The Government of Germany and UNDP Open Basketball Playground for Youth in East Jerusalem

May 25, 2017

Basketball match during the inauguration by Al Burj Girls Basketball team

East Jerusalem, 25 May 2017 – The Federal Republic of Germany, through its German Development Bank KfW, the Islamic Development Bank, Burj Al Luq Luq Social Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/PAPP), inaugurated a basketball playground at the Burj Al LuqLuq Social Centre for youth in the old city of Jerusalem.

Mr Bernd Kuebart, Deputy Representative of the German Representative Office underlined in his speech the importance of sport and leisure for young Palestinians: “Sport is an important factor for children’s development. East-Jerusalem and specifically the old city lack facilities for children to do sport, to experience and expand their potential and just to be children. Sport decreases as well the potential for radicalization among young Palestinians. This is why this public space is of the uttermost importance.”

The rehabilitation and expansion of Burj Al Luq Luq basketball playground was funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, through its German Development Bank KfW, for the amount of USD 87,000, and implemented by UNDP/PAPP was under phase ten of the Employment Generation Programme.  The project targets around 3,100 male and female youth from the old city of Jerusalem and aims at creating an enabling environment for them to practice sports and enhance their capacities.

Mr Muntaser Edkaidek, Executive Manager of Burj Al Luq Luq highlighted “As a charitable organization located at the heart of the old city of Jerusalem, we aspire to positively influence the lives of children, youth, women and the elderly who come daily to the centre, to escape from oppression and deprivation, to benefit from our academic, recreational, sports and social programmes”.  

The project, generating around 326 workdays, comprised of rehabilitation works for the basketball playground with total area of 1113m2, including tiling around the playground (area = 429m2) as well as storage and office space. It is worth noting that the Government of Germany has funded, through KfW and executed by UNDP/PAPP, over 731projects in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip through its Euro 91.9 million Employment Generation Programme (EGP), generating over 1.2 million workdays and thousands of permanent jobs.

In addition to the playground, and with funds from the Islamic Development Bank reaching approximately USD 95,000 over a period of four years, UNDP/PAPP and Burj Al Luq Luq have been able to implement critical community based interventions including support to the drug awareness campaign in East Jerusalem. The campaign targeted students and youth across the Jerusalem governorate, where four support groups were created, more than six workshops were held, a training manual was produced, and sports and cultural activities are still ongoing.

Furthermore, two phases of the Juthur project were supported, targeting around 90 youth; 43 females and 47 males, in more than 12 schools to enhance their communication skills through photography, filmmaking and documentation among others. Finally, psychosocial support was provided to children and youth from underprivileged backgrounds in the old city of Jerusalem through several sports, arts, cultural and social activities

Mr Khaled Shahwan, UNDP Deputy Special Representative of Operations thanked the Government of Germany and the Islamic Development Bank for their contributions and highlighted that the project is another stepping stone to strengthening the resilience of Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem. “The 2030 Agenda specifically acknowledges sports contribution to the realization of development, peace, tolerance, empowerment and social inclusion. This project is very much needed in an environment like East Jerusalem where unemployment, especially among marginalized youth, remains a challenge,” he added.

The ceremony, which took place on Thursday 25 May 2017, was attended by Mr Bernd Kuebart, Deputy Representative of the Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ramallah, Mr Hani Abu Diab Representing the Islamic Development Bank, H.E. Adnan Al Husseini, Governor of Jerusalem, Mr Nasser Ghaith, Chairperson of the Burj Al Luq Luq Board of Directors, Mr Muntaser Edkaidek, Burj Al Luq Luq Executive Manager, and Mr Khaled Shahwan, UNDP Deputy Special Representative of Operations.

Contact information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.