Ramallah, Palestine

2023-09-21 10:22:37

Forum of Expertise, a community-led active aging initiative that empowers seniors to thrive through voluntarism and life-long learning

Basic Data

Population size: 85,000
Population Growth Rate(%): 2.00
Surface Area (sq.km):19
Population Density (people/sq.km):4,474
GDP Per Capita(U.S.S):3,789.3
GINI Index:0.33
Main Source of Prosperity: Trade and Tourism

"Forum of Expertise" is an innovative community center in Ramallah that is dedicated to enriching the lives of older people by providing a space for social activity, engagement and wellness. It provides four core programs: a cross-generational platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise; a tailored process for voluntary engagement; a targeted capacity-development program; and comprehensive well-being programs that cater for every aspect of older people’s lives.

The Forum creates a physical space that is accessible to all. This allows for formal and informal gatherings, thus fostering growth, with the overall aim of addressing social isolation among older people. A range of programs are created with the community. The Forum has adopted a decentralized structure that involves the community in decision-making, supervision, and evaluation, alongside regular feedback loops to enable ongoing and continuously evolving processes and sets of strategies.

The Forum's efforts exemplified the power of creativity and adaptability in times of crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum responded to the challenges of isolation with a series of innovative online initiatives. These included a documentary program of 35 episodes, each featuring a Palestinian musician exploring diverse musical styles and traditions. Additionally, the Forum conducted 18 in-depth interviews with experienced creative writers, providing insights into their journeys. These programs were made available on line and on YouTube, reaching a wide audience and fostering engagement among the elderly during the lockdown.