STRENGTHENING THE FAMILY AS PEACE ACTOR IN THE MIDDLE EAST (SFAPAME)

Applicant:          Madaba Cultural Association, R.A.

                    Kfar Etzion St 33. Jerusalem 93392

                    Tel. (972) (0)2-6724039

                    madaba.ca@gmail.com

Person responsible for the project:

          Lucy Alanís Marcos:            lucy_alanis@yahoo.com

                              Staff member of MADABA Cultural Association since 1996.

Project Owner:Madaba Cultural Association R.A.

Project Title: Strengthening of the Family as peace promoter in the Middle East Conflict

Project Description

The main aim of the project isto promote cross-community dialogue through communication and educational programs targeting families. Therefore, Madaba Association is planning to create a center for the study and counseling of families in the City of Jerusalem. This center will serve as a focal point of all the activities that will be implemented in Israel and Palestine.

We believe the conditions for a negotiated solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict start at the civil society level and will be defined by the direct civil society relationships and co-operation. To create effective, equitable and lasting cooperation tools between different social, political and religious groups it is essential to analyze and define their own identity parameters and the "other" perceptions and stereotypes. From our experience in this region since 1995, we consider that one of the most relevant institutions for all different religions coexisting in this area is the family. Therefore, we aim to enhance the role that families will have in creating a favorable social clime to a negotiated solution for this long conflict.

In a Globalized world and a Network society, the strategy to define self identity and other identity may be rebuilt. Society is made-up of social relations in respect to which human beings are both immanent and transcendent. So, society is still made by human beings, but increasingly it does not consist of them, since it is made-up more and more of social relations created by human beings. Such an approach makes it possible to revitalize the human dimension of making society more equitable and tolerant, despite the apparent de-humanization of contemporary social life. We consider family as a relational entity and we believe its role is extremely important in the creation of a just society.

We believe that the family environment is the first place where peace values must be defined and thought to the new generations. We aim to start the process by defining the relations and roles of the family members and relating them to the most basic and universal Christian values: Love, Respect and Solidarity.

The program will include a survey about identity, stereotypes, family conflicts and conflict resolution targeting families and community, using Case Studies techniques and methodologies, and adapting such tools to the socioeconomic and cultural reality of the region.Based in the result of such study different educational materials to be used at formal and no formal education systems will be designed. The intervention foresees, as well, training activities targeting educators, facilitators, families and community leaders. The training will focus on Conflict resolution and Family Orientation and will be supervised by experts with international experience, among these, experts from IFFD (International Federation for Family Development www.iffd.org, IFFD holds General Consultative Status with the United Nations) and other organizations.

The new trainees will be future trainers, moderators and counselors for new families and communities. This counseling work will be developed in the Jerusalem Center and through the parishes and other interested institutions as well. Other activities are planned, targeting children and youth within the families, such as summer camps, exchange visits, leadership programs for girls and bursary programs.

We foresee to create a friendly environment where families from different religion and backgrounds can meet, know each other, and build bridges of trust to future equal and long lasting neighborhood relations.

The implementing party will be Madaba Cultural Association. And also, Madaba will implement in Haifa those educational programs towards families both from Nazareth and Haifa, and in Bethlehem.

MADABA champions the fundamental role women play in the development of society and, since 1995, has organized tailored training and classes to address their needs. MADABA offers various activities for the personal development of women and girls, and is committed to fostering a spirit of professionalism and mutual respect. It seeks in this way to serve as a link to unite Jewish and Arabic women in an environment of friendship and tolerance. Its aim is to empower each individual, in their own specific circumstances, to contribute to society at large.

Amongst a gamut of events MADABA organizes seminars and evenings of conversation on topics of current interest in the different areas of knowledge; guided excursions of artistic, cultural and archeological interest, and sports activities.

We believe that the creation of the Family Center will ensure the growth and dissemination of Madaba´s activities, not only in Jerusalem but at a regional level, and will contribute to the strengthening of Christian and other families as promoters of peace values among society.

The spiritual activities offered to Christians and are entrusted to the Prelature of Opus Dei.

What has been done?

Since 1995, members from Madaba have been organizing Family Development programs for local and foreign women, Character Building sessions, and personal coaching in order to assist mother’s in their task of upbringing their children. But we realized the urgent need to reachout for couples counting on professionals in the field, nonexistent in the region. To begin, we contacted IFFD Spain in 2011 and thanks to their support, experts from Barcelona, Spain, travelled to Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem in order to hold two introductory intensive courses (May 2012 and February 2013) in Nazareth with local participants and from Jerusalem. These courses were aimed to introduce the couples into the program, establish a steering committee and begin training moderators. Parents requested more support for their role as educators and IFFD courses precisely answer this need by promoting unity and communication between parents and transmitting essential “know-how”. Therefore we need professional support and training new Family Enrichment Moderators until we can count on professional trainees to be able undertake the program in the local official languages (Hebrew and Arabic) in the region.

Madaba offers its staff and facilities for this first stage, but is quite limited and foresees the need in 3 or 4 years, in counting with independent premises for the Family Center. Nevertheless it requires a minimum of equipment and other needs to be fulfilled in order to continue with this project. Therefore, find herewith a financing plan.

Financing Plan: Please, see attached proposal.

Recommendation:This initiative is endorsed and recommended by the Regional Vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Jerusalem Mons. Joaquin Paniello