Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Wi'am Community Empowerment & Conflict Transformation

Wi'am Community Empowerment & Conflict Transformation

Advance #14910A

#14910A - Advancing a culture of peace and acceptance while promoting nonviolent resolution to conflict

Annual Goal:$30,000.00
YTD Gifts:$350.00
Location:Bethlehem Israel/Palestine Middle East


Seven decades of protracted conflict preceded the creation of the center. Palestinians continue to live in the shadow, and sometimes in direct presence of violence, destructive dogmas, economic distress, ambient tension, and a lack of human security. We suffer restrictions to movement, lack of resources, shortage of job opportunities, and the absence of the right to self-determination on the political level. All the community members are hostages to trauma and vulnerable to ideas that shatter their ambitions, hopes, and dreams. The land as well as the people have been fragmented and divided. Their hopes and ambitions are shattered. Their dreams have been withered. This situation has left its marks on the society as a whole, on the individual persons in particular, where domestic violence is on the rise and the desperate voices have hijacked the scene. Not surprisingly, this can damage the development of children, block the advancement of women's rights, paralyze the peace of the elderly, and stifle the ascension of a new generation of young people to responsible leadership. Dealing with these factors has been the driving force for our intervention to restore people's faith through a nonviolent approach, to resolve and transform conflicts, and to consolidate democratic principles and human rights values in the community that a sustainable entity based on accountability, transparency, and collective responsibility can be built. Wi'am has developed a good reputation in the wider community for resolving and transforming disputes peacefully, working diligently and persistently to satisfy the needs of the local community on all levels and spheres economically, socially, and spiritually. The staff works on "Kairos time" and not on "chronos time" to transform at least 350 cases of community disputes a year to mend relationships and restore dignity based on restorative justice. Restorative justice tackles issues of injustices through the lenses and practices of redressing the injustices rather than avenging them. We are not interested in punitive injustice. We are interested in saving both sides by empowering the weak and bringing the strong to their senses and not to their knees. Wi'am hosts or cooperates to initiate many workshops, seminars, and conferences that deal with civic education, women's issues, gender issues, democracy, and human rights, dialogue of cultures and religions, nonviolence, reconciliation, advocacy and conflict transformation. The center is involved in training in the local, regional, and global arenas, and has produced and distributed training manuals in the above-mentioned fields. Wi'am is active in the lives of children, through programs in schools and centers, and on-location. Peer mediation curricula in the classroom help children take the initiative to create a safe space for themselves and their peers. Trauma coping programs bring children together with professionals in order to address overlooked issues through storytelling, art therapy, and theatre of the oppressed. Wi'am remains focused on spirituality to nourish its work but is committed to uplifting that work through action. For more information about programs serving the community, see the Wi'am website.

Goals & Objectives

To mediate over 300 community cases with better than 80% positive results and resolution each year, creating openings to transform animosity, bitter feelings, and real conflicts (to transform the garbage and hate of anger), converting them into opportunities for mutual growth and understanding (into flowers and trees of compassion). To continue conducting conferences, workshops, and seminars; developing, and raising disenfranchised voices and equipping them with advocacy tools in the spirit of Isaiah chapter 61:1. "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners" and ministry in the spirit of Matthew 25:31-40. To accommodate rising seminar attendance demands and welcome whole families dealing with different needs and challenges. To proliferate peer-mediation programs and curricula in West Bank schools, equipping young people with the ability to manage their own conflicts constructively, learning from their elderly and from different schools of thought in various universities. Wiam believes in Synergy: applying things we learn from our rich tradition, staying open to new modalities and disciplines of this science. To recruit 10 dedicated community-level volunteers, and a part-time lawyer, social worker and psychologist, in order to expand capacity to match demand. To build a sustainable, interdisciplinary network of professionals and beneficiaries (direct and indirect) who work together toward the common good.

Activities Plan

Wi'am strides to go beyond conflict resolution to achieve transformation, when all parties become capable of reaching solutions and innovations, of their own volition. - Wi'am continues to be available on a "kairos time" basis in order to address conflicts as they arise. The phone numbers of the staff and some key volunteers are available and distributed in different locations. At any time, someone can be reached through the hotline number 0599 433 988. - Wi'am enhances the ministry of reconciliation by introducing elements of inclusive spirituality into the process of mediation and related trainings. We also benefit from the volunteers and interns from the Methodist Church for reflections and devotions. We learn from their experiences and their involvement in the different spheres around the world. - Wi'am is actively involved in dialogue with activists, participants, and other community members, by conducting interviews in order to expand the volunteer corps with dedicated individuals. - Wi'am secures larger venues to accommodate extra participants and increases the size of workshops and seminars, while increasing publicity to supplement word-of-mouth recruitment. The harvest is plenty and the workers are few." - Wi'am engages with teachers, administrators, and students in schools, colleges, and universities through training, and occasional meetings, workshops and conferences. - Wi'am networks with locals, grassroots leaders, community leaders, student leaders, clergy, psychologists, social workers, elderly citizens, human rights activists, and professionals. - Wi'am is in dialogue with related partners and works closely with professionals who can help children grow naturally.

Budget and Financial Information


Annual Advance Financial Goal
Local Financial Support



Project Contact

Zoughbi Zoughbi
0569 433 988

Global Ministries Contact

David L. Wildman
(212) 870-3735