Palestine Solidarity Working Group

The Palestine Solidarity Working Group started meeting in 2024 after a GA decision for its creation.
Meeting on a regular basis, the Working Group shares updates and ideas for initiatives and actions that the CCIVS and its members can join. 
It has to date:
– Shared the Ceasefire Statement approved by the CCIVS GA in November 2023
– Created a Palestine Solidarity action sheet
– Developed the Palestine Solidarity webpage
– Created a donation button on the CCIVS website
– Developed a proposal for an online and offline event in support of the Palestinian people.

Former Initiatives:

Volunteering in Palestine | An Online Symposium by CCIVS

In 1977, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of  29th November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The resolution on the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.
As allies of the people of Palestine, CCIVS organised an event on the 29th of November 2022 to celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Volunteering in Palestine – An Online Symposium by CCIVS
Palestine Study Visit 2022

The Raising Peace Study Visit to Palestine, organized by CCIVS in collaboration with Baladna and IPYL, focused on capacity building, supporting the Palestinian cause, and fostering understanding through direct experiences. The project was supported by the Erasmus + programme of the European Union.

The Study Visit to Palestine was developed by CCIVS with its member organisations Baladna and IPYL to focus on the following areas:
– Capacity Building and Networking; opportunities for participants and their organisations to exchange good practice, increase their knowledge and improve their skills in the field youth empowerment through the development of new partnerships for future networking and capacity building initiatives.
– Support to the Palestinian cause; As highlighted in a 2019 report by the UN “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967”, the Israeli government’s policy is depriving 5 million Palestinians of natural resources, hopes and opportunities (A/HRC/40/73, page 1). In the same report, the Gaza Strip could become “unliveable” by 2020. According to demographic reports, the percentage of young people in Palestine has reached 30% of the total population. Overall, there has been a 180% increase in the youth refugee population in the West Bank since 1975 and a 274.7 % increase in Gaza. In these regions, young people suffer from the daily threat on their lives, discrimination, limited access to resources, and restricted mobility. The presence of international activists and the development of future cooperation projects shows solidarity to the Palestinians organisations and to the local young people.
– Understanding and critical thinking; the project allowed international participants to see first-hand what the situation is like on the ground and provided a platform for them to share their experiences and to develop future solidarity actions. 

The Study Visit took place in September 2022 (postponed from 2020)  and was hosted by our member organisations Baladna based in Haifa and IPYL based in Hebron.
During the Study Visit participants discussed the political context of Palestinian youth (challenges, current situation, future perspectives) and about the work of the hosts (goals, projects, areas of intervention, challenges, educational approaches, social inclusion). With attention on PVE strategies, and exchanges of best practices. Visits over the 8 day programme took the group to a diversity of cities including; Hebron, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Nablus, Jericho, Bethlehem, Jaffa, Haifa, Lajun, Rahat. The participants visited diverse organisations, institutions and projects whose work focuses on one or more of the following areas: youth work; human rights; conflict transformation; tackling violent extremism; occupation; non violent resistance; political prisoners; peace work, interdisciplinary approaches to promote non-violence through art and creativity; and the promotion of culture, history & cultural heritage. Refugee camps, internally displaced people, and unrecognized villages made part of the visit. Due to the 15-year blockade on Gaza, it was impossible to visit the local organisations; however a video call was set up to learn more about the work of Gaza youth and activists. 

The study visit provided an opportunity for participants to gain knowledge and tools that will allow them not only to support the Palestinian cause and to develop new projects with the Palestinian member organisations, but also to apply what they have learnt  within their sending organisations. 

Following the visit on November 29, the participants developed a proposal to celebrate The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. As a result, CCIVS supported the organisation of an online symposium, Volunteering in Palestine. The aims of the online event were to raise awareness of the situation in Palestine, share insights with the international volunteering community on volunteering in conflict areas, and encourage the public to show concern about the situation of our Palestinian brothers and sisters. The participants/attendees from all over the world heard stories from our network of volunteers who are (or have been) actively involved in social work with and for the Palestinians.

A Position Paper was also written by the participants of the Study Visit and validated by the Alliance General Assembly and the CCIVS Executive Committee it can be found here.

Representatives of the undersigned International Voluntary Service (IVS) organizations and networks, participated in a 10 days study visit to Palestine in September 2022 organized by the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), hosted by BALADNA inside the green line and IPYL in the West Bank. This study visit which was originally planned to take place on the occasion of the 100 years anniversary of the first international workcamp in 2020 and postponed due to the C-19 pandemic, makes part of the former CCIVS Raising Peace Campaign, and sought to explore different ways to support the Palestinians in their quest for peace and liberation.  

The visit was an eye opener, both enlightening and shocking.  That is why we would like to share the following observations: 
– Palestinians are living under an unprecedented and inconceivable beyond imagination apartheid regime, as recognised by international organisations such as Amnesty International, that strangles all aspects of their lives in terms of mobility, economy, social and cultural life, education, child detention, arbitrary killing of civilians, confiscation of land and property, appropriation of natural resources. 
– The State of Israel is attacking the Palestinian civil society movement, with a focus on Human Rights organizations that are exposing its inhumane treatment of the Palestinians and their quest to bring Israel to the ICC (International Criminals Court). Six Palestinian CSOs, active as human rights defenders, have been designated by Israel as terrorist organizations, as a way to mute their voices. The UN, EU and many international bodies rejected this decision, as Israel has no evidence to support its claims. However, still, the army has sabotaged and closed their offices. We stand in solidarity with these organisations and palestinian and Israeli activists that are working for peace, justice and mutual understanding, to stop this Apartheid regime. about the unacceptable and humiliating treatment received at the Israeli airport by those attending the study visit and international volunteers in general. 
– Some of the participants of the study visit experienced themselves unacceptable and humiliating treatment received at the Israeli airport on their arrival and on their way back.

IVS can be a very powerful solidarity tool, to provide support and empowerment to Palestinian       youth activists and to raise awareness about their living conditions.  Together we identified some possible actions that could be adopted by the IVS movement in solidarity with the Palestinan people, to:  
– Support the organization of International Voluntary Service activities (study visits, workcamps, meetings) in Palestine and/or support projects in other parts of the world in solidarity with Palestinian people.
– Create crowd-funding to support the IVS organizations in Palestine to organize more study visits, joint IVS activities that can be used as a solidarity fund for sending and receiving volunteers.
– Launch a solidarity campaign with Palestine on the 29th of Nov 2022, the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine, with an online event open to IVS activists from all over the world. 

The Online Conference “Palestinian Youth: Challenges and Opportunities”

Supported by the Participation Programme of UNESCO, invited speakers from  UNESCO, the UN system, universities and representatives of  Palestinian civil society including youth to highlight issues facing young people in the occupied territories. 

Palestinian Youth: challenges and opportunities (Video)

Project Palestine by CCIVS

The online conference “Palestinian Youth: Challenges and Opportunities” was held on 8th December 2021. The event, coordinated by CCIVS, cast a spotlight on the opportunities and strategies aiming at involving young people in shaping their future in Palestine, using non-violent and inclusive methods. The invited speakers were:- Mr Jamal Zakout, Chairman of board of Al-ARD and Member of PNC; (key-note speaker)- Ms Noha Bawazir, Head of Office and Representative UNESCO Ramallah;- Mr Mazen Jabari, director of Orient House, Jerusalem;- Mr Adli Dana, director of IPYL, Hebron;- Ms Nidaa Nassar, director of Baladna, Haifa;- Dr. Mahmoud Soliman, Palestinian researcher at Coventry University and an expert on dynamics of peace and conflict in the region;After a Round Table, the programme proposed an interactive session where participants asked questions and shared their comments with the speakers.

Online training course to improve skills and knowledge in the field of Volunteering In Conflict Areas (VICA)

The online training course to improve skills and knowledge in the field of Volunteering In Conflict Areas (VICA) was a series of online meetings coordinated by CCIVS.  The sessions were coordinated by trainers Mauro Carta (Italy) and Jelisaveta Jovanovic (Serbia), with the support of two experts Zainab Mai-Bornu and Yasin Duman, from the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) of the University of Coventry and the University of Leicester.

“Online Training Course to Improve Skills & Knowledge on the field of Volunteering In Conflict Areas” link

Improve Knowledge & Skills in the field of Volunteering In Conflict Areas: Session 2

The online training course to improve skills and knowledge in the field of Volunteering In Conflict Areas (VICA) was a series of online meetings coordinated by CCIVS and involving participants from IVS organisations willing to enlarge their understanding and capacity in the coordination of peace projects. The first series of 5 online meetings were held in June until the beginning of July 2021. The sessions were coordinated by the trainers Mauro Carta (Italy) and Jelisaveta Jovanovic (Serbia), with the support of the two experts Zainab Mai-Bornu and Yasin Duman, from the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) of the University of Coventry and the University of Leicester; in addition to that, graphic support was provided by Yorgos Konstantinou. Through presentation, group work, interactive sessions, study-cases, participants addressed several topics: interconnections between conflict and gender, environment, migration, identity; code-of-conduct; the IVS approach on volunteering in conflict areas; emotional dimension in conflict areas, and many more.