The European Union and Young Entrepreneurs Palestine launched a new youth initiative “Yalla Shabab” that includes several activities in partnership with Palestinian youth in the West Bank and Gaza such as lectures at Palestinian universities about the current affairs, volunteer days, cultural activities, and a reporting competition on water issues for young Palestinian journalists, an EU press release said Monday.

On Friday, around 100 Palestinian and European young volunteers joined the youth of Beit Surik village southeast of Jerusalem in painting the elementary school at their village. The volunteers painted classrooms inside the school and the walls of adjacent playground. This activity was the first in a series of activities that will be implemented in the next two months in other locations across the West Bank and Gaza.”Yalla Shabab is an exciting initiative not only because it is planned, organised, and implemented by youth but also because Palestinian and European youth work together on voluntary activities in Palestine.” said John Gatt-Rutter, the EU Representative. “We are looking forward to the visits to Palestinian universities and to meeting with students to hear their concerns and explore their vision for the future.”

Between March and June, “Yalla Shabab” initiative will organise volunteer days in a number of Palestinian rural communities and villages across the West Bank. The initiative will include the holding of political seminars at Palestinian universities and information days about studying in EU countries. A reporting competition will be launched at the beginning of April targeting media students and fresh graduates who will compete for the best written article and best short documentary about water in Palestine.