Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Giving it 50 % + 50 %

“Whatever you do in life, you should spend 50% of your time doing it, and the other 50% spent telling people about it” 

Some wise words from my mother there. More than anything, they sum up two key ideas for me - why we’re writing blogs here, and why we’re here at all.  

This is going to be the first of many blogs which will map our work here at the Youth Development Department and the Burj al LuqLuq centre in Occupied East Jerusalem.  I’m Cat, one of the team leaders on the project.  It’s an honour to be writing the first blog for our team; Israa, Esther, David and Aseel 

I expected Palestine to be a complete change from the work that I was doing in London - a grad in a marketing company deciding what my real life goals were going to be. It’s therefore been a shock, or should I say a pleasant surprise, to realise that the skills I got from that world - the ideas of how to communicate ideas, the time management and the relationship management - are all crucial to the work that we do here in Palestine.  

Because the work we do here is supportive - we are telling stories about Palestine and the organisations that are working to promote the values, rights and spirit of the people here. The few weeks I’ve spent here meeting with and planning for the exciting 10 weeks ahead have been all about communication.  

At the Youth Development Department, it’s not the crucial psycho-social work that needs support, but the communication of that work to the larger public to raise awareness and funds. On both a national and international level, we will be raising awareness of reforms such as Curriculum changes in schools or relaxed laws around drug use in Jerusalem, and how they are affecting Palestinian national identity and culture. 

The team at YDD 

 At the Burj al LuqLuq centre, we’re not playing sport with the kids - they have trained coaches to do that - but documenting this amazing work and making it global. We’ll be critiquing the work that they do so that they can do it better, as well as implementing some initiatives of our own in partnership with other organisations.   

After the stairs....Burj al Luq Luq :)

I’m glad that the skills I’ve gained in a different sector that I thought I would never use again are proving beneficial here. And I’m also really proud of the work we’re doing - we need to maintain the focus on and awareness of Palestinian issues in the world, we’re making sure that the organisations here have the capacity to do that themselves.  

Cat Harris 

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