We're really honoured that that the Skoll Foundation has just awarded our close friends OneVoice an Award for Social Entrepreneurship. This prestigious award joins One Voice into a fantastic network of social entrepreneurs working for change in critical areas across the world.
Update from the Middle East
Both despite and because of the unbearable current situation and continuing setbacks to the negotiations process, OneVoice is pushing ahead in 2008 to change the political climate from one of despair, apathy and disillusionment to one of visualising the potential of what a peace settlement could mean, and investing a sense of urgency in civil society to push the process forward.
An expanding investment in youth leadership will be at the core of their work as OneVoice's Ramallah and Tel Aviv offices train young Israelis and Palestinians in public speaking, conflict resolution and how to carry a message of non-violent activism to their own communities.
As part of the expansion of the programme, OneVoice Israel recently launched advanced Leadership Seminars and a Youth Advisory Council with our most senior leaders attending a meeting with Knesset Member, Ephraim Sneh. Likewise, OneVoice Palestine has spent three months conducting Youth Workshops in all our West Bank districts and has also just launched its own Youth Advisory Council.
Recent Youth Leadership Activities
OneVoice Palestinian Youth Leaders in West Bank launch solidarity campaign to support citizens of Gaza
OneVoice Israel continues to hold Youth Leadership development workshops, expanding and deepening its network
OneVoice Youth Leaders Meet with Martin Luther King III in Jerusalem
In Gaza, OneVoice Palestine has held four town hall meetings over the past three weeks in Jabalia, Bait Hanoun, Bait Lahia and Dear El-Balah reaching over 150 people. Our town hall meetings focus on talking about the issues pertaining to a two state resolution and the challenges civil society needs to overcome to achieve peace.
Click here to see some pictures from the town hall meetings in Gaza.
Here in the UK...
We're delighted to announce that Hitham Kayali joins the UK team as our Director for Outreach and Education. Prior to joining OneVoice in the UK Hitham completed his MA degree in Peace and Reconciliation at Coventry University and has previously been involved with OneVoice when he was in Palestine as well as working for Middle East Non-violence and Democracy (MEND) and Amnesty International. Hitham will continue to build on work already undertaken to promote OneVoice's message on UK University Campuses, countering polarisation and deteriorating community relations fostered by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We'd also like to welcome Jake Hayman back to the UK after three years based out of OneVoice's New York office. Jake will be continuing to work at the heart of OneVoice's development as a paid consultant and we also wish him luck on the business venture he's starting alongside his work at OneVoice.
As One Voice seek to build UK-based support networks for our teams in the Middle East, we will be holding our next youth leadership training seminars in the UK on April 24th and 25th in Coventry. If you know any great 18- 30 year olds feel free to nominate them! Please also get in touch with Hitham, firstname.lastname@example.org, to organise an event in your own community.