JCAN - Jerusalem Community Advocacy Network - is a Palestinian non-profit civil society organization operating in East Jerusalem. The body currently operates two storefront community service centers (Altour and Kufr Aqab) in the most marginalized and disadvantaged areas of the city. In response to the urgent need for community based advocacy in East Jerusalem, JCAN was established in 2009 by a group of dedicated professionals.
JCAN’s primary mission is to empower the marginalized in East Jerusalem to access their rights and entitlements and to negotiate the complex bureaucratic procedures that control the flow of these rights.
Knowing the community and planning with a long-term vision in mind are central values of JCAN. The short-term goal of the centers is to increase awareness of the rights of Jerusalemites and enable them to defend, protect and challenge policies in order to ensure those rights. This aim is directly related to JCAN’s vision of fostering the development of an empowered and aware community able to respond to its unique challenges.
Programs of the centers include:
- Legal Clinic
- Rights Education
- Literacy Classes
- Targeted Workshops
- Women Empowerment
Main Issues include:
- Jerusalem Residency
- Child Registration
- National Insurance
- Freedom of Movement
- Land Confiscation
- House Demolition
- Family Reunification
- Other Legal Issues
Because community networks are central to the strengthening of individual voices, and a broad range of ideas and skills help bring projects to fruition, JCAN has assembled a top caliber board, with Jerusalemite and other Palestinian figures in law, politics, advocacy and rights work, to help guide the growth of the centers.
As part of PCAN – the Palestine Community Action Network - JCAN has the support of a body of committed professionals with more than ten years of experience in ICAN's rights based community practice (RBCP) model, which has been employed to develop several rights-based community practice centers across the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A sample of JCAN's projects include:
- Workshops to explain Israeli laws and their impact on rights of East Jerusalem residents (4 legal session per month facilitated by our lawyers at each center). These workshops are designed to foster open discussion in communities about the importance of understanding the law and its consequences in an attempt to ensure East Jerusalem residents understand how to protect own rights.
- Awareness-raising workshops on gender-based issues resulting from unjust traditional practices in conservative communities. These workshops also provide opportunities to lobby against local decisions and to seek rights advocates from within the community.
- Social workers provide activities for women and children such as violence against women workshops, accessing rights and entitlement workshops, personal empowerment workshops, and other courses including Hebrew language courses and computer-literacy programs for children.
- Coordinating with other organizations to help conduct and implement other necessary activities.