Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom
Youth Club (the Nadi)
Tuesday, 13 May 2008

A Youth Club (Nadi al-Shabibah - Moadon Noar or simply Nadi for short) provides a framework, throughout the school year and during vacations, for a variety of stimulating, fun and challenging extracurricular activities for the young people of the community.

The Nadi is organized voluntarily by community members, run by a part-time salaried youth leader, and assisted by a growing number of parents and senior youngsters.

The objectives of the Nadi are to foster and sustain interpersonal connections; to encourage voluntary community involvement; to increase awareness on issues of Palestinian-Jewish relations and social justice; to promote values of mutual acceptance and respect; and to generate individual and social responsibility towards peers, the immediate community, other Palestinian and Jewish communities, and the larger society.

The village’s young people, on finishing the bi-lingual primary school, travel outside as they pursue their education and personal interests. The Youth Club provides the structure for them to stay together and continue to take part in the life of the community.

The Nadi Youth Leadership Program

Nadi Youth Leadership Program began to enable our youth to continue the dialogue of coexistence beyond the village and as an investment in the future of NSWAS through the young people who are growing up here. Its goal is to prepare the younger generation to assume leadership roles and become activists for social justice, both within the village and subsequently in the wider world.

Nadi Youth Leadership Program is the most important program at NSWAS and the only program supported by: all the village residents (if they have children in the program or not); the parents of the children who participate in the program; and the local/area council. Without developing leadership skills and commitment in our youth, their will be no one to continue the village with the principals and values which we all so deeply believe.

Activities of the Nadi Youth Leadership Program help our youth address include:

- how they can use the values they grew up with to contribute to the larger society,

- what life is like for Arabs and Jews outside of the village,

- what will happen when they leave the village and go to regional high schools,

- what will happen when some of them go on to the army and others not,

- and how they can support each other as a group as they move out into the world.

As well as giving our youth skills to deal with these issues, Nadi Youth Leadership Program helps them in spreading the ideas and values of the village as emissaries to the larger world. They learn to stand up to the pressures of a country that is becoming increasingly segregated, and contribute through volunteer projects and by initiating activities outside the village.

Nadi Youth Leadership Program is crucial because existing youth movements in the country do not prepare young people for bi-national, multicultural, cooperative living and learning in a way that meets the needs of all participants from both national groups. Standard youth movement experience does not address the unique experience our children have had, in a bi-lingual, multicultural environment; an environment where everyone strives for equal partnership and where diversity is celebrated.

It is important that our friends understand the significance of this program, as we prepare the village’s next generation. If you have any questions about the program, I’ll be more than happy to address them.