Baladna was founded in 2001 by a group of young Palestinians committed to advancing the social, political, cultural, and economic rights of Arab Palestinian youth in Israel. Frustrated by a lack of outlets through which youth in the Arab Palestinian society in Israel could realize their transformative potential, they established Baladna as a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth to overcome discrimination and marginalization while advancing their individual and collective rights. Since its establishment, Baladna has touched the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinian Arab youth and remains the only independent youth organization in the Palestinian society in Israel operating at the national level. As a non-partisan organization, Baladna brings together individuals and groups from different political and social backgrounds, representing Palestinian Arab youth in all their diversity.
We believe that transforming the unjust reality facing Arab Palestinian youth demands a holistic response that addresses injustice at all levels. In addition to promoting a societal shift by fostering principles of equality, democracy, and human rights, Baladna works at the structural level, instilling in Arab Palestinian youth a deeper understanding of the intersecting societal and political conditions that have given rise to their marginalization, placing day-to-day challenges within a larger socio-political context. Accordingly, we organize youth around their immediate needs and priorities while supporting them to address the underlying structures and societal conditions precluding them from fulfilling their rights in the first place, both at the local level and the national level.
Baladna empowers Arab Palestinian youth to fulfill their role as the arbiters of a more just, equitable, and democratic future by:
- Organizing and activating youth groups at the local and national level
- Empowering youth at the individual level by building their capacities in communication, critical thinking, time management, and other individual skills
- Enhancing understanding of identity, history, Palestinian rights, democracy, gender equality, and human rights among youth
- Strengthening the skills of youth in collective action, including advocacy, media outreach, community organizing, and networking
- Organizing campaigns on political and social issues and the needs of youth
- Developing resources, knowledge, and strategies to understand and address the needs of youth
- Organizing workshops, seminars, study days, trainings, and tours