oPt: Community empowerment in the Gaza Strip
SDC partnership with the Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) enables the provision of quality services in vulnerable and marginalized areas of the Gaza Strip. CFTA’s work aims at strengthening the capacities of the Palestinian civil society in the Gaza Strip through integrated programs for children, youth, and women – in particular non formal education, psychosocial support, artistic skills development, rights awareness and fighting against domestic violence - and support to CBOs organizations and networks. CFTA is also a platform for youth and women to become active members of their communities.
Conflict prevention and transformation
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Non-formal basic education (including youth and adults life skills and literacy)
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Protection and access
Civilian peace-building and conflict resolution
Vocational training and skills development
- To strengthen CFTA’s role and sustainability to facilitate community-led positive change
- To contribute to the empowerment of children, youth and women to become agents of change within their communities
- To contribute to addressing social justice and human rights issues in local communities.
- CFTA’s role as an active contributor to promoting human rights and social justice is further enhanced
- Children and youth (both males and females) are empowered and able to organize community initiatives and conduct advocacy campaigns.
- The mental and physical wellbeing of women is strengthened.
- Volunteers and CBOs are capacitated to take an active role in the community.
- Communities have enhanced resilience capacitities in the response to emergency situation and armed conflict.
- CFTA internal policy and management capacities, including financial management, are consolidated (instutional development).
- On a yearly basis, CFTA has been able offer quality services to 20’000 children, youths and women in the fields of education, psychosocial support, empowerment and advocacy, women health, including support against GBV.
- In the last 3 years, 26.000 girls and boys used CFTA as a space for discussion/exchange enhancing self- confidence (empowerment) and a platform for advocacy and media campaigns on Human Rights in general, Rights of Children and Women in particular as well as freedom of expression.
- 35’000 women attended the Women Health Center and 540 among them who were victim of Gender Based Violence received psychological and legal aid support. 37 women “Mokhtar” participated in skills development in leadership and conflict resolutions at family level.
- An ongoing process of institutional reforms and capacity building has consolidated CFTA’s governance, transparency and management capacity.
- CFTA is well integrated in Palestinians networks and in the UN cluster system; it has become a reference organsiation in the South of Gaza.
- Swiss Private Sector
- Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) in Khan Younis (Gaza Strip)
The communities living in the Gaza Strip are affected by violent conflicts, years of closure, political division and high rate of poverty and unemployment. This situation increased the influence of conservative groups and impacted social rules and behaviours in particular restriction of freedom of expression and decrease of community participation, particularly for women and youth. Free community spaces, cultural events and advocacy initiatives are becoming rare, in particular in the marginalized areas where CFTA is working (Khan Younis in particular).
The intervention aims at creating positive change at individual and community level through the empowerment of vulnerable groups such as children, youth and women to improve social justice and human rights status of Palestinians.
Children and teenagers (15’000), youth (2’000), women (12’000), with a special focus on vulnerable individuals - including people with disabilities - in the governorates of Khan Younis and Middle Area.
In case of natural or military disaster, CFTA is prepared to reach out to 5000 households.
Results from previous phases:
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign Non-Governmental Organization
Local Non-profit Organisation
Local private sector
CFTA cooperates with a large variety of partners and networks in Gaza and abroad for programs and joint advocacy efforts for human rights, women’s issues, and cultural themes.
17 other INGO/UN/Donor agencies are supporting the CFTA’s program. The biggest ones are EU, AFD, GIZ, UN Women, UNDP Oxfam GB, Christian Aid, CCP, Solidaridad Internacional, MDM, Medico International.
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
The intervention is in line with the SCO strategy in oPt as it improves the quality of social services for the population of Gaza; it promotes the participation of the citizens in the local authority’s policies and decisions (domain 2), and support the civil society for the promotion of Human Rights (domain 1). It works with UNRWA, NRC - UDOC project, the municipality of Khan Younis which is a partner of the MDP II and Window 5 projects; CFT work also closely with GCMHP in field of psychosocial support.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 1'180'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 1'061'611|
Phase 7 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018 (Completed)Phase 6 15.12.2012 - 31.12.2015 (Completed)