PSP plans for 2014

27 December 2013

PSP, through its community organizing arm The Center for Freedom and Justice has two major tracks for community organizing and development for 2014. Here’s some more about them. We of course will be continuing our work with Palestinian prisoners, popular resistance, and everything else we’ve always done.

1) Empowerment Training for Local Palestinian Leaders

A key part of our work is developing and strengthening the knowledge and skills of local leaders (leaders of nonviolent popular resistance) and, through them, to educate, influence, and unify the larger Palestinian society.

Our focus will be on the values and processes of real democracy, the importance of human rights, the power of mass mobilization, and the possibilities and advantages of coresistance. We will contribute to making local leaders the cornerstone of our efforts because these people have already earned the trust and respect of their communities and are role models for many. We will position ourselves not above local leaders, but beside them. Cooperating with and training key leaders known to be reliable and trustworthy in their villages and towns, work place, university, etc. is the surest way to develop the necessary skills and nourish the hopes of everyone striving to build a vibrant, peaceful, free and independent Palestinian society and state.

We will launch a pilot of this project in two regions of the West Bank. Twenty local leaders (males and females) will be chosen according to criteria set by the management of the Center for Freedom and Justice.

· These leaders will first undergo a six-month training course on the issues and skills noted above in order to increase their knowledge base of effective leadership in a democratic society.

· The second stage of the pilot project is designed to help participants implement what they have learned in the training course. We will position them as assistants, advisors and/or facilitators with different professional groups, civil organizations, government agencies, media outlets, and educational associations. Or they may take the lead in establishing committees comprised of other leaders in their region so that diverse groups would be represented to find solutions for common problems. We will seek to place them wherever they might do the work of promoting discussion and problem-solving, perhaps serving as bridges between factions within their society or between the local society and national authorities.

Our partners in this project will be leading youth and civil organizations in the districts in which we will implement the project.

2) Land and Water Reclamation Project

This project is one of the most important for Beit Ommar given the amount of land proposed for reclamation and the large number of farmers who can benefit from the project. With village land being continually confiscated by nearby settlements and the Apartheid wall, there is an urgent need for increasing agricultural land and providing water to support that land.

This project will reclaim and rehabilitate 30 Dunums (30,000 square meters) of agricultural land for the village, especially land adjacent to Israeli settlements, to the Apartheid wall, and other threatened land in area (C).

We will work with local farmers to:
o Reclaim and cultivate unused and threatened areas to add much needed farmland.
o Drill 10 rainwater wells on this land to help with irrigation.
o Plant the reclaimed land with 3,600 fruit trees.
o Follow-up with counseling and training courses for the farmers.

Our goal is not only land reclamation, but also to provide job opportunities during the two year project, reduce unemployment through permanent jobs, develop a sustainable source of income for farmers, and to save agricultural land from confiscation and separation wall.