Participation in International Youth Gatherings

The JAI coordinates and facilitates the participation of JAI, YMCA, YWCA youth in international youth events and gatherings worldwide, to communicate Palestine and life under occupation from youth perspective, promote and encourage people to take actions and join the JAI advocacy work and campaigns. 

JAI participant at the Global Week 2015 and TT Festival – Norway

20-29 June 2015

A youth activist from the JAI, Diaa Sabbagh, has participated at the Global Week and Teenagers Festival in Norway in June 2015. Below is his reflection:

I have been participated as a JAI volunteer at the Global Week and TT festival which organized by the YMCA-YWCA in Norway (KFUK – KFUM), between the 20th and 29th of June 2015.

TT2015 2

Global Week:

The Global week is an International program that aims to empower participants to be a change & peace maker and be active in helping the world to be better. This year 2015 the main theme of Global Week was "Climate Chang" in addition to some of the sub-themes: "Stop poverty" and "Free Palestine". The program included different workshops which started with the sharing of YMCA-YWCA values and its experience in working for respective national and social issues in a whole world. After that we had a training session about advocacy groups, building a peacemakers' movements and Change Agents, then, the move to the main topic "Climate Change" through an advanced discussion by specialized trainers and workshops on how to build a campaign for climate change and learning more about what role the youth can play for climate justice at the national and international level.

Besides, we have reinforced all training and previous sessions by a "COP SIMULATION" which it is a simulation for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as "Paris 2015" with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C, which was in my opinion the greatest experience, we got from the Global Week as we negotiated and treated with the issue exactly as the real parties.

TT15 – Teen Festival in Gjøvik, Norway:

More than 2500 Norwegian teenagers and youth have joined the TT Festival. TT is short for "TenåringsTreff", which in English means "Teenagers meeting". It is the biggest festival arranged by the Norwegian YMCA-YWCA. This TenSing summer the TT-festival took place from the 23rd to the 28th of June. Every year teenagers from all over Norway and the world get together in the small, cozy town called Gjøvik, to share one week of Christian fellowship, new friends and tons of fun. The participants travel with their local Ten Sing, Sporty, youth and confirmation groups or other parts of the Norwegian and international YMCA-YWCA movement.

There at TT, I participated in various activities, games, seminars, discussions, workshops and debates, and I volunteered at the Global Café and Service for Food.

TT2015 1Meet the World at TT:

At the end, the Global Week participants made different presentations about their countries and the local YMCA- YWCA activities'. My presentation was about the Palestinian – Israeli conflict and how is the life under the occupation, I shared with them many of continued suffering stories like: The Palestinian Diaspora 1948, 1967 War, the Intifada, the settlements, the checkpoints, the separation wall, daily life violations and prisoners. I supported my presentation by talking about some personal experiences: My father killed by the Israeli army in the first Intifada, our home in Jenin Refugees Camp was destroyed in 2002 and I was arrested at the age of 18 for 2 years. All these accidents deeply touched their mind and hearts and they were very interested and sympathetic as they hear.

For me, I felt that I came back to Palestine with many of new friendships, experiences, memories, energies, unforgettable ideas and attitudes, with the hope to be someday one of the peacemakers on the local and international levels.


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