Mixed cities – Shared Citizenship
Lod, Ramle and Tel Aviv-Jaffa are mixed but segregated cities that face many challenges for the Jewish majority and the Arab/Palestinian minority. By bringing together young people from both communities this project creates a Partnership for Change led by youth. The participants are involved in a process in which they reflect on their identity and the situation within their city, learn to understand the experiences and circumstances of ‘the other’ and engage in hands-on community development work that improves the communities in which they live.
This project wants to achieve mutual recognition and joint social action that promote a sense of shared citizenship, justice and equality. By approaching the improvement of the city as a shared project, a shared responsibility, the participating youth can counter the trends of segregation and alienation.
This project will work in two cycles, each lasting one year, with a total 300 teenagers between the age of 15 and 17 in Lod, Ramle and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The the program the participating youth will move from being alienated to becoming Partners for Change:
1 I The starting point
Growing up in Lod, Ramle and Tel Aviv/Jaffa, youth often only interact with people from their own community. They feel like the ‘other side’ causes many of the problems in the city. The space for interaction and shared initiatives is very limited and not encouraged. In this project the youth will set up their own initiatives for change in partnership with ‘the other’.
2 I Know yourself
The youth starts with discovering who they are, what all the layers of their identity are and how this is connected to their community and to the environment they live in. They do activities and make videos to tell each other about their identity and the places in the city that are important to them.
3 I Know the other
After knowing themselves, they can meet ‘the other’ and discover together in a three-day workshop who ‘the other’ is, what they share and what differences there are. In this stage the youth finds out how to communicate and cooperate with each other and what the connection of every one of them is to the city they live in. After the three-day workshop they also visit each other in a personal setting, meet one another’s families and see the reality in which ‘the other’ lives.
4 I Make a change
Now that the youth know who they are, who the other is, and what is important to them in their city, they start working on taking responsibility over a positive change in their city. They will initiate projects that create connections instead of barriers between the communities and improve people’s lives. They design, develop and carry out practical projects together: they are Partners for Change!
Change will not only take place as a result of these youth initiatives. Structural change lies in the hands of community leaders. Thus, the success of the project is also dependent on their involvement. For this we involve stakeholders from municipality, schools, community centres and other community leaders. They form a local stakeholder board that meets once a month to be part of the project’s progress by sharing their knowledge about the local needs.