New Projects for 2015

 

Project Access  

The Participation and Access of Women to Decision Making Roles

This upcoming project will be training young women on political activism, the necessity for women to participate in the decision making bodies from local elected councils to school parents associations, so to lead social change. The project is a long term (3year) training program including: Grassroots awareness, debating, confidence building, coordination and cooperation abilities, Pr, Social Media, Studying of historical and political premises and case studies.  At the end of each year the participants will create and enact their own social change project, so to practice their capabilities in civil society activism

 

Project Pre-Natal Care

Genetic and prenatal testing and screening is well established in the general Israeli population, however most of Palestinian Arab women live in rural villages where a strong tradition of marriage within the family is maintained (about 45% of marriages are between related spouses) this has led to a high rate of genetic diseases, and a major factor in morbidity and mortality.

The factors associated with making more use of different prenatal tests were traditionally: Secularity, a higher income, and supplementary medical insurance.

However recent research has shown that social awareness meetings coupled with printed information on prenatal testing, in Arabic, has led to a rise in prenatal testing rates in the last decade.

However there are still significant gaps, this project aims to hold a series of social awareness meetings for hundreds of women, in 3 villages in the Ara area, with a distribution of materials in order to prevent further generations suffering from severe genetic diseases

 

Long Term Projects

AMBITIONS - YOUNG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

This is a unique program that expands young women’s horizons in their formative stages of development, encourages them to pursue higher education over early marriage, opens career prospects, educates them on social issues, trains them in debate and public speaking/

A 3 year project for teenagers in grades 10-12, in cooperation with the Naamat Kfar Kara High School.

Dedicated to deconstructing barriers to Arab young women’s leadership through dialogue, exploring gender issues, social expectations and challenges of traditional society. Empowers girls to cope with overwhelming social expectations, take responsibility for their lives, make their own decisions to about their future, and realize their potential without disengaging from their family and community.

In addition the program includes meetings and field trip with elected officials from municipal government and political parties. Public speaking and debate training, educated about current issues, taught how to develop and articulate arguments for and against any policy, and engage in debate.

Two field trips are part of the course, to a university where they can pursue higher education, and to the Knesset. These places were chosen as points of potential aspiration for young women and the field trips aim to demystify them and draw them closer into the girl’s realm of realistic achievement.

Particpants in the course are encouraged to apply their skills in real time by running student council at Kufar Qara high school, assisted and supported by the program. 

 

YOUR HEALTH IS IN YOUR HANDS - Health Awareness Program

Women's health was among the first areas we identified as essential to the empowerment of women. Traditional Muslim society is very conservative about reproduction and fertility. Knowledge held by women and girls on the life cycle is very limited, and sometimes the information they have is incorrect or outdated. Women are ashamed to be physical examined by a doctor and avoid tests to detect cervical or breast cancer, with grave implications for their health.

Through this project AFU creates a safe space for married women of all ages to talk and learn about the female body and fertility. In professional facilitated courses, with prominent lecturers,  we educate women about general health, pregnancy, childbirth, family planning, screening and testing for cancers. In addition we transport and accompany participants to the women's clinic (that we helped establish) for medical checkups and regular Dr appointments, and prenatal care. 

 

NEIGHBOURS IN PEACE

Palestinian women in cooperation with Jewish women have taken the lead in grassroots interventions to stop vigilante violence on both sides. ‘Awareness for You’ is the lead organizer, working in partnership with the Bridge over the Wadi Jewish-Palestinian school, and Green Carpet Wadi Ara tourism group.

Together we have organized 3 human chains of 300 Jewish and Palestinian Israelis carrying the message “Neighbors in Peace”. These took place Friday afternoon just before the Jewish Sabbath at the entrance to Kfar Kara, a Palestinian village in Wadi Ara in Israel on a main highway, where hundreds of drivers saw the unusual display of solidarity.

As part of this project we have organized a series of people-to-people encounters in the Wadi Ara region of Israel. Bringing together Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel who are geographic neighbors but who rarely venture into one another’s communities. These groups dealt with the root tensions and fears held by Palestinians and Jews in Israel and devised strategies for de-escalation of the current crisis within local communities.

The project also engages Jewish and Muslim religious leaders to get them to condemn violence on both sides and to end religious sanctioning for any type of violence.

 

The activities specifically prevent the outbreak of violent demonstrations by targeting the young people who are likely to participate in them and trying to get religious figures to dissuade violence by both Jews and Palestinians within Israel.

Read a profile on this project here: NEIGHBOURS IN PEACE