LOCATION: Qalqilya Municipality, Qalqilya Governorate
The Qalqilya Society for Development was established in 2009 in response to several urgent problems. A Hamas-led municipal council had left the city and governorate of Qalqilya in crippling debt. Even after the people of Qalqilya voted Hamas out of office, the area faced serious brain drawn. The Qalqilya Society’s young and well educated founders formed the organization to provide social, cultural and educational services to the community’s youth. A 2010 Community Leadership Empowerment Program award enabled the newly founded organization to furnish its offices and set up a small computer lab for disadvantaged students. Demand for the center’s services increased sharply. The strategic planning process brought together Qalqilya Society board members, volunteers and the community at large, who struggled for several months to prioritize the organization’s goals. With its mission and vision clearly defined, the Qalqilya Society now offers inexpensive services to local students as part of a business model that identifies and reaches out to available local resources rather than rely solely on international donors to launch some of their programs and activities. The Qalqilya Society has shared its strategy with the community and secured contributions of money and volunteer work from trainers. Strong leadership, a clear plan and community support promise a good future for the Qalqilya Society for Development. The committee’s commitment and drive earned them the Community Leadership Empowerment Program’s Best Strategic Plan award for the northern partners.