While the children go to Primary School together in the village, they then split in different middle schools. This led people in the village to realize that after the 6th grade, Palestinian and Jewish children didn’t have a place to foster and sustain interpersonal connections. The Nadi (“club” in Arabic) has been this place for more than four years now, allowing the youth to stay an important part of the community.
The Nadi provides a framework, throughout the school year and during vacations, for a variety of stimulating, fun and challenging extracurricular activities for the young people of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam. Started and organized voluntarily by community members, the Nadi has recently been able to hire a part-time Director and a youth leader.
The objectives of the Nadi are also to encourage voluntary community involvement, to increase awareness on issues of Palestinian-Jewish relations and social justice; to promote values of mutual acceptance and respect; and to generate individual and social responsibility toward peers, the immediate community, other Palestinian and Jewish communities, and the larger society.
Currently, there are 5 groups, divided by different age groups. Each group has a dedicated leader and meetings take place at least once a week. Maisoun Karaman, Director of the Nadi, supervises all sessions. 75 youths participate in the Club in 2008, from 6 to 19 years old. The parents are very much involved and supportive of the Club: they discuss the broader goals, challenges and successes of the Nadi with the staff on a regular basis.
One of the major projects implemented by the Nadi is the Youth Leadership Training Program, which trains the youth to facilitate groups in binational/bilingual contexts; and creates the context for social initiatives benefiting the Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam’s community as well as the new communities they evolve in.
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