Grass Roots Civic Action

About the project:
Grass Roots Civic Action, a project implemented in 12 months, supported the establishment of the newly formed body, “Southern Rural Joint Council for Planning & Development,” by assessing and addressing the needs of its stakeholders through youth-led service learning initiatives.

To do this, the capacities of youth were built in civic awareness and civic participation. They were then capacitated to carry out needs assessments and design social service projects targeting the members of the Southern Rural Joint Council, corresponding village council members, and the 9 marginalized communities represented. Youth-led interventions (see project outputs) increased the efficiency of targeted councils and addressed the serious needs of the community (especially women and youth).

Interventions also built the awareness of community members about the roles of rights holders and duty bearers in Southern Rural Bethlehem, and advocated for the needs of the area.

Project Duration: August  2013 – July, 2014

Project Donor: Catholic Relief Services – USAID


Project Partners: ­­


  • Palestine Ahliya University
  • The Southren Rural Joint Council for Planing&Devo
  • Marah Rabah Village Council
  • Al Manshiyyeh Village Council
  • Wad Rahhal Village Council
  • Marah Mua’la Villsge Council
  • Khalet Al Hadad Village council
  • Um Salamona Village Council
  • Al Ma’sra Village Council
  • Wad Al Nis Village Council
  • Joret Al Shama’a Village Council
  • The Ministry of Village Council

Project Outputs:


  • 100 graduates and youth engaged with enhanced knowledge, experience, and appreciation for civic participation and service learning.
  • Joint and Village Council staff with raised capacities in administrative and financial systems.
  • Joint Council Action Plan and Accountability System
  • 10 youth-led needs assessments
  • 9 youth-led service learning project plans
  • 6 youth-led service learning initiatives (implemented)

Youth-Led Service Learning Initiatives:

– Working Together To Achieve Women’s Participation In Society
– Creating A Safe & Inspiring Environment For Our Students
-Supporting An Effective & Inclusive Joint Council For Planning & Development In Southern Rural Bethlehem
-Working Toward Safer Transportation
– Educate Yourself
-We Care About Your Health

Advocacy Campaign, including the following elements:


  • Trainings in Marah Mua’lla village about women’s rights and empowerment
  • Workshops to raise awareness about the importance of the Southern Rural Joint Council for Planning & Development, its roles and responsibilities, and to promote the Council’s new [project-developed] transparency and accountability
  • Developing, distributing, and submitting a petition for a public advocacy campaign for the Joint Council

TV spots in which the project team and the Ministry of Local Government promoted the importance of the Joint Council, and shared methods to strengthen and sustain its activities.

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