CFTA in 25 years

The Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) was established in the south of the Gaza Strip in 1991 by five female activists from what was then known as the “Women’s Committee,” which, at the time, represented the five different political parties of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Despite their political differences, it was their aspiration, their mutual belief in independent thinking and the right of women to participate and be leaders, and their commitment to people’s rights that were the pillar stones of their success. The Culture and Free Thought Association officially took up its name in 1996 soon after the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, when it was registered as an NGO. Since then CFTA has been governed by a gender balanced board of directors who are elected by the general assembly every three years. 

Today, nearly 25 years since its establishment, CFTA’s programs have grown in directions we could never have imagined. We now work through five community centers to provide cultural, educational, health and well-being services designed to support the healthy development of individuals and communities. With two children’s centers, Al Shrouq Wal Amal Center (Sunrise and Hope Center) in Khan Younis Refugee Camp and Nowwar Educational Center in Baten Essamien neighborhood of Khan Younis, CFTA remains the only major Palestinian NGO in the southern Gaza Strip working directly with children between the age of 6 and 13. In addition, we have a center for adolescents, Bunat Il Ghad Center (Builders of the Future) and a Cultural Center in Al-Amal neighborhood, Khan Younis and a Women's Health Center in Bureij Refugee Camp.