Shiam – Youth Make the Future concluded the second pilot for their “Knowledge Exchange Program” that is funded by Heinrich Böll Foundation (hbs) - Palestine and Jordan and implemented in partnership with the Forum of Expertise – Ramallah Municipality. The project objective is to create a cross generational cooperation space and activities that aim to strengthen citizens’ positive action, change the social and political stigmas related to age whether old or young, enhance both generations sense of appreciation for each other in specific and the community at large. Economic generation potential could be achieved when building on and using synergies of the available knowledge between the two generations, as well as promoting positivity within the communities while strengthening good human values.
The closing ceremony was held at the Municipal Theater of Ramallah Municipality. The attendees included Mayor of Ramallah Municipality, Eng. Musa Hadid, Chairwomen of Shiam organization, Ms. Lana Abu-Hijleh, Executive Director of hbs, Dr. Bettina Marx, General Manager of Shiam Mr. George Kapataies, Director of the Forum Dr. Feletcia Adeeb and program participants from the seniors and the youth.
Mr. Hadid noted that the conditions we are going through with COVID-19, have created barriers to holding such events, though it did not prevent us from continuing to provide services and implement projects and work around the clock. He added that the forum was a dream for us and has now become one of the pioneering and effective pillars in the municipality that has met with success. During his speech, the mayor indicated that the impression of the forum reflects the passion, love and the amount of hard work among its participants, as it merged between two generations of adults and youth; exchanging and learning new experiences and benefiting from each other. He also congratulated the participants, wishing them more success and excellence.
For her part, Dr. Marx has noted that what distinguishes the Palestinian society is that it is a young society, which must be reflected on the ground by giving opportunities to this educated and young generation to be a tool for change. She also added that the goal of this project is to transfer expertise from one generation to another, to create cooperation between the two parties, to extend a bridge between generations and to break down the gap in order to integrate knowledge, wisdom and experience between the retired generation and our future young leaders.
Mrs. Abu-Hijleh indicated that this event is special for Shiam organization, as it is the culmination of the work done through Global Communities (formerly known CHG) projects for over ten years by establishing and developing youth local councils initiatives and spreading it nationwide. She added that it is a translation of the common vision that has been developed with the municipality, which is to establish a Forum of Expertise with the aim of activating and investing the energies and experiences of retired people who have practical knowledge and have the desire to give and benefit the younger generations.
The participants expressed their happiness at being a part of this training program, pointing out valuable opportunity that was given to them to exchange experiences and knowledge between both generations, and how each has something that can benefit the other.
At the end of the ceremony, certificates were distributed to the course participants. It should be noted that more than 37 people participated in this training, including young men and women and members of the Forum. The training included: leadership and communication skills, time management, critical thinking, problem solving, fundraising and crowd funding, building and managing local initiatives.