Empowering the Youth of Jayyous, West Bank

With funding from the U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Anera built the Jayyous Special Youth Center near the city of Qalqilia to help empower youth through classes and sports.

The Women’s Development Society (WDS), housed on the center’s top floor helps young women make a difference in their communities through micro-financing and classes aimed at developing their skills, knowledge and capabilities.

WDS offers workshops in educational, psychological and health-related issues such as breast cancer and women rights. It also encourages entrepreneurship through a Saving and Credit Program that enables Palestinian women to borrow up to $4,200 from the Islamic Bank to finance their own economic, cultural and educational projects.

“Financial independence helps women break free from subordination. And, it encourages them to exercise their rights and become decision makers,” says Nahed Jaber, who has been involved with the WDS for five years, first as a participant and now as the society’s treasurer.

WDS also has plans for a library, the first-ever for Jayyous village, and a food security program, which will offer courses in food processing, production and marketing.

Along with WDS, the Jayyous Center also works with neighborhood youth through the Youth Sports Club and other activities. Three ping-pong tables in the center’s main hall offer a place for friendly competitions. Club President Ma’zouz Qaddoumi’s office is filled with trophies and awards, including the volleyball team’s first-prize achievements in every West Bank tournament since 1994

“This sports club is not all about winning cups and medals. It is primarily about empowering the youth of Jayyous,” says Ma’zouz.

The Youth Sports Club also helps foster community development by engaging its 370 members in significant ecological, social, educational, and health issues. The club often partners with other organizations, unions, and clubs in the area.

Ma’zouz sees the center as more than just a building. “Anera is constructed more than a building. It is helping a community make a better future.”