About US

Aida Youth Center is located in Aida Refugee Camp, an area north of the West Bank city of Bethlehem. It was founded in 1968 with the main purpose of serving the local community – especially its children and youth. Today it represents a recreational hub that aims to improve living conditions for camp residents.

Our mission is to empower the youth to take a leading and creative role to serve the local community. We believe in holding the utmost values of responsibility and transparency, and that with everyone’s participation we can make creative, positive changes.

Read the latest updates of our work on the blog

Humanitarian Assistance

For years, AYC has contributed to the community through humanitarian and medical relief. The Center’s ongoing initiatives include relief packages for families containing food, household supplies, and sanitary products and for infants containing formula, diapers, and other necessities. During annual Eid holidays, the Center distributes meat to families in the camp and gifts for children. In addition, the Center helps to provide medicines for chronically ill patients throughout the year. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Center formed a volunteer medical relief team that continues to assist families affected by the emergency.

ADVOCACY

  • EXHIBITION

    INFORMATION CENTER

  • AIDA GALLERY

    INFORMATION CENTER

  • VISIT AIDA

    INFORMATION CENTER

  • RESEARCH AND COLLECTION

    ORAL HISTORY

About Aida Camp

Aida Palestinian Refugee Camp

Aida Refugee Camp was established in 1950 on land UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees) leased from the government of Jordan, with 1,200 residents. Today the number of refugees has increased to more than 5,500 people in an area less than 0,071 Sq Km.

The Camp is located between the municipalities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Jerusalem, in Palestine. It is partially surrounded by the Israeli separation wall, Israeli military base and seven watchtowers and is near Har Homa and Gilo, two large Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law. These factors, along with the constant military presence and the Camp’s proximity to the main checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, have made the Camp endure daily threats and collective punishment.

The Israeli Security Forces (ISF) make incursions into Camp often, threatening and terrorizing children and physically hurting residents. They use excessive physical force regularly according to their agenda.

The Aida Camp residents are refugees from 35 different villages and towns. The Israeli

Militias occupied those villages and towns in 1948, which were located between Jerusalem and Hebron. After many massacres, they expelled the people and demolished their houses.

The refugees in Aida Camp are suffering from crucial issues: Israeli Force violations and excessive power against the residents, housing crises, poverty, high unemployment rate, insufficient infrastructure, water shortage, lack of recreational places, and the overcrowded area.

«My home still stands in the village of Dayr Aban. I have kept its key, hoping that my grandchildren will open the lock one day.»
Abbas Esdouk

ART & CULTURE

We believe that Art is an individual unique space, for search, experimenting, and expression. We assume our responsibilities of creating a creative environment that surpass our reality restrictions.

Art and culture program in Aida center  embraces an extended variety group of participants( children, teenagers, and youth) from Aida and beit jebreen  Palestinian refugee camps, and provide them with the tools and experience to improve their cognitive  creativity.

Visual Art Studio

Music and Acoustics

Performance Art

EDUCATION

AFTER SCHOOL

This part of eduction program is an urgent need that started in 2017, due to the disorder of education quality and the  lake of capacity in UNERWA only school in the camp. children from  GRADE one to GRADE four take a daily math, arabic, and English classes to keep up with the formal education.

WONDERING TO AMAZEMENT

Coming soon

 

Wondering to Amazement
how it all began.

Project in process 

CREATIVE HUB

Coming soon 

 

Creative hub is where our education’s children arrange their initiatives, and exhibit their creation.

SOCIAL HUB

established in 2017, in partnership with Palestinian Association for empowerment and local development ( reform ), to be a common space that create a network for Palestinian activists, artists, and intellectuals to work on their initiatives without social, and political restrictions. Social hub is convenient and appropriate for freelancers, meetings, and youth activists. With a good wifi, computers, workspace, and soft drinks.

Hosting  is a monthly event,

that present Palestinian researchers, artists, social and political activists, to local society. taking our responsibility of disseminating Palestinian knowledge, cultural, and artistic products, and experience.

SOCIAL AFFAIRS

A social wellness community, where individuals, and groups, with all their variations. Where alltheir needs, ambitions, could be achievable and supported. Requires a persistent actions,particularly a community that stand up to oppression of Israeli military, and inferiority
This program is based on intersectionality theory in its social campaigns, trainings, initiatives, and social therapy groups

SOCIAL WORKERS TRAINING

This section is designed for Bachelor social work students in Bethlehem universities. Students will be provided with the needed knowledge, and practice to improve their innovative social work methods.

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INITIATIVES

This section is where AIDA camp’s youth, volunteers, and social actors interact to treat different kind of social change, creating project that help them and society

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SOCIAL CAMPAIGNS

Social phenomena, with a negative or positive impact on our society, need an awareness, support, and struggle by all of us, we are all somehow a social actors, how we could achieve superior life, make our future together Our social campaigns targeted particularly the people in aida camp

VOLUNTEERS’ FEEDBACK

    ASSALA – AUSTRALIA
    ASSALA – AUSTRALIA

    Volunteers

    “July 2018 I embarked on a volunteering Journey to Palestine. My volunteering work consisted of my role as a student social worker at Aida Youth Center. I was volunteering in the area of youth work, community work and counselling. It was direct work with the children, youth and adults from Aida Refugee Camp and surrounding camps. The team at the Center were great to work with and were open to ideas and had an emphasis on team work. My volunteering journey at the AYC was a transformative insightful experience and was a vital way in contributing to the Palestinian community. “

      JAN – CZECH
      JAN – CZECH

      Volunteers

      “Volunteering in Aida camp was simply nothing less than a life changing experience for me. It opened my eyes in many ways and I learned not be an egocentric person but rather to see and empathize with needy people around me. In Palestine I was strongly motivated to understand the situation of local people and be helpful to them to the best of my knowledge and abilities. Palestine became inseparable part of my life and I never stopped thinking and advocating for justice to Palestinians. Because of the unconditional support of my Palestinian friends I started writing articles in support of the Palestinian cause.”

        MOMTAZ – SINGAPORE
        MOMTAZ – SINGAPORE

        Volunteer

        “I had the honor of being a part of Aida Youth Centre during my three-week stay in Bethlehem, in February 2018. As part of the experience, I was assisting Ms Taghreed in teaching children English and Maths. Due to my terrible Arabic, a lot of this involved music, art or just play. When I remember my time with the children and Ms Taghreed, I always remember this one class that touched me deeply – sitting in a circle, we put our hands on the ground and thanked the land for all that we have. At that moment, I understood how the strong sense of Palestinian identity was cultivated over many generations. In mornings and evenings, I was assisting the centre manager, Anas, with research work. It was such a pleasure to know Anas. He is hardworking, smart, and very kind. He patiently endured my questions about life as a Palestinian, and his views about the current state of affairs. These are insights I will never receive from books or media. I believe that the time at Aida Centre has contributed to my growth as a more aware and compassionate human being, more than I have contributed to the centre. I look forward to being back there again, to return the favour that they have done for me!”

        MEMBERS’ REVIEWS

        “Aida Youth Center has always been like a second home for us. They have been there to celebrate our birthdays, and reward us when we have achieved good grades. I’ve always wanted to participate in the activities, which is the reason I now play music – and I never want to give that up.”

        ABOUD EL AMIR

        Member

        “We don’t have the same opportunities as other children. There is no park or garden we can go to, it’s not even safe for us in our own street and schoolyard. Therefore, I am happy that Aida Youth Center is here for us. It’s thanks to them that I have memories of being a child.”

        DIMA JOUDA

        Member

        “Aida Youth Center is where I experience my childhood. I’ve learnt to hope, dream and smile from them. Whenever I go there, I can finally feel safe enough to have fun. I don’t know of anywhere else where we can fearlessly play, learn and spend time together.”

        MALAK ABU AKAR

        Member

        Our Blog

        Latest Blog & Articles

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        Summer Camp 2018

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        Right of Return

        Many of the refugees living in Aida Camp today, and throughout the rest of the Palestinian territories and in...