Ibtikar for Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship is a Palestinian Youth-led NGO that was established in 2019 in Bethlehem-Palestine. Ibtikar offers innovative youth programs, corporate training sessions, consulting services to foster social innovation and entrepreneurship in the community, and promotes education for social innovation, on one hand. On the other side, Ibtikar develops educational based programs for teachers and students to inspire their educational atmosphere for a better qualitative one. Strategically, Ibtikar aspires to contribute to enabling Palestinians to use their creativity to respond to social issues and contribute effectively to building a fairer, more caring, and equal society.
At Ibtikar, we focus on empowering and supporting teachers, students, young people and women to realize their potential as social innovators, change makers and entrepreneurs; giving them the skills needed to tackle the social issues they face in their communities. Ibtikar believes that young people must lead the way in making the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals a reality, and each of Ibtikar’s projects is a powerful tool to accelerate progress towards these goals. Inspired by the strategy of “Leaving No-One Behind” and in response to COVID-19 schools interruptions, Ibtikar has developed a year-long project of “Learning Loss recovery”.
COVID-19 has affected all aspects of our lives. It was clear that self-isolation and physical distancing are key strategies in ‘flattening the curve’ of new coronavirus infections. Consequently, schools buildings across the world had been closed. In most of the Palestinian schools, teachers and school leaders have stepped up to the challenge of distant learning with very little or no preparation and often without access to technology, especially for students.
Through “Learning Loss Recovery”, which was launched last February with the generous support of “KinderUSA”, Ibtikar started delivering an after school Individualized education program to support the recovery of the academic and wellbeing loss of dozens of students from Bethlehem Governorate and the suburbs, in particular the less served areas and mostly affected by the separation wall and in area C.
These educational and wellbeing sessions are delivered by 15 university students (of related educational field areas) who study at Palestinian Universities in Bethlehem area. These students recieved a 20-hour training program that couples with their educational backgrounds to ensure the delivery of a qualitative intervention with the mentioned elementary school students. Students will also be engaged in recreational and enrichment activities in an environment that encourages building positive relationships with peers and teachers. The university students in return receive scholarships to aid them under the huge economic burden of the Covid-19 lockdown and its consequences.
We believe that education for social innovation and equally accessible qualitative education engenders wellbeing amongst young people and the whole Palestinian community and helps building a strong nation that is more inclusive, empathetic, and connected. Ibtikar for Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship is a young institution with all what it means, taking baby steps, slowly but surely, towards a better future for all.