Background

The Palestinian society is rich with its grass root civil society organizations that have historically been key to its steadfastness and development. These organizations have played major political, developmental and humanitarian roles for many decades.

In the social sector, Palestinian civil society organizations have played a major role in providing social assistance and services to the Palestinian people. These include organizations created to attend to the disadvantaged; the physically challenged, the elderly and the orphaned.

Others were established to cater for children, including kindergartens. Yet, others came about as productive sector organizations or cooperatives bringing people together and enabling them to make a living by producing and marketing different kinds of goods.

In addition, Palestinian youth and sports clubs have been key in providing space and activities for young men and women ensuring more rounded upbringing and providing venue for the youth to socialize, recreate and become more active members of society.

Furthermore, the impact of Palestinian civil society organizations in the education and healthcare sectors is most prominent. Leading civil society organizations continue to be cornerstone of Palestinian higher education and tertiary healthcare, in addition to providing preventive and primary healthcare in rural Palestine.

Today, these organizations continue to play a vital role in Palestinian social development and in providing services to the population.
Preschool and kindergarten education in Palestine, a cornerstone in childhood development, is almost exclusively provided by Palestinian charitable organizations, in addition to some in the private sector. The role of the Palestinian government in this sector is quite limited.

Similarly, major provisions for the disadvantaged continue to be delivered by the civil society with minimal governmental involvement. Additionally, youth related services continue to be provided by local organizations with minimal government support.

The productive sector organizations and cooperatives, especially in rural Palestine and within the urban poor, continue to provide opportunities for families to make a living income.

Therefore, FFP has developed a civil social sector program with the aim of supporting organizations providing key social services, including productive sector organizations. The program is focused on five types of organizations including those providing kindergartens, dealing with the disabled, working with the elderly and orphans, providing youth services, and those operating in the productive sector. The program will be implemented throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

It is to be noted here that organizations involved in healthcare and education, other than preschool and kindergartens, are included in other programs.

Strategic Objectives of the Program

The strategic objective of this program is to empower civil and charitable organizations to enable them to provide better social services.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the FFP Civil Social Sector Program include the following:

i. Improve Environment of kindergartens.
ii. Improve environment and services to people with disabilities.
iii. Enhance quality and sustainability of elderly housing and orphanages.
iv. Enhance sustainability of productive sector organizations/co-ops.
v. Improve quality of youth services.

Interventions, Benefiting Organizations and Costs

The strategic interventions adopted by FFP to achieve the defined specific objectives include the following:

i. Improve kindergarten environment
FFP will work to improve the kindergarten environment through the following interventions:

I. Build or renovate kindergartens: The FFP kindergarten program will provide for the rehabilitation or the building of kindergartens to enhance the environment for the children and to provide better access.
II. Provide kindergarten teacher training and materials: Kindergartens in Palestine suffer from lack of properly trained teachers and curricula. FFP is keen on intervening strategically to enable better equipped teachers at the kindergarten level.

Beneficiary Organizations and Costs

FFP civil social service program intends to invest $3 million over the next three years to support the rehabilitation or building of 20 kindergartens, in addition to providing kindergarten education material and training of 40 teachers.

ii. Improve environment for people with disabilities

To improve the environment for people with disabilities, FFP will invest in the following interventions:

I. Renovate or expand existing rehabilitation centers: FFP interventions in renovating and expanding existing rehabilitation centers is intended to make them more functional to people with disabilities. In addition, the interventions related to expanding existing centers are intended to increase the capacity for providing more access and services to more people.
II. Improve building accessibility for people with disability: This component of the program is intended to improve accessibility of buildings and facilities to the physically challenged. The program will focus on public buildings and will include provisions for ramps, adaptation of toilets amongst others. 
III. Provide support equipment to the disabled: This support is intended to provide support equipment to the challenged to allow them to become more independent and provide some relief to their families.
IV. Use alternative energy technologies to reduce operating costs: Interventions with solar energy are intended to reduce the operating costs, related to electricity and heat in centers providing services to the disabled making them more sustainable.

Beneficiary Organizations and Costs

FFP civil social service program intends to invest $6 million over the next three years to provide 3,000 challenged individuals with support equipment. Further, FFP intends to use part of the fund to rehabilitate or expand 10 service organizations, and to provide 10 organizations with solar power, in addition to adapting 30 buildings to make them accessible.

iii. Enhance quality and sustainability of elderly housing and orphanages
FFP interventions to enhance the quality and sustainability of elderly housing and orphanages include the following:

I. Equip, renovate or expand existing centers: FFP interventions involving equipping, renovating and expanding existing elderly housing centers and orphanages are intended to improve the environment in these centers making them more comfortable to the elderly and orphans. In addition, the interventions related to expanding existing centers are intended to increase the capacity for providing access and services to more people.
II. Adapt buildings to alternative energy technologies: Interventions with solar energy are intended to reduce the operating costs, related to electricity and heat, in centers providing services to the elderly and orphans to make them more sustainable.

Beneficiary Organizations and Costs

FFP civil social service program intends to invest $2 million over the next three years to rehabilitate or expand 5 service organizations, and to adapt 5 organizations with solar power.

iv. Enhance competitiveness and sustainability of productive sector organizations

To enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of productive sector organizations, FFP will implement the following interventions:

I. Renovate, build or equip facilities: These interventions are intended to support the development of productive sector organizations to enhance their productivity and improve the quality of their products. In addition, some interventions are intended to provide productive sector organizations or cooperatives with the space required to enable their production activities.
II. Adapt facilities to alternative energy technologies: Interventions with solar energy are intended to reduce the operating costs for productive sector organizations to make them more competitive and sustainable.
III. Improve marketing and export potentials: With these interventions, FFP intends to support smaller cooperatives or productive sector organizations to become more competitive. Whether through the development and implementation of an agglomeration plan for marketing and export, or through provision for technical assistance, FFP interventions will provide a vehicle for small-size organizations to be more competitive.

Beneficiary Organizations and Costs

FFP civil social service program intends to invest $3 million over the next three years to rehabilitate or expand 5 service organizations, and to provide 5 organizations with solar power, in addition to providing support to 5 organizations to enhance their competitiveness.

v. Improve quality of youth services

To improve quality and services for the youth, FFP interventions will include the following:

I. Develop or rehabilitate sports facilities: Aside from the proven impact of sport activities on the well being of the public, sport centers provide avenues for young men and women to recreate and better utilize their free time. Given the limited availability of facilities serving the youth in Palestine, FFP intends to support the development of these facilities by building new ones, or improving the physical environment of others.
II. Equip sports facilities: Aside from building and rehabilitating sports facilities, many of the existing facilities lack equipment. As such, FFP believes it to be important to provide equipment to ensure that such organizations are able to provide the services needed.
III. Adapt facilities to alternative energy technologies: Interventions with solar energy are intended to reduce the operating costs, related to electricity and heat, for youth organizations to make them more sustainable, and to enable their operations during the colder seasons.

Beneficiary Organizations and Costs

FFP civil social service program intends to invest $15 million over the next three years to support youth related organizations. It will use the funds to develop or rehabilitate 10 sports facilities, equip 10 facilities and adapt 10 facilities to solar power.

Projects