The CFTA Cultural Center is a community-based center established in 1997 with the aim of celebrating Palestinian cultural heritage while encouraging contemporary cultural production and fostering creative, critical engagement in community. The center is an open space for young people over 16 years, employees of community, civil society and governmental organizations, as well as artists, educators and intellectuals of all ages to engage in imaginative exploration, cultural exchange and artistic production. Center activities focus particularly on issues of concern to young people and encourage young people to create meaningful opportunities for engaging in both personal development and positive change in their communities.

The Center is open from 8 am to 3 pm, five days a week. The Center’s cultural program offers a wide range of opportunities for exploration and skills development in the fine and plastic arts, folk art, music and media. The community mobilization program regularly engages some 1,600 young people in youth-led cultural and community development initiatives. The Center’s youth-run on-line community radio station is followed by thousands of listeners throughout the Arab World.  The Center also regularly organizes art exhibitions and cultural festivals.

Highlights in 2014

·         "Radio Clackit” broadcasts 8 hours per day and reaches 5,000 listeners daily. It was launched in 2013 by twenty-five youth (female and male) who sought a platform for youth to express their view and opinions to a wide audience. Young people built the modest radio studio using recycled materials and designed its operating system from a small, old computer, a sound mixer, a sound card and a few microphones that were available at CFTA. The “Clackit” audience now extends well beyond the Gaza Strip to countries throughout the region.


·         "Out of Coverage,” a play written by a local Palestinian director, was performed by seven young people from the Center (6 males, 1 female) for over 800 people. The actors completed a 40-hour acting course prior to the performance. The play depicted an array of current issues affecting young Gazans including early marriage, internal political divisions and electricity cuts.


Our Approach

The CFTA Cultural Center’s mandate is to actively involve all stakeholders in their own development and well-being. It works closely with youth at risk and marginalized and disadvantaged communities using a participatory approach that helps the Center understand their needs and aspirations and, in doing so, offer them suitable opportunities.

The Cultural Center acts as an incubator providing skills development and coaching using active learning or “learn through doing.”  Using a rights-based approach, the Cultural Center is a place for youth to better engage with and  support their communities. In pursuit of an integrated approach to community participation, the quality of communication among various stakeholders and transparency and accountability at all levels of the Center and its services forms a major part of our approach.

The staff constitutes a team of professionals who bring their specific knowledge for a combined collaboration with the different stake holders. The staff members take on the role of a support team ensuring the smooth running of the center and its activities.  The synergy created and the exchange of experiences among staff, leaders, volunteers and specialists is vital for community involvement and individual participation, especially for youth. The joint collaboration of the various specialists permits them to widen their approach to their work and enrich the group as a whole by offering new solutions to problems brought by the community and youth. Moreover, this flow of information and experience among the staff and the stakeholders serves as input for advocacy actions on specific issues related to youth and the affected communities.