Shiraa Association For Development

Shira' is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families in the Bethlehem area.
Last updated: August 2016

SHIRAA' is a development, non-profit and independent Palestinian corporation established in 2002. It has been licensed under No. BL-384-Ss by initiative of a group of women, trade unionists and academics interested in the issues of Palestinian development and the promotion of economic, social and cultural policies.


Contributing to building up a modern civil society, and maintaining sustainable development.


We are an independent, non-profit and development Palestinian Association that seeks to achieve community development and strengthen loyalty for a more creative and crisis-free society that will be able to keep up with cultural development through setting up well-planned programs to secure a better future characterized with justice, democracy and respect for human rights.

Philosophy and values

  • Promoting vocational and association-related work within institutions and ensuring equal opportunities for target groups.
  • Enhancing transparency and credibility in our activities like the promotion of participation, surveillance, and accountability for the sake of developing the Association and improving its performance.
  • Strengthening solidarity, cooperation and vocational competition with all professional bodies and local organizations working in the fields related to our activities.
  • Promoting democracy and human rights because they are critical to our standard of living and among the foundations of the civil society that we seek.
  • Integrating local, Arab and international experiences, skills and information into our work, abilities and qualities of the development services rendered to target groups.


  • Maintaining sustainable development.
  • Bridging the gap between village and city.
  • Participating in the development process.

Principles Governing The Action Of The Association:

  • We believe that man is the basic element of action and progress in the Association. Therefore, the Association is committed to supporting the development of community so that they are well-qualified, educated, competent and have relevant experience and to provide them with appropriate equipment to develop their capacities.
  • Providing employees with all that they need such as equipment and machines, and providing them with a comfortable and appropriate workplace, including but not limited to lighting and ventilation. The same is done for women who must be protected against all kinds of violence.
  • Creating equal employment opportunities for applicants regardless of gender, religion, color, and political
  • Allocating specific places and times for smoking. Adhering to such times and places is a must.
  • Giving employees all their rights in accordance with applicable Labor Code.
  • Encouraging team and group work and holding staff consultations concerning crucial points touching the progress and action within the Association.
  • Recruiting not less than 5% of people with special needs and securing an appropriate workplace for them.
  • Boosting justice, transparency and democracy at work for the purpose of good performance and job satisfaction.

General And Sub - Strategic Objectives

1. Development of human and association-related resources. 

  • Providing training courses in the areas of development and management.
  • Promoting development and the building up of the Palestinian civil society and identifying the requirements for this process.
  • Disseminating legal awareness among all sectors working with the Association and familiarizing the Association with all methods of defending its rights.
  • Offering legal advice and assistance to those working in different areas related to the work of the Association.
  • Spreading awareness on economic, social, health and Psychological reality and building a base for relevant information.

2. Development of Trade Union Action:

  • Enable workers to organize themselves and select their representatives freely.
  • Training labor organizations in the areas of labor, culture Professional safety, human rights and other issues related to workers.
  • Familiarizing workers with their rights, providing legal advice to them and adopting their cases.

3. Strengthening and promoting the role of women in the Palestinian society

(Supporting women's social role):

  • Educating women, culturally and professionally.
  • Setting up productive projects for women and then marketing their Products.
  • Addressing the issues of early marriage and violenc against women.
  • Activating working and non-working women's potential through education and training in order to create careers that fit the social and geographical environment, and then integrating.     

4. Activating The Role of Youth

  • Identifying the needs and problems of youth and contributing to their resolution.
  • Holding training courses and workshops that will deal with issues of youth, democracy, and other issues concerning the youth sector
  • Enhancing hobbies of the youth by forming youth teams who will practice and develop creative hobbies under the direction of the Association such as: Dabkeh (folkdance), acting, singing, drawing, sports and arts.
  • Making youth aware of the importance of democratic thought and peaceful solutions to conflicts and disputes.
  • Developing the youth's "Intellectual Level" and building up youth leaders who will be able to contribute to the direction and guidance of youth.

5. Paying Attention To The Issues Of The Elderly And The Marginalized:

  • Employing the elderly in a way that suits their reality and creating a healthy and entertaining environment for them.
  • Providing emergency assistance for the unemployed, needy families, families of martyrs and Prisoners, widowers and orphans.
  • Helping orphans and children of the unemployed through ensuring education, scholarships and treatment for them.
  • Helping needy families and securing their needs.
  • Setting up programs of awareness and education for the marginalized.

6. Participating In The Development Process:

  • Backing consultation and dialogue amongst those working in productive enterprises.
  • Embarking on employment projects that will generally benefit the local community.
  • Enhancing the spirit of joint work and holding training workshops for the establishment  and management of small enterprises.
  • Building, developing and upgrading individual capacities    in order to create job  opportunities in an attempt to fight   poverty and unemployment.
  • Building up a community development culture.

Target Groups

The Association will pay great attention to the development of all sectors and classes of the local community in the West Bank, including Arab Jerusalem, as well as Gaza Strip, focusing in particular on the following categories:

  • Women
  • Workers
  • Youth
  • The elderly and the marginalized


Combating Poverty & Unemployment (Job Creation)

Because labor market can't contain all jobseekers, and because of random supply and demand, Shiraa' is seeking to establish a labor office for jobseekers to find jobs to reduce unemployment, especially among young people. Such office shall set up such cultural, vocational and training programs to rehabilitate such job applicants and train them on such skills that will qualify them to enter into labor market.

Therefore, a study on the needs of the Palestinian labor market and labor force in the public and private sectors shall be conducted. On this basis, a database on unemployment and competence and places of such employment seekers shall be prepared. Performing such a project shall take a period of three years during which the labor office shall be able to do the following:

  • ontributing to the development of Palestinian economy.
  • Reducing unemployment among people.
  • Working on an independent Palestinian labor market and then integrating it with the surroundings.

Dispute Resolution & Advocacy (Human Rights)

This department includes lawyers and union professionals who serve as pro bono advocates for workers engaged in labor disputes. Members meet with workers and management representatives, and seek to facilitate a negotiated solution that respects workers’ rights and is acceptable to both sides.

The department helped negotiate an agreement to end a strike by Bethlehem municipal workers, and has also aided workers in disputes with numerous local companies. In addition, department members are active in lobbying for the Palestinian Legislative Council to pass new labor legislation that reflects the interests of workers, and in pressing the Palestinian Authority for full implementation of the existing labor legislation passed in 2000.

Information, Research & Study Department:

Such Department  shall include such a group of academics and specialists, who shall carry out such studies and researches related to community development , prepare statistics and a database for identifying community problems, set up future remedial plans for those problems and seek to issue a monthly magazine that  shall  deal with community development issues ,reflect community concerns and problems , suggest solution mechanisms for such problems and concerns  and  making  the different community sectors aware of their rights and duties.

Public  Safety & Health  Department

Such Department shall include such specialists in the field of health such as: doctors, nurses and social counselors, who shall hold symposiums and episodes and set up prevention programs on how to save lives, property and environment and how to take precautionary measures to prevent accidents, pollution and destruction in order to secure more better healthy conditions for residents.

Such Department shall, further, establish a Health Center whose activities shall involve:  health education and training, treatment, social work, environmental sciences, health services, health manners, provision of vaccination against various diseases, organization of traffic, creation of more secure workplaces, reduction of epidemics and diseases, provision of healthy nutrition for mothers and sons and fighting against early marriages, smoking and using Fluoride in drinking water …etc 

In its efforts to save lives, such Department shall also launch searching campaigns against unhealthy goods and meat in coordination with Ministry of Public Health, UNRWA and the other associations working in the same field.

Women's Department 

This department consists of Palestinian women working in various handcrafts such as embroidery, glass painting and cloth painting care of increasing the income of their families and reviving the Palestinian folkloric embroidery. Shiraa works on marketing the products of the women working in this department. 

The women of this department can perfectly prepare many popular Palestinian foods which can be exported internationally, so as to improve the family’s income (especially those whom are suffering from unemployment).

Youth Department

Youth Group: Consisting group of youth males and females studying and clarifying the needs of the youth, supervising the discussions and solving problems quietly and peacefully.

Circus: Shiraa's Palestinian Circus consists of three age categories. Each category contains 20 troupers of both sexes who train on acrobatics and clowning. It's worth – mentioning that this kind of sports is rare in Palestine. Shiraa's Circus has also participated, and still participating in   local presentations. 

Dabka team: Consisting group of children males and females, with some musicians and singers. Trying to reflect the Palestinian situation through their art.

Acting and Theater: Consists of a group of children and some gifted workers, try to give clear view about the Palestinian hard life for the local and international

Athletic Activities: Which are supervised by specialized and energetic athletes, includes the football team and the basketball team. Both teams are composed mainly of Palestinian workers' children.

Shiraa's School For Wall Painting

This school was established in cooperation with the American BROWN University along with a group of Palestinian and American artists. The Department contains gifted youth of both sexes whom the Department seeks to build up their art capacities since their wall paintings portray and   reflect the Palestinian reality, locally and internationally.

Department Of The Old And Marginalized

On the one hand, such Department shall create healthy and entertainment atmospheres for the old and establish a hospice for any old man or woman who wishes to stay in. On the other hand, it shall support the marginalized families in terms of education, treatment and cash. We shall work hard to secure the dire needs of these two sectors and hold awareness programs for them.

Shiraa Center for Courses & Training

SHIRAA Center is a non-profit and non-governmental institution. It is one of the projects of Shiraa Association for Development. It seeks after methodical and elaborate development of the human resources (man power) in the Palestinian community that include the neglected, productive classes (groups) through specialized vocational training based on high technology and directed towards fulfilling the needs of the Palestinian work markets.

The center is authorized from the ministry of education as well as the ministry of labour, and the certificate it grants is verified, authorized and licensed by both ministries. An academic and vocational team works hard to achieve the highest levels of education and training. The center also aims at the academic and practical orientation of the participants in the courses.

The center also builds experience of the participants and helps them to pursue their training to become active in their community



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