Meet the 17-Year-Old on a Heartfelt Mission To Raise Funds for the Children of Palestine

introducing Enfan De Palestine

The newer generation of Palestinians, wherever they may be based, constantly strive to ensure that the world never forgets the plight of their people. In recent years, artists, such as Gaza-born Saint Levant, for instance, have made it the backbone of their music. Similarly, content creators, such as Sbeih, have built entire careers by raising awareness about their homeland online, whilst brands like Reemami have woven the struggle into the fabric of their collections one stitch at a time. Then there’s 17-year-old Youcef Kafoufi, who proudly sits at the helm of a non-profit organization dubbed Enfan de Palestine (“child of Palestine” in French), which, as the name suggests, uses fashion to champion the children in Palestine, who make up nearly 50% of the population.

“My grandparents are the ones who inspired me to launch this initiative,” Kafoufi told MILLE. “They were victims of the Nakba in 1948 themselves and subsequently moved to a camp in Lebanon as refugees where my mother was raised. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy and since then, they’ve been moving from one place to the other around Europe, from one flat to the next,” he added.

Founded in Paris only a few months ago, the Palestinian-Algerian creative has already built an impressive community of over 10,000 followers on his Instagram page by fund-raising for the most innocent victims trapped in this conflict—infants. Compelled to help in his own way, the young activist wants to cast a light on the silent suffering of the most vulnerable in Gaza, the West Bank, and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. Empowered by his own heritage, the part-time university student dove back into his family’s history to fully understand how he is unequivocally linked to a legacy of resilience and resistance, to which he is adding his own chapter to.


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Une publication partagée par childs from pali (@enfandepalestine)

“Growing up, I remember not fully understanding what it meant nor the implications of displacement, or the entire struggle,” he confessed. “With time, and as I grew up, I felt like I had to do something to honor their plight and what they had gone through. Clothing was the most relevant and appropriate vector to convey the message I wanted to put forward, especially amongst people my age, hence why we chose to do so through the sale of T-shirts,” admitted the 17-year-old, explaining how by providing an item in exchange of a donation you build a sense of community while supporting a given cause, which in this case happens to be children in Palestine.

“Our focus on that specific segment of society stems from a very human approach to what is currently going on. How can they be paying the price of conflict as such innocent beings?” he reflects. “’Innocence’ really is the key word here,” he adds.

The concept of harmlessness finds expression in the design of the t-shirts, featuring graphics that evoke the simplicity of a child’s drawing and a deliberate misspelling of the word “Enfant,” where the letter “T” is conspicuously absent.


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Une publication partagée par childs from pali (@enfandepalestine)

Launched in February, during Kafoufi’s last year of high school, the initiative quickly began gaining traction. As a result, the young human right’s activist started to feel the weight of the responsibility, especially since he had to balance his school work and make an impact in his homeland. Nonetheless, the determined student-turned-philanthropist remains resolute in his stance: he does not want to be judged on his age, but rather on what he has to offer.

“In Mbappe’s own words, I don’t like talking about age,” he mused, referencing the French football player’s infamous interview from a couple of years back. “If I want to do something, I’ll put my mind to it and do my best for it to happen. I don’t want to be judged based on how old I am, but rather on what I can do and have done instead,” he continued, revealing that part of his organization’s success is a result of the younger generation’s sensitivity to politics and human rights issues around the world.

“I’d say that my generation is quite sensitive to injustices wherever they may be,” he notes. “The fact that we took that into account and blended it with a cool concept could be identified as the recipe to the initiative’s success so far. If you think about it, there are not many humanitarian organizations that have that aesthetic edge or appeal to the youth, yet still carry such a strong message as we do,” he says, crediting his family for supporting him with his venture.

“My Dad is a huge anchor in this initiative. At first, he didn’t necessarily understand what I was doing. It was only after taking a look at the numbers we were generating and when things became a bit more concrete that he realized the impact Enfan De Palestine could have,” Kafoufi recalled. “He takes care of the commercial aspect of things, from budgeting to who we send the money collected to,” he continued.


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Une publication partagée par childs from pali (@enfandepalestine)

Speaking on how they choose which charity to donate to, Kafoufi admitted it’s not an easy task and requires a hefty amount of background checking to ensure that the funds raised end up in the right hands and have a tangible effect on the ground.

“You can usually tell from the get-go who’s reliable and who isn’t, starting from how long some have been operating for, or the credibility they have in Palestine,” he revealed. “But to be honest, there’s always a certain level of doubt, so the choice trickles down to which organization we have the least uncertainties in. Ideally, we’d send the money to people we either know there or to prominent community leaders, but for legal reasons, that’s unfortunately impossible,” he explained.

By carefully choosing the way he presents his narrative, Kafoufi maintains the organization’s presence and impact amid the delicate political landscape and ensures that his message of solidarity with Palestine resonates.

“I’m trying my best to help, so what’s the point of taking risks? I’d rather sell more, fundraise more, and give more. Ultimately, the objective is to provide help ourselves on the ground— could it be in Palestine or in refugee camps in surrounding countries— to be able to speak with the kids, and show them what I do. I wouldn’t want to risk that for anything in the world.”

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