Where to go Guide
The Cultural and Free Thought Association (CFTA) aspires to realize the goals of the Palestinian people – to live in a society based on principles of progress, justice, equality, and democracy. CFTA believes that such a society can only be achieved through the productive and active contribution of its members and that social development is the key to comprehensive development.
The organization was founded in 1992 when five women’s organizations in the Gaza Strip united together in partnership with the French NGO Enfant Refugies du Monde, using their combined resources to set up autonomous centers that would address the educational, cultural, social, and health concerns of the country. Its principal aims are: to promote basic values of equality, co-operation, participation, mutual respect and co-existence, as well as a sense of belonging; to focus on the education of children, teenagers, and adults through an alternative pedagogical process; to preserve the Palestinian identity through cultural awareness and a revival of its heritage; to assist in the development of an independent Palestinian identity; to develop local human resources via a process of participation; to promote reproductive, psychological, legal, and social health care; and to empower women to take a more active role in society.
CFTA currently administers four centers. The Al-Shruq Wal Amal Children’s Center is a pedagogical leisure center for children aged 6-12 years which was set up in Khan Younis Refugee Camp in 1992 and provides children with an opportunity for self-expression, creativity, social awareness, and learning, through a number of innovative activities and programs, including music and art. The Bunat Il-Ghad Teenager Center, also in Khan Younis Refugee Camp, is a space where teenagers aged 12-17 can develop their skills and aptitude through an interactive process of learning and creativity. Established in 1993, the Center offers a variety of programs including painting, photography, computer, video, music, drama, and dabke. The Tahoonit Sitti Community Cultural Center was established in 1994 in Khan Younis with the aim of developing, reviving, and introducing cultural activities through a process that involves the active participation of the community.
The Center organizes creative programs, festivals, exhibitions, and numerous other cultural activities throughout the year. CFTA also runs the Brueij Camp Women’s Health Center in the center of the Gaza Strip and the Gaza Women’s Credit Program, which assists women to set up small-scale enterprises. All creative activities organized by CFTA emphasize free expression and involve boys and girls together. The Association is currently working with the Ministry of Culture and foreign NGOs to establish dedicated children’s cultural centers in Gaza’s refugee camps.