work. International volunteers will work alongside the
local volunteers to prepare the galleries for the end of the
work camp. We encourage volunteers to think ahead of time about
activities that would be both useful and fun for the local
The drama workshop has been shown to be an effective tool for
encouraging self-expression and psychological release in which
the supervisors help the children explore their creativity and
Drama helps build self-confidence and develops children’s
communication to better enable them to interact with their
social environment. It provides them with a greater feeling of
personal security, reveals a variety of talents and makes them
more creative in their everyday life. International volunteers
are encouraged to share their skills in the production of plays
with local young boys and girls. Bring with you short stories
that could be performed as plays, and that can be understood by
people who have limited English.
with the Disabled:
Working with disabled kids and organizing activities for them is
one of the most vital programmes for children who are in need of
special consideration and treatment. International volunteers
can participate in painting, dancing, playing instruments and
encouraging kids to smile. Any suggestions for games are
welcomed. Due to the special circumstances of the disabled youth
we both encourage and are in need of volunteers with specialized
experience when it comes to working with the disabled.
will have a special corner dedicated to creating murals and wall
paintings in order to revitalize the city, which has become
dominated by destruction and an atmosphere of death after seven
years of conflict. For each of the last three years, we have
created a new mural which is totally the creation of the
international volunteer's ideas and their brainstorming. Kids
often help and come up with many good ideas that are often added
to the “masterpiece,” the mural brings joy to the kids and takes
their minds off the current situation that surrounds them. These
murals are the result of team work and two things are certain
when it comes to murals, they never end up the way they were
originally intended and you always end up with a very colorful
The study part of the work camp takes the form of study tours
and other cultural activities. The workshops are closely related
to the interests and needs of the local youth.
There are lectures on
history, religion, gender roles, refugees, and youth itself,
which provide an insight into different cultures. To create
interaction amongst peers, the workshops include role-play and
other similar activities. International volunteers will visit
local community associations for women and youth, cultural clubs
and forums as well as share activities with them. Traditional
Palestinian dance (Dabka) is very popular amongst the youth. We
encourage the international volunteers to participate with the
youth as well as give lessons on other traditional forms of
dance related to their home countries. We also encourage the
local volunteers to assist the youth by helping bridge the
language gap between the participants.
During the weekends the activities of the work camp will focus
on cultural matters. The group will visit places of historical
interest in the Nablus area. The volunteers and the locals will
prepare for these activities during the work camp.
Daily entertainment activities are important for the recreation
of the volunteers. These are
important because they help the volunteers to relax and prepare
for the following days work. Also, Palestine is more than just a
conflict zone, and it is important for the volunteers to see the
beautiful and fun sides of Palestinian culture. The
entertainment varies from night to night. It will include visits
to coffee shops, the Turkish bath, oriental nights, visits to
local families, and games. Your ideas are welcome!!
Goals of Zajel:
International and Local Understanding
- To develop awareness of issues and problems facing the
Palestinian youth, and to enlarge and clarify their perspective
of themselves as active participants in Palestinian history and
– Local Palestinians are in serious need to be encouraged and
cheered up by the international volunteers who will come and
take part in shaping the present and the promising future.
– To develop individuals with a broader comprehension of the
differences amongst cultures and to empower them to accept and
deal with diverse opinions, customs and religions.
– To impact our local community in its most diverse spheres such
as education, health, and peace promotion.
– 30th June 2008
The fee includes:
The vision of
Hope for Tomorrow
is to help improve the lives of children in the Askar refugee
camp by organizing and supervising activities that are both
educational and recreational. This is especially important
during the summer months when they are not in school, and have
little to do and have no other outlets for their time and
energy. We try to provide as many positive options as we can in
a very negative situation.
Zajel Youth Exchange Program (Zajel means "dove") is an official
educational program at the Public Relations Department of An-Najah
National University in Nablus, Palestine
An-Najah National University is one of the universities in
Palestine, founded in 1977. Students come from different regions
of Palestine, in search of knowledge and education. Furthermore,
the university focuses on the active and responsible
participation of the students in community life. All students
are strongly encouraged to perform volunteer work for the
university or for the community.
Zajel Youth Exchange Program offers the opportunity for local
students to participate in work camps and other international
exchanges in order to experience intercultural dialogue.
The number of participants desired is about 25 international and
15 local volunteers. We intend to have a gender-balanced work
camp. One well trained local volunteer will take the
responsibility of leading the work camp.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for the info sheet and the
Alaa Yousef/ Coordinator
Zajel Youth Exchange Program
Public Relations Department
An-Najah National University