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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank & Gaza Strip
7 September 2007

First Training Course completed for a Community Radio Station in the Birzeit Area  

As part of the European Commission's continued assistance and support to the Palestinian youth, the European Commission Technical Assistance Office today celebrated the end of the first training program for 12 Civil Society associations in the field of media.

With a total contribution of €339,699 in European funds, the Community Radio Station Project in the Birzeit area was officially launched on November 1st 2006 and will last a total of 36 months. The ultimate goals of the project are to strengthen the democratic process in the occupied Palestinian territory; empower young people and women; and help to transform attitudes towards dealing with conflict.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Ms. Fabienne Bessone, Head of the Social Sector at the European Commission Technical Assistance Office in Jerusalem, highlighted the project saying: "I was very impressed by the achievements of the project after only one year of existence. I believe that this community radio can make a very important contribution to the development of the Palestinian civil society, to strengthen the community links and to serve as a breathing space for young people to address the issues that matter to them."

Ms Qamar Husain, one of the course participants, said "This has been a wonderful experience. At the start of this project I was not sure what to expect but as I went through learning, I was amazed at how interesting and exciting it was. Volunteering here is great because you have a chance to give people a voice."

On his part, the Head of the Palestinian Youth Union, Moharram Barghuthi, expressed his appreciation of the role that the European Union is playing to support this project, which he described as an "important step as it covers a specific geographical area and is being run and managed by young people themselves."

This project is one of dozens funded under the European
Partnership for Peace Programme. Under this initiative, the European Commission provides on average €5 million per year to finance projects in the occupied Palestinian territory. The overall objective of the EU Partnership for Peace Programme is for the EU to work jointly with civil society organisations to build conflict transformation capacities within societies, in order to help re-create the conditions for re-launching the peace process and provide a solid foundation for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

For further information, please contact Ms Haifa Siam, at the Press and Information Section of the European Commission office in Jerusalem.

Tel: 02-5415888

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