Young people make up almost a third of the population of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), which is at the centre of one of the longest and most complex conflicts in the world.
Y Care International has been working with East Jerusalem YMCA to give young people jobs training and provide trauma counselling. In particular, we are supporting young disabled people and women to know their rights within the law and to campaign for positive change. We also give Palestinian farmers practical support during planting and harvesting through the Olive Tree Campaign.
The conflict has taken a heavy toll on the health, well-being and security of young people and resulted in high poverty rates. Nearly half of all households in the West Bank and three quarters of those in Gaza live in poverty.
Young people in OPT have the highest unemployment rate of any age group at nearly 50 per cent, with young women being the most disadvantaged. We work closely with local authorities and local organisations to ensure young women can take an active role in their communities, and we support them to improve their employment prospects or start small businesses.
The Israeli occupation of the OPT coupled with the separation barrier means that Palestinians face movement restrictions and serious difficulties accessing their land and work.
We support the Olive Tree Campaign, run jointly by the East Jerusalem YMCA and the Palestine YWCA, through which international volunteers plant and harvest olive trees as a way of raising awareness of the conflict.