Cover Story

Shapers aid Palestine

November 22 - November 28, 2023
Gulf Weekly Shapers aid Palestine
Gulf Weekly Shapers aid Palestine
Gulf Weekly Shapers aid Palestine

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

One of the kingdom’s inspirational youth groups seeking to bring about real change in the community and around the globe has joined a caring campaign to support those in need in Palestine during these horrific times.

The Budaiya Hub, under the Global Shapers Community, is an initiative of the World Economic Forum dedicated to empowering youth who aspire to make a positive transformation in the community.

“We believe that every young individual is a change-maker in their own right, and has the potential to be a catalyst for change in their own unique way,” Budaiya Hub curator Narjes Khalil told GulfWeekly.

The group, founded in April 2022 as part of a three-month incubation programme by Hashem Almusawi, officially started work in July 2022. It is currently made up of 22 active members, aged 19 to 28, who are working together to raise awareness about the Palestine cause and ways people can support the war-hit in Gaza.

At least 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 5,600 children and 3,550 women, by unrelenting Israeli bombardment in Gaza. It followed Hamas’ cross-border attack on October 7 in which 1,200 Israelis were killed and 240 taken hostage.

The United Nations says two thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been made homeless.

“Being change-makers, we are actively using our platform to raise awareness about the situation in Palestine,” added Narjes.

“As a response to the crisis, Shapers across the globe initiated an urgent ‘Shapers4Palestine’ community, sharing media of what’s happening and discussing ways that we as civilians can support or help.”

They joined ‘Shaper Aid’, a collaboration with Anera Organisation who are mobilising resources for emergency relief.

“It’s a Global Shapers cross-hub collaboration, uniting hearts and resources to raise funds for crucial humanitarian aid,” Narjes continued. “Shaper Aid partnered with Anera because it’s an international non-profit organisation with 55 years of experience in Palestine, mobilising the aid directly on the ground. We believe it is our human responsibility as global communities to take action.”

Donations made, starting from BD15 ($40), will help provide hygiene kits for displaced families, food aid for a five-day nutrition, as well as medical supplies, which Narjes says they need the most.

“Currently, the funds and donations are going to provide immediate relief including hygiene kits, meals and medical supplies,” she explained. “You can donate directly through Shapers Aid or Anera’s platform, links for which can be found on our Instagram.

“Follow the Shaper Aid Instagram account, donate what you can and share the links to spread the word. We need a variety of actions, and donating and sharing resources is one of the many that we can take.

“Anera is also advocating for opening of humanitarian corridors to ensure the aid gets in and they are open to hear suggestions on other ways to contribute and volunteer.”

The Budaiya Hub is also involved in an array of projects. Their members recently attended the Shape MENA event in Abu Dhabi where 62 countries from across the globe came together to discuss a greener future for a ‘Sustainable Arabia’.

The ‘Find us at the Park project’, which kicked off in February this year, has also grown to support UN-Habitat’s National Wide Parks Assessment project and engaged more than 45 volunteers who are putting in the work to assess Bahrain’s parks.

“Our shapers have also recently received certification as Climate Fresk facilitators and conducted workshops on how climate change works, empowering citizens to take effective action in collaboration with the Bahrain Science Centre for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Manama Hub,” said Narjes.

“Additionally, the Budaiya Hub, in collaboration with the Bahrain Science Centre for SDGs and the Manama Hub, also hosted the Local Conference of Youth in Bahrain for the first time in October this year.”

Other exciting projects include ‘Sprout’, a mentorship programme that enables youth to develop skills for careers in sustainability.

The Budaiya Hub has also collaborated with General Electric to donate used laptops to AlEker Charitable Society on International e-Waste day and will be sharing their upcoming ‘Friends of the Hub’ community in the near future.

“We encourage all youth to reach out to us, we simply share different ways we can commit to make this world a better place,” added Narjes.

For details, follow @budaiyahub on Instagram.

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