Shoruq aims at defending and protecting the inalienable rights of indigenous Palestinian refugees, to act as a voice for Palestinian people, and demand implementation of their rights locally and internationally. Shoruq seeks to empower the most marginalized refugee groups who are affected by the Israeli occupation policies, and lack any social and legal protection in Occupied Palestine and host countries. Shoruq does this by developing their capabilities and empowering them to depend on themselves and the local resources.
Shoruq Organization was founded in 2012 in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Occupied Palestine. Shoruq’s vision, mission, objectives and programs are geared towards a political, social, cultural and economical prosperity and dignified life for all refugees in Occupied Palestine and the Diaspora, and empowering refugees in shaping a just solution and a better future for themselves and their offspring. Objectives • Advocating and lobbying for Palestinian refugees’ rights, representation and demands. • Empowering Palestinian refugees in utilizing multimedia to get their messages across. • Improving mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Palestinian refugees’ children, youth and women. • Providing legal assistance for Palestinian refugees, to facilitate litigation in their public interest, and offer aid for refugees who are in conflict with the law. And, • Ensuring Palestinian refugees’ participation in the local economy and development of their communities. Programs Shoruq endeavor to achieve its objectives through its three interwoven programs Media Program Shoruq set up an audio training and production center in order to serve the Palestinian refugees in Dheisheh Refugee Camp and beyond. The media program and center focuses in building a qualified team, and runs and houses training sessions on a range of topics including; media and journalism courses, sound recording, audio mastering, broadcasting, and folk and hip-hop music workshops. The training center is considered an integral part of our media program that incorporate video and photography programs in near future. The program aims to: • Develop the capabilities of refugee in media and exploit media outlets to support refugees legitimate short and long-term demands. • Establish grounds for formulation of leadership among Palestinian refugees. • Raise public awareness in Palestinian communities and on an international level about refugee issues. • Link and bridge Palestinian refugee communities with one another and with international human rights advocacy groups; • Build an electronic archive for refugee media resources developed by refugees. • Stimulate media research and education areas among Palestinian refugees. • Create tools for international cultural exchanges and education. Shoruq's media program provides children and youth with educational workshops and professional trainings to increase awareness of their rights and give them new tools express themselves to the world. Shoruq has a state-of-the-art audio recording studio with professional grade equipment, soundproofing, and isolation. This studio is one of a kind in Bethlehem area and one of the best in the West Bank. The recording rooms and the control room are both large in order to function as both a studio and a training site. Advocacy Program The main incentive for this program is to emphasize the blatant deprivation and denial of legal, civil, and political rights of Palestinian refugees in Occupied Palestine and Diaspora. Shoruq’s advocacy work is part of the Palestinian refugees’ insistence on their rights and works to raise the voices of refugees locally and internationally. Shoruq participates in several advocacy coalitions including the Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative, Palestinian Network for Children's Rights (which we coordinate in the Bethlehem governarate), the National Committee for Nakba Commemoration, and the Access to Justice working group. Shoruq has a debka dance troupe (traditional Palestinian dance) for children. Participants are trained in dance techniques that allow them to express their thoughts, opinions and national identity. Shoruq's heritage and media programs intersect with our music program, which trains children and youth in lyric writing, melody composition, and basic instruments. Palestinian refugee children and youth are creating new songs reflecting the realities of the refugee camp. The original music is then recorded in our media studio in order to distribute throughout the West Bank, Gaza and beyond. Socio-legal Support Program Shoruq has just conducted a needs assessment survey focusing on refugee children in conflict with PA law and is now poised to launch a holistic socio-legal support program for refugee children. The program: 1) Supports refugee children and youth from Bethlehem district who are in conflict with the law by providing pro bono legal aid and assistance, referrals to specialized services, and representation in individual cases and public interest litigation. We target children who have been charged with an offense, as well as witnesses or those who have filed complaints to ensure that their rights are respected. Shoruq also has a social worker who is be responsible for visiting the family of the child and explain to them the process that their child should go through, the right way to treat their child after the conflict and do an initial evaluation to decide whether the child needs to be referred for psycho-social treatment. 2) Offer individual counseling, anger management courses, and expressive therapy for children in conflict with the law (both PA and Israeli military) in order to help children to overcome the trauma and stigmatization. The services will also reduce recidivism in the case of PA law and school drop out rates. 3) Facilitate a children and youth-led awareness campaign for the refugee community on the legal and human rights of children and youth. Children and parents will be educated about their rights under local laws and international conventions which is the first step in helping them to demand implementation of their rights. 4) Participate in advocacy networks for reform in the Palestinian Authority's Juvenile Justice System. Shoruq also runs the Juvenile Justice Project which aims at reinforcing the best practices of the formal and informal justice systems towards the best interest of the child
What makes Shoruq Organization innovative?
Shoruq designs and implements its programs according to the needs of its target beneficiaries. Shoruq has innovates projects that involve the most marginalized and vulnerable groups of refugee children. For example, Shoruq has girl-focused projects that give girls the opportunity to participate in community actions, gain unique skills and raise up issues that other avoid to tackle. One of the examples is the hip hop group for girls which is the first of its kind that give the girls the opportunity to speak up and express, another project is Raising Youth Voices which is also for girls to get professional media training and produce media pieces that tackle issues related to their lives and the problems they face. Shoruq also designs pilot projects to build and implement bigger projects that serve the refugee community in general and children in particular. One of the examples is the Legal clinic which provides children with free unique and quality legal services in Bethlehem area.
How does Shoruq Organization measure impact?
Each project has a special mechanism for monitoring and evaluation which measures the impact of the implemented activities, finds solutions for challenges and gives recommendations for the next phases. Different measures are used for evaluation such as pre-post questionnaires, focus groups, statistics from social media and websites, etc.
How can supporters get involved?
Supporters can get involved in the design and the implementation of the projects. Supports can also give suggestions and link Shoruq with different organizations for cooperation and joint projects. In addition to involving Shoruq beneficiaries in international and local events and empowering them as well.