We have worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) for over 50 years, often with those most impacted by the conflict. We've facilitated art therapy with traumatised children, offered skills and employability training to young people, and promoted women in leadership.
Our volunteers have been instrumental in enabling us to reach out to vulnerable people groups, such as women living in violent relationships. Violence against women is a major issue in the occupied Palestinian territories. We have worked with Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) to support survivors and address the causes and consequences of gender-based violence within the Palestinian community. WCLAC were struggling with their capacity, so our volunteers produced bi-lingual workshops and resources, and supported WCLAC in writing proposals and increasing their capacity, enabling the organisation to support more women.
We have also worked closely with universities to increase access to education and work after graduation. It is challenging for universities to operate in the West Bank as funding from individuals is necessary for universities to their subsidise students. For three years, we worked with Birzeit University to promote people’s right to an education, run English workshops and deliver careers workshops and advice.
In 2015, we worked with Siraj Al Quds (SAQ) University to tackle the barriers to education that are faced by people with disabilities and people from low socio-economic backgrounds. Our volunteers worked with SAQ staff to seek out and apply for funding, as well as developing the university’s online presence in order to raise international interest in the issues faced by young people with visual impairments and additional support needs in OPT.
Higher education institutions have a major role to play in producing skilled young people who will secure and sustain the Palestinian economy in years to come.
From 2016 to 2018, we focused on enabling organisations to develop and become stronger and more impactful through our Organisational Self-Assessment Tool (OSAT). The OSAT enables organisations to identify and address their own needs and priorities, become more efficient and improve their ability to deliver change effectively.
Last year we delivered OSATs with Palestine ABS, Jerusalem School, Sunflower Association, Rural Women’s Development Society, and the River Company.
We have worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for over 50 years, including launching a Literacy and Adult Education Office at Birzeit University in 1976. In that time, literacy rates of people over 15 years old have increased from 47% to 96.9%.
Same Difference worked with children living in some of the most challenging circumstances, giving them the tools to express and deal with the trauma they had faced.