Giving hope to the future of Gaza
Young people in Gaza dream of learning a skill, looking after their families and making a happy life for themselves. But because of Gaza’s long blockade and the recent devastating war, jobs and opportunities for training are scarce. It can be easy for young people to feel lost and purposeless. Despite this, many are determined to learn the skills they need to look support themselves and their families.
Act for Peace’s partner in Gaza, has been running vocational training programs in Palestine since the 1950s. They teach a variety of trades including metal, aluminium and electrical work, dressmaking, carpentry and furniture making, secretarial studies and advanced English language courses.
“It’s easy to feel trapped here. I know that without training, young people will become lost with no purpose in life,” says Khaled, a young metalwork teacher at the centre. Some of the teenagers who come to the centre to begin the three year metalwork course can be troubled, says Khaled, having dropped out of school early. But the rigours of the course teach them discipline, and the support of the teachers gives them back their lost self-esteem. “I see how quickly they change and adapt” he says. “With time, you see such a difference in their behaviour - it’s a positive transformation.”
In the final two years, the students do practical skills training in the workshops and get on-the-job experience working in businesses. They are also trained in job seeking skills so that when they graduate they’re ready for the real world. As well as helping the individual young people and their families, the centre aims to create a generation of skilled workers who contribute to the economic development of their region.
“Thank you for supporting this school because you are giving my students hope when they have been through so much. And yes, you have given me hope, too,” smiles Khaled.
More than 60% of youth in Gaza are unemployed.
The difference your gifts to the Christmas Bowl are making:
The crisis in Gaza has left many unemployed in despair and hopeless about a bright future and a purposeful life. Your Christmas Bowl gifts, through Act for Peace’s partner, Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees and the Near East Council of Churches, could provide them with vocational training and employment opportunities to rebuild their lives.