Youth group from YMCA-YWCA Ten Sing Norway visit Palestine

Category: Advocacy Programs in Palestine Created: 28 April 2015

Between the 15th and 28th of April 2015, the YWCA of Palestine, together with the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), arranged and hosted a 26-member delegation of Ten Sing Norway, a YMCA-YWCA Norway related youth group.

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Their visit included introduction to the work of the YWCA of Palestine, the Joint Advocacy Initiative with its Olive Tree Campaign and other programs, guided tours to witness the Apartheid Wall and settlements surrounding the Bethlehem area, land confiscation, refugee camp life, settlements and closure and division in Hebron old city. The program also included watching the daily Palestinians struggle at the Bethlehem-Jerusalem Israeli checkpoint with the EAPPI, presentations about house demolition and displacement of Palestinians and settlements' expansion in East Jerusalem. The group also visit the displaced Palestinian village of Iqrit in the Galilee, guided tour in the Jordan valley to see the Israeli control and settlement activities and the plans to displace the Palestinians living ther, and visit to Bili'n village where weekly popular demonstrations take place.

The program also included meetings and presentation from Badil on the ongoing displacement of Palestinians and their right of return, on the Kairos Palestine and BDS Campaign by the JAI Manager, Lajee (refugee) Center at Aida camp on refugees' life inside the camp, film screening about Iqrit village, and about the Right to Education Campaign.

They were accompanied at all times by the three Palestinian Young Peace Performers (YPPs), who just returned from the program in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. The YPPs helped in some of the logistics and arrangements, especially with youth groups, as well as answering questions, sharing their personal stories, and explaining about various sites, issues, matters during the visits and meetings.

Visits were also organized to witness the programs and meet clients of the YWCA and YMCA centers, namely in Ramallah and Jericho, including YMCA Vocational Training Center and the YWCA Food Production and Vocational Training Centers. This is beside meetings with youth groups at Iqrit , BirZeit and Aboud villages. The Group also had guided tours and visit to some historic and religious sites in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho, Nazareth, Akko, Tiberius, Hebron, and others.

Part of purpose of the their visit was also to present Ten Sing singing, music and dance performances to Palestinian youth, which was organized at the YMCA and YWCA centers in Jericho and Ramallah, YMCA Beit Sahour, youth groups and people at Iqrit and Saffa and Aboud villages, which gave the message of hope and solidarity from Norway.

Ten Sing is an international Youth program, for 18 – 25 years old, within the YMCAs and YWCAs which focuses on getting young people to express themselves by using their own culture through creative arts, with underlying objectives of leadership and democracy training, personal and social development of body, mind and spirit. The name "Ten Sing" is a combination of the Norwegian suffix "-ten" (en. "-teen") and the English word "sing". There are around 30 Ten Sing local groups in Norway, and hold hundreds or members.

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