In Their Words (and Lenses)
In 2009, UNICEF organised photography workshops for adolescents in Ramallah and Gaza with the goal of producing, for the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an exhibit of daily life in Gaza and the West Bank, through the eyes (and lenses) of adolescents. The workshops and exhibit were intended to breathe life into Articles 12, 13, and 31 of the CRC that are related to freedom of expression and participation. The powerful images capture the often grim reality surrounding children and adolescents in the occupied Palestinian territory, but they also attest to their spirit. To view photoessays of their work, visit:
Against the Odds
A 2009 evaluation of the AFS programme in the West Bank showed evidence of self-reported behavioural change on the part of adolescent participants and their parents, and broader benefits on the community and programme partners. Focus group discussions pointed to improved academic performance, increased self-confidence, and a reduction in violence.
A Space to be Young
At the Burj Al-Luq Luq Social Centre in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, UNICEF supports an adolescent friendly space (AFS) that offers teenagers much needed opportunities to catch up with their school work, learn critical life skills, and most importantly perhaps – a safe space for the young to be young.
To view a photo essay on Burj Al-Luq Luq, visit the UNICEF-oPt website at www.unicef.org/opt