2018 at Madaa- Silwan…Camps, Workshops, Open Days, Tours … and a New Branch

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The year 2018 at Madaa Creative Center - Silwan was filled with various activities and events for children, youth and women. During the year, summer and winter camps were organized for all age groups. New courses have been opened; religious, social and national events were celebrated, as well as educational tours and recreational trips, in addition to pen days, workshops, participation in exhibitions and finally the opening of the fourth branch in the central district of Silwan.

Summer and winter camps for all age groups

Each age group at Madaa had a share of the camps it had established during 2018, including:

The Series of events “Enjoy the summer ... Have fun ... and Learn”

During the last year, Madaa organized the largest series of summer events under the title “Enjoy the summer ... Have fun ... and Learn” held at the Center's branches in the town. The events included several activities, including: The longest camp in the city of Jerusalem, “I love you, Silwan 12”, open days for popular games and sports, a cinema day and a day of “Tele Match” competitions, as well as many educational tours and recreational trips.

“I love you Silwan 12”

As every year, Madaa Center organized the summer camp “I love you Silwan” for the 12th year, this year's camp was marked as the largest and longest camp in Jerusalem, it included the age groups of “5-17” and was divided into several weeks, each week included the participation of a certain age group, and each week was divided into several different stations during which the child moved to.

The camp included many artistic, recreational and motor activities as well as handicrafts, music, and library events plus water game activities. In addition to motor and competitive entertainment events “Tele Match”. There were also Health Day activities, and identity and cultural workshops and workshops for psychological and social guidance. The camp was free of charge in light of the difficult conditions in which the people of Silwan go through. Each week, for each age group, was concluded with a recreational trip to the city of Jericho with the participation of parents, counselors and their assistants, as well as the women's group at Madaa Center. For the second consecutive year, Madaa set up “I Love You Silwan” camp in the center's branch in Batn Al Hawa in order to reach the largest number of beneficiaries.


For the First Time at Madaa - Silwan, A Women's Camp under the Title “Tomorrow will be More Beautiful”

In an innovative and new idea, the Center has set up a women's camp under the title: “Tomorrow will be More Beautiful”, which lasted for two weeks, with the participation of dozens of women from different villages in Jerusalem. The camp included a variety of activities and events such as motor and sport activities that broke the barriers between them, the activities brought back childhood memories to them. In addition there were relaxation sessions, yoga, and handicraft stations. There were also awareness sessions and workshops, the most prominent of which were: a health workshop about “breast cancer”, and a workshop entitled “How to act in an emergency”, another workshop was titled “Get to know yourself”. The camp included a tour to the village of Batir, which is located in the city of Bethlehem, during the camp; they also had another tour to the city of Nablus, where they had a tour of the old city, and of Wadi Al Bathan.


Youth Camp Held in the North of Palestine

This year was marked by the establishment of a camp for youth in the north of Palestine over the course of five days in partnership with the Palestinian Counseling Center. One of the most important goals of the youth camp is to break barriers, learn teamwork, confront fears and accept others, and to learn regulations and take responsibility, in addition to getting to know the villages of the north of Palestine. The camp included various activities such as bow and arrow, Tele match, hiking, and an activity to access the unknown. It also included many tours, such as a visit to the displaced village of Aqrat, and a visit to the Circassian village of Rihaniya, and a track in Banias stream; they also built tents in the plain of Hula, had a musical evening, a cultural evening and night trails. They also had a tour in the crocodile valley and a tour to the Grotto near the village of Damon. In addition they had water games at the beach, a tour of Qaws cave, climbing down ropes and a path in the Valley of Qarn and the Montfort castle as well as drama activities that summarized in sketches on teamwork, communication, success, failure, improvement and development.

Winter camp

At the end of the year, Madaa set up a winter camp for children aged 6 to 14 years old, where the children’s winter holiday was divided into days, each day carrying a particular topic which was applied in the four branches of the center at the same time, in order to allow the largest number of children to participate in different places of residence. The days were divided into: Cinema Day, Health Day, Mental Health Day, Cultural Day, and Sports Day.


Camping in the Lower Galilee

During last year a group of Madaa children participated in camping in the lower Galilee with the project “Big Brother”. The children received a number of workshops such as workshops on child protection, handicraft workshops, drama and life skills, as well as water games and they created a Palestinian wedding.

Open Days

Open Library Day for children and their mothers. The aim of the open day is to introduce the community to the library, to make use of the existing books, to integrate children with their families through various library activities, and finally to encourage children to read. The open day included several segments; firstly, introducing the library and the books that are in it, secondly, having Dabkeh performances, another segment was rap performances and a segment in which mothers read stories to their children. A mural was drawn by the children and their mothers, with slogans encouraging reading.

A Cultural Day entitled: “A journey through history” it included several educational stations including the station of history, the station of popular games, cultural competitions and more, in addition to a film about the history of Palestine, Dabkeh performance by Madaa group of the Dabkeh folk dance. Also there was a poem read by one of the participants about the Palestinian heritage. They made a large map of Palestine using cardboard, and put the children's finger prints on the map using the colors of the Palestinian flag.

Open days in the old city which have received a lot of interaction, appeal and appreciation by the audience. It was remarkable that the parents were enthusiastic about this type of activity, especially the fathers. There were remarkable competitions and contests between the children and the parents. The open days included several activities, such as face painting and Dabkeh performances for the beginner and advanced groups at Madaa Center which formed as support for these groups.

An open health day One of the main goals of the Open Health Day was to educate children about diabetes and to give them all the guidelines to prevent it. The day also included children making their own healthy dishes. In addition to an ambulance station, which was supervised by paramedics of the Association of Burj Al-Laqlaq, during which the children got to know the tasks of a paramedic and the importance of his role; the children also heard their heart beats, and were screened for diabetes.

Mother’s day Children at Madaa Center celebrated mother’s day by preparing gifts for their mothers, making special frames for mother's day using wood, butterflies and ribbons, and made greeting cards for her.

Women’s day on this day of the year, the Center organized an open day for women. It included many stations including a station for watching and discussing a film, a station to learn their rights, and a handicraft station. The open day was concluded at the Hakawati station, which was a corner that ran a series of influential stories that motivate women to cope with difficult circumstances, and teach them that the impossible does not exist. In addition, the staff distributed symbolic gifts to the women, which were mugs that had the Madaa logo printed on them and were filled with chocolates.

The Day of the Palestinian Prisoner The Center organized several events to commemorate this day to remind children of the Palestinian prisoners and to teach them about the suffering the prisoners go through. A film about the prisoners of Silwan was screened, and children talked about their imprisoned relatives. They then wrote the names of some prisoners they knew or heard about, and painted some expressive images that reflect the prisoners in the prisons and the meaning of imprisonment from the point of view of children.

Balfour Declaration Last year, the Center organized educational events on the subject of the “Infamous Balfour Declaration”, where the staff explained to the children about the fateful promise given to those who did not have, something they did not deserve. They also screened a short film summarizing the content of the letter written by Balfour in 1917 and discussed it with the children, in addition to making a mural with the words of the children about the Balfour Declaration.

Activities for the children of prisoners and martyrs

Madaa Center organized an event for the children of prisoners and martyrs in the presence of Mrs. Sawsan Ghaith from the Bridges of Love (Joussour Al Mahaba) group, where she brought a cake with phrases in support of the prisoners. In addition to fun activities carried out by the clown, in order to draw a smile on the faces of this group of children.


The Social and Psychological Department at Madaa Creative Center recently launched a series of workshops for children, youth and women, including:

Political violence is a subject from a series of liberating, preventive and curative workshops for a group of young people and their parents. Its main objective is to break the barriers between young people and their parents, particularly boys and young men who have been subjected to political violence such as house arrest, detention, house demolition, deportation or the martyrdom of a relative or friend.  

Life Skills and Youth Empowerment is a series of meetings for the youth group. Some of the objectives of the meetings are: “Self-management such as managing stress, time, control, relaxation, control of anger and social awareness, empathy, respect for others, managing conflict and forming relationships with peers in a positive way, and making decisions through logical and correct thinking, as well as being effective in society and building their trust properly.

A happy married life The objective of the workshop was to improve family relations, and to educate and guide women on the importance of a healthy marital relationship, and understanding between spouses. The meeting included activities, counseling and support for each woman.

Challenges facing young people and ways to address them to acknowledge the challenges facing the youth of the town of Silwan as a result of the constant and systematic political violence against them, and the internal psychological pressures that cause them to feel tense. The aim of the meeting was to give authority to psychological disorders, how to understand the external and internal challenges and to be able to solve and confront them, as well as to get rid of the anger that is caused as a result of these challenges.


Internet and adolescence is a workshop in which young men and their mothers participated in. The workshop included a variety of activities where participants were divided into groups and discussed stories related to the Internet and adolescence, in order for both “teenagers and mothers” to understand each other’s way of thinking and to give trust, but at the same time to be cautious about the dangers of the Internet.

Interrogation and arrest a legal workshop in which a group of young people participated, including those who were subjected to detention. The workshop was mainly legal information provided by lawyer Razan Al Jubeh on the rights of the detainee during the arrest and interrogation. The young men who have been arrested before and were participants in this workshop shared their different stories about the moments of arrest and interrogation.

Workshops on Violence, Rights and Traffic Accidents

The center in all its branches dedicated a day to talk about the phenomenon of violence and its impact on family and society in general. During which the children learned about the concept of violence and made banners with slogans to stop political and social violence. They also watched a film showing the effects of violence.

A workshop entitled “My rights” where the staff talked with children about the rights of a child under the international conventions, and another workshop on “traffic accidents and prevention”, to avoid risks, and reminded children how to cross the street safely, and the safe places to play away from the street.

New courses are open for all categories

During 2018, the Cultural Department opened several courses for children, youth and women including:

“Photography … Creative Writing … and Design” course is a comprehensive and intensive course where children learn the skills of photography, creative writing and design through the use of the program Photoshop.

Singing session where it opened at the end of last year, with the aim of honing the talents of children in singing, where they will establish a singing choir.

Educational courses including Arabic and English courses.

A series of “Adventure Trips” for the young aged 12-16 years, which is practiced by the sport of climbing in a specialized place in Ramallah which will last for four meetings, each meeting containing a different group

The purpose of these trips is to get to know the sport of climbing, and to practice it. It is also a challenging sport in which fears are faced.

A Reading Club for Women aims to encourage women to read in various fields of life and culture, and encourages mothers to read stories to their children.

A Computer Course for Women which aims to teach women the basics of computer use. Many women cannot use it or help their children use it, so the course was divided into beginner and advanced groups according to the levels of the participants.

Vocational Courses for Women where it was announced through an open day attended tens of Jerusalemite women, during which they explained new programs that were included in the Center's plans that will develop their skills or help them learn new skills that will be beneficial to them, and will enable them to develop themselves. The most prominent of these new courses is the course of “hair styling and the artistry of make-up”. It is worth mentioning that Madaa Center provides women with other vocational courses that have become a source of income for some women, some of which are the courses of sewing, accessories and handicrafts.

“Recycling Vehicle Tires” for Women held for women over the course of six months within handicrafts. The course was to teach women how to recycle vehicle tires for several uses including benches, closets, children's rooms, beds, plant pots and more.

While the old courses continued during the past year for all categories.


Educational tours and leisure trips

In 2018, children, youth and women of Madaa exited from the headquarters of the center went out to change their atmosphere through exceptional tours and excursions organized by Madaa Center.

A tour to the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem as part of the religious culture program. Madaa organized more than one tour this year for children and women to the Holy Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Mosque of Omar, the Mosque of Al-Buraq, and the Islamic museum.

A tour to Wadi Al-Qatlab and the village of Deir al-Sheikh the youth participated in the path and learned about the reality of the destroyed villages and the nature of life in these villages before people were exiled. The young adults were accompanied by the tourist guide, Khalil Sabri, who told them about the village. The youngsters visited the Mosque of Sultan Badr, which is the most important landmarks of the village where there is a large shrine for the Sultan and a big tomb for his family.

The village of Sataf and the displaced village of Soba each time a certain age group participated, and they learned about the history of the villages by walking through paths and tracks that were accompanied by a tour guide.

A tour to Ein Silwan A tour guide explained to the children about Ein Silwan. The children started asking questions. The tour included a group breakfast and swimming in Ein Silwan. The goal of the tour was to introduce children to Ein Silwan as it is an important landmark of the town. Ein Silwan is considered to be an ancient, cultural and historical place, dating back to five thousand years, and it is one of the oldest places recorded in the Islamic Waqf and that was in the reign of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan may Allah be pleased with him.

A tour to Nablus where children visited Al Bader Factory for soap where the factory manager explained how to make soap and talked about the materials used in manufacturing it and buying soap from the factory. During the tour they visited Ben Brik mill that helps carry on the heritage of ancestors. The most popular features that distinguish this place are a popular room adorned with traditional artifacts made of Palestinian craftsmanship, and the Clock Tower, which is an Ottoman-era archaeological tower in Nablus.

Recreational trips to the city of Jericho during summer camps.

Religious Events

Religious events during 2018 had a special nature at Madaa. Children with the participation of their parents celebrated through the organization of celebrations dominated by a religious spirit done to emphasize the commemoration of religious events in the hearts of children, including Adha and Fitir Holidays, the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the holy month of Ramadan, and the Islamic New Year. The ceremonies included many activities such as a performance by Scouts, reading verses from the Quran, religious songs delivered by the children; face painting, dedicating part of each celebration to talk with children about the religious occasion, theatrical dialog in which children presented religious information in a simplified way, in addition to the clown's activities that always add a distinctive flavor to the celebrations, competitions and distributing prizes for winners, and children volunteered to distribute sweets to passers-by on the Wadi Hilweh Street in the town in the religious celebrations.

In the holy month of Ramadan, Madaa's branches were filled with children, who visited every day.  Each branch devoted a day of the holy month to gather the children and talk to them about a particular topic related to the month, some of the topics included: “Taraweeh prayer, Ramadan cannon, mascara, food preferred during breakfast and suhur, the importance of suhoor, reading the Quran, the Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem during the month of Ramadan and more.”

Participation in exhibitions and celebrations

Handmade Products Exhibition At the Mount of Olives Club in the village of Al Tur, the women of Madaa participated in a collection of handicrafts that they learned and made during the courses offered by the center, such as embroidery, accessories, perfumed soap, traditional foods and sweets.

Madaa Dabkeh Folklore Group performance participated in the opening of “Bab Al-Amoud” exhibition in Nablus, where they presented a Dabkeh show dancing to Palestinian popular songs.


Celebrating the achievements of children that have been trained in the various courses offered by the Center from Dabkeh, Rap, Aikido and more, the celebration was attended by parents of children who came to support their children and to see their achievements at the center.

Closing Ceremony of Summer Events the ceremony included a tribute to the students who succeeded in high school, in addition to Dabkeh performances, scouts, rap, musical and theoretical performances, in the presence of a number of partners and supporters.

“Arab Idol” Winner Yacoub Shaheen’s Visit

The surprise from Madaa for its children last year was the visit of the Palestinian artist and “Arab Idol” winner, Yacoub Shaheen to Madaa Creative Center- Silwan, as the United Nations Children's Fund Goodwill Ambassador for “UNICEF”. The staff of Madaa Center organized a tour in Silwan for the Palestinian artist Shaheen and the UNICEF delegation accompanying him, during the tour they learned about the living conditions of its residents in general and the living conditions of its children in specific.


“Awnah” (help) Project for Harvesting Olives

An initiative to clean the Park

Drawing on the walls initiative

Ball activities throughout the last year there were regular practice sessions at the Academy of football, which takes place at the grass playground of Silwan School with the participation of tens of players from the neighborhoods of the town of Silwan, especially the ones born between the years 2002 and 2010. The training is supervised by the sports supervisor Nihad Siam and the technical director of the academy, Nasser Abassi and the coach Nitham Abu Ramooz. The Academy has played many friendly games and participated in tournaments with the goal of mingling and gaining experience.

The opening of Madaa’s fourth branch, in the central neighborhood of Silwan so the services of Madaa can reach the largest possible segment of the people of the town of Silwan. The branch was opened after consultations with the people of the region, about the need for a place for children in the absence of recreational facilities and playgrounds in the neighborhood, just like other neighborhoods in the town.”

It is worth mentioning that Madaa Creative Center - Silwan was established in 2007 at its headquarters in Wadi Hilweh in the town of Silwan, in 2016, the second branch was opened in the neighborhood of Ein Al Loza in the town, in the same year, the third branch was opened in Batn Al Hawa neighborhood in Silwan.

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