The Youth Local Council of Sa’ir ((YLC) was established in 2018 in the Hebron Governorate as part of the activities of the “Our Municipalities… Effective and Accountable” project, that aimed to strengthen the relationship between local Government Units (LGU) and citizens. The project was implemented by the Community Development and Continuing Education Institute (CDCE-I) under the “Communities Thrive” project framework, executed by Tetra Tech/ARD, and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government in Palestine.
Due to a confluence of circumstances, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, which dispersed the majority of local and global developmental and community activities, the council’s operations came to a halt since 2020. This has led to a weakening of the youth’s role in genuine and prominent participation across various fields, impacting the youths and women of the entire region.
The Youth Local Council in Sa’ir, consisting of 13 members, served as the primary and sole platform for youth in the Sa’ir region. It was an act as a shadow council for the municipality at that time. The council continued its activities by achieving its designated goals within its areas of focus, including establishing youth involvement in community work, providing a platform for young people of both genders to express their opinions and aspirations, engaging in community service and volunteering in various aspects of public life through practices of sound democratic governance, and participating in decision-making at the local level.
The suspension of the Youth Local Council’s activities in Sa’ir resulted in the absence of the youth’s genuine and prominent role in various fields, impacting the young and women of the entire region. With the launch of the “Civic Hackathon” project – 2022-2023, implemented by the Community Development and Continuing Education Institute (CDCE-I) in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Family Health International (fhi360) as part of the Civic Participation and Community Engagement (CPCE) project, and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Sa’ir Youth Council expressed interest in joining the project. They demonstrated their commitment and interest in activating the council’s activities.
The council participated in and benefited from the main project activities implemented since the project’s start in June 2022, including:
- Human and Institutional Capacity Building Programs
- Assessing community needs and barriers to social inclusion and gender equality
- Development of an internal procedural bylaw to organize the work of the Youth Council
As a result of this participation and interaction, with the support and encouragement of the CDCE-I, the Youth local Council successfully held elections in September 2022 and officially adopted the administrative body list, led by “Mousa Shalaldeh” and consisting of 12 other young members, with the approval of the Sa’ir municipality. This positive development has had a constructive impact on the nature of the relationship between the Youth Council, the municipality, and civil society institutions in the region.