OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Youth for peaceful and sustainable planet

SYFS is continuing its support for Palestinian youth in Gaza Strip by making them engaged in peacebuilding and environmental protection.

Photo of Bahaa
8 10

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project aims to engage youth in productive activities which will help them occupy their time in ways that contribute to protecting the environment as well as generate income.The idea is based on the fact that many youth in Gaza are unemployed, have no opportunities to engage in useful activities or travel due to the siege imposed and the political split between the factions. Thus, this gap leads to youth marginalisation and so their inclination towards violence and extremism.Therefore, the idea targets youth who have been affected by crime/ violence and those who have participated in military camps. They will be engaged in activities that enhance the values of peace, tolerance, dialogue, conflict resolution and non violence as well as life skills during summer camps to make the learning process more interactive and give youth the opportunity to reflect and share their experiences with others. In addition to case management to protect youth who are severely affected by armed violence through comprehensive approach, addressing push factors and consequences specific to each case. Case management will be provided by experienced case managers, who have specific knowledge and experience in dealing with armed violence related cases; and psycho social support sessions to improve the youths’ psycho social well-being.This will also be emphasised by later engaging youth in environmental economic projects which will help them find not just a source of income but also occupy their time in a meaningful way that will help protect the environment.Youth will be trained on business management and green economy; those who have limited experience in green economy will be be provided with apprenticeship with businesses working in this area.All youth participants will have the opportunity to apply for seed funding to start their green business.This will help safeguard the values youth developed by ensuring that they have economic opportunities that keep them from armed violence

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Youth will benefit from the idea as it provides them with a safer and better alternative and help them be engaged in protecting the environment in Gaza Strip, rather than being engaged in destructive practices that threatens them and their families. It will also help them to start their own income generating projects and be economically independent, which is highly demanded by youth in Gaza Strip, where unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world. Youth from the marginalised areas in the Gaza Strip such as refugee camps and area restricted areas (ARA), will be chosen to take part in the project. Selection criteria includes: 20 to 26 yrs old, university students and graduates from majors in engineering or environmental science, university drop outs and youth who did not attend university at all but demonstrate the willingness and interest to engage in the project, with difficult financial situation and have been affected or engaged in armed violence.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

There have been no initiatives in the Gaza Strip that link peace and environment together, and when these two issues are addressed, they are often dealt with individually. This was the case also at SYFS there are two different projects which address these issues but separately. Building on its experience from these two projects, SYFS will merge the two together to be focused on youth peace and environment. This approach is likely to be more effective as it does not attempt to resolve each independently when in fact the interconnectedness is great and when joined together will help produce more sustainable results by making the youth themselves engaged in working to address one of the most serious challenges that does not just face Gaza Strip but the whole world and so will give the youth more sense of belonging and goal to guide them. It is also unique as it serves to address three critical issues in Gaza: armed violence, youth unemployment and the environmental concerns.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Save Youth Future Society is an independent NGO established in Gaza Strip to serve Palestinian youth through four key programmes: Civic Participation, Education, Economic Empowerment, and Capacity Building.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

SYFS has been working in the area of facilitating youth in promoting peace and non-violence and has recently began to work on environmental issues as a result of the increasing environmental concerns that Gaza Strip suffers from. Based on its work, youth needs and interest and community needs, SYFS thought that implementing an idea that tackles three key concerns, peace, environment and youth unemployment, was necessary, particularly that SYFS is already working on these issues.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The topics are influenced by community needs and the overall situation in the Gaza Strip. As a result of the political tensions that Gaza has been going through and the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, peace has been a long quest and is getting more difficult as a result of the increasing political, economic and social tensions that make youth more prone to violence.Planet, Gaza Strip is suffering from multiple environmental issues, such as lack of drinkable water, lack of energy and weak infrastructure that cannot accommodate the high population density.According UN report published in 2015, Gaza Strip will be ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020. There is great pressure on the environment as a result of over-population, urbanisation, poor control and waste management and ground water mining. Water is being greatly affected by the siege imposed which is causing serious problems such as aquifer is over-exploited at twice its recharge rate and is extremely susceptible to surface-derived contamination.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

SYFS will work with CBOs across the Gaza Strip(GS) and environmental experts and businesses. Youth Councils(YC), which is a body of youth volunteers at SYFS working across the GS localities, will be key to reach out and influence the target group in their communities.YC will facilitate mobilisation from the community and can provide guidance and influence of the targeted youth by sharing their experiences and peer to peer support. CBOs, experts and businesses will support developing youth skills. This will help strengthening support for youth and cooperation among partners. SYFS has through most of its projects worked with the help of the communities it had targeted and CBOs. SYFS has worked with multiple partners on different projects which begins by reaching out to its partner CBOs and through the YC to reach the target group directly and facilitating organisational issues and developing the ideas.SYFS has been working for 17 years in the community and so has good working relations.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The community in Gaza Strip are known for their resilience, as they have endured 3 military attacks, 11 years of siege and political division. Youth, with is about 30% of the population in Gaza Strip, have great willingness to learn, develop and work, so being provided with an opportunity they will seize it and try to benefit from it as much as possible.

Geographic Focus

Middle East, Palestine, Gaza Strip.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project will last for 30 months in total, divided into 2 phases,15month each, where 20 youth will be selected then another 20 for the 2nd year. The youth from 1st year will be mentors for the 2nd year. 3 months)m) preparation and selection of beneficiaries 3m to implement peace and case management psycho-social support and life skills 3m for conducting training on business management and apprenticeship 3m for concepts and start of sustainable env. business 3m for closure and evaluation

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Hadi Shamieh

Hello Bahaa,

Fantastic initiative! I believe our projects are intersecting in objectives, and it would be an honor for me to share the knowledge acquired here in Canada to benefit people of my region. - I am originally from Lebanon. I invite you to check my project PraxEco: Prosperity lead by Community Supported Entrepreneurship 

Always open for collaboration.

View all comments