i-genius sits down with Amra from PMRS

i-genius: Tell us about the work you do and why it’s important? Amra: I am currently working in the Palestinian Medical Relief Society as an External Relations Officer. This organization is one of the leading health and social providers that provides services both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Medical Relief Society has been working to improve the access to health care for all in the Palestinian territories since its foundation in 1979, both by providing Primary Health Care to the population and by advocating and lobbying for health and Human Rights and for the development of the Palestinian health infrastructure. This scope of work is extremely important. Many Palestinians have no access to healthcare. The poverty levels and unemployment rates ultimately contribute to the access to healthcare. PMRS aims at increasing the overall well being of Palestinians as a vital parameter in the reduction of social inequalities and in an attempt of raising the standard of living for all in the territories. On the one hand, providing quality health care and social services to vulnerable Palestinians in marginalized and isolated areas will significantly contribute to alleviate poverty by preventing two of its major causes: sickness and complications of diseases.i-genius: What role can social networks play in Palestine? Amra: Social networks have played a role in conveying the Palestinian message. Social media network such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter have conveniently facilitated this process. Through social networks, now we are able to be in contact with other Palestinians. For example, we have built a strong base of networks of Palestinians in Gaza, and Jerusalem. We have also been able to establish networks with other Palestinian solidarity groups whether in the US, UK and Europe which helps us in publicizing any event or news that unfolds in the Palestine.i-genius: What affect has the Arab revolution had? Amra: The Arab revolution has inspired the masses in order for them to believe that the impossible is possible. As Palestinians, we have closely followed the events of the Egyptian, Syrian and Tunisian revolutions, yet unfortunately we see no concrete results or solutions. We must take into consideration (despite the results) that whether in Tunisia or Egypt, the people united against an authoritarian regime. Their underlying common ground was that they wanted to remove the corrupt despot. For us as Palestinians it is quite different. i-genius: Describe yourself in one word. Amra: Determined i-genius: What is your favourite hobby and why? Amra: I like to spend my time reading and following up news because it allows you to be engaged in what is going on around you. It allows you to gain new information and knowledge which inevitably facilitates dialogue and discussion. In my opinion, the more you read, the more you know, and the more you know gives you an increased potential to influence the society you live in.
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Setting Out for Palestine

With preparations fully underway for KaosPilots school’s three month outposting in Israel Palestine, i-genius caught up with one of the participants. Editor – what is the idea behind the outpost? In our first and second semester, we learned about tools and project design. The third semester was about process design. Of course all based on the idea of learning by doing. In this fourth semester we combine and implement our learning’s in a dynamic team project; organizing an international home base for 3-4 month is a challenge named Outpost. The Outpost is the opportunity for a cultural experience, developing a new network on the spot and generating synergies. It is also simply a great way to do more and learn. Editor – why did you decide to go to Israel Palestine? That destination got the full agreement from the team, although there were many other options with pro’s and con’s. We decided for Israel/Palestine cause it is a conflict area, multi-cultural, but still with a high rate of English speakers. We have a good network there. It is accessible by land and in the centre of media attention. And at the end of the day you can not be everywhere… So we felt that it was interesting and challenging. Editor – What do you hope to achieve? How will you know if it is a success?It is first of all a learning journey. If it is a great experience for us, it’ll already be a great success. That could not be without some local achievements. The main partner is Windows for Peace. We want to successfully launch an empowerment workshop for women and children. It will be through storytelling under the old village’s tree in small communities. The respond of the locals will be our success criteria factor.Editor – do you have any fears about the trip? I personally struggle with the conflict. Which side should I support? What is it to be neutral? How can I refrain from getting too involved and how can I take the “right” action? Besides that risk-taking is one of the value of KaosPilots… There indeed many risks in this whole project/trip but that spices life.Editor – you have been a KaosPilot student for almost two years. What is so great about the school and what do you not like about it? It is a fantastic platform, you can make out of it more or less whatever you want. That also means that YOU have to make it yourself. There is no hand to show you the way. So passion is important -the wish to move on. Editor – what will Olivier be doing in three years time? Olivier will still be on his learning journey. but I hope he’ll have found a main lead. And I believe he will be fully involved in it! That will probably be around connecting and sharing knowledge and solutions. He will still travel the world and develop his friend’s community. Editor – Thank you
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