Following “Our Municipalities – Accountable and Effective” project that was implemented by Community Development and Continuing Education Institute partnering with “Communities Thrive” project and in cooperation with 14 municipalities from Southern West Bank (Bethlehem and Hebron Governorate), CDCE-I established 14 youth councils and committees in 14 Palestinian cities and towns. The role of youth councils in this project is highlighted as an important tool of community accountability to activate the role of young people and increase their involvement in public affairs.
Forming Youth Councils went through several stages starting from registering youth (males and females) from the age of 17 to 26 for the General Assembly membership, encouraging the participation of people with disabilities. This was followed by nominating youth for the YLCs’ elections and finally the Election Day with intensive promotional campaign including; workshops, advertisements, elections campaigns.
The Election Day was well organized in close cooperation with partner municipalities, the Palestinian Central Elections Commission and other local partners. The day was run by a team of experienced staff assisted by a large group of volunteers. The Election Day experienced voting, sorting and declaring results stages. In some locations and municipalities, the percentage of voting from the members of the General Assembly reached 90%.
It should be noted that the number of members of the General Assembly of Youth Councils exceeded 1500 young people of both sexes and people with disabilities, and the partner municipalities praised the activity and youth mobility that was created in each municipality before the election period end. Female participation was active, as they were part of all stages in the election, participation, membership and presidency of General Assembly; most importantly, 2 female presidents of youth councils in both Sa’ir and Halhul.