An Najah National University began outreach for the new mobile centre in July 2007. The aim was to extend the reach of the CSC, located in downtown Nablus, and counter movement and access restrictions that prevented residents from nearby towns and villages from accessing programs and services.
Its reach now extends deep into villages in the northern West Bank, where it makes advocacy programs and services accessible. The centre has launched satellite offices in cooperation with local town councils, organisations and volunteers in three central villages, Aqraba, Sabastia and Assira, that now aim to serve more than 10 surrounding villages. In one of the 3 villages (Acraba), the mobile centre assisted in the creation of a new local organisation focused on the development of rural areas.
The mobile centre’s ability to effectively enter communities quickly is due in large part to the visible impact and reputation of An Najah’s established CSC centre over the last 10 years in training and placing thousands of students in voluntary positions across Nablus each year. Many students, from these remote communities, are thus able to bring the opportunities from the centre to organize communities to advocate for and access their rights. Programs focus on the rights of women, children and the disabled, as well as supporting marginalized communities in advocating for improved living conditions.
PCAN - the Palestine Community Advocacy Network, is a new national organization in Palestine, founded by committed professionals with more than ten years of experience through ICAN in the field of rights based community practice (RBCP), which has been employed to develop several rights-based community practice centers across Nablus and East Jerusalem. They are working to expand the rights-based model in Palestine, building capacity and resources to create engaged citizens, bringing together academic institutions, professionals, local businesses and regular people to work together for community benefit, rooted in rights.
PCAN Executive Committee:
Executive committee member Dr. Sami Kilani recently published an academic book on the application of the RBCP model in Palestine:
This book has investigated the experience of the An Najah Community Service Center in Nablus, Palestine in adopting and implementing a rights-based approach to community practice. The CSC practices community advocacy in the framework of social work as an emerging profession in an emerging state, and in an environment characterized by political, social and economic instability.