OneVoice’s Youth Leadership Development program, which was launched in November 2004, has become the heart of the Movement. To date there are over 3100 Youth Activists that have been engaged by the training program and 1800 that have been fully trained. They make up the human infrastructure and engine of the OneVoice Movement.
The vision for the Youth Leadership Program is to empower and train youth, both Israeli and Palestinian, to lead their communities and people through non-violence and discourse, OneVoice is harnessing its grassroots momentum to create a new generation of activists and leaders who embody a culture of understanding and tolerance and who have the tools to lead in their communities.
Hundreds of these Youth Activists, as OneVoice ambassadors, are charged with implementing OneVoice’s programming under the supervision and with the support of the OneVoice professional staff. They are the engine driving all projects; their volunteerism allows OneVoice to maximize its limited resources and have a deep transformative impact across many cities, villages, and refugee camps where its young leaders operate. In addition to conflict resolution and non-violent alternatives, their training also includes general topics about what it takes to be a successful leader, how to influence an audience, public speaking skills, media relations skills, public organization and mobilization, and more.
This year, OneVoice created an advanced track for training and empowerment that will enable the Israeli and Palestinian Youth Activists to adopt more ownership in strategy and program development. The Advanced Youth Leadership Development Program trains the best and brightest young Israelis and Palestinians in the art of public speaking, team development and grassroots organization. Intensive and ongoing training workshops empower and equip Youth Leaders to go out and recruit others and spread the message of personal responsibility and using non-violent means to address the conflict.
Youth Leaders are selected through an arduous application process and trained within their Palestinian or Israeli communities, starting at a local level.
The training is made up of a curriculum that includes:
Moreover, in both Israel and Palestine, independent Youth Councils have been formed which are made up of self elected representatives from each of the 8 districts in the West Bank and all of the major Universities in Israel. This body will serve as the governing board for all youth related activities. They will be provided with modest grants and stipends to run local activities which they are responsible for conceiving and executing. This level of empowerment is fundamental for the evolution, expansion and growth of the OneVoice Movement. More and more ownership is being transferred to the people on the ground, imbuing them with the understanding and vision that they must play a role in resolving this conflict.