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YOUR JUNE peace mail from Gaza

Dear Friends,

My name is Mahmoud and I wish to tell you about Faraj, a young man in his early 20s, from a family of 13 living in Gaza City. Faraj has always enjoyed pottering and seeing how things are made. As a child he enjoyed dismantling and rebuilding his toys, and when he was a teenager he worked in a blacksmith’s workshop in his neighbourhood.

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Faraj dreamed of having a job where he could continue building and repairing items, but the unemployment situation in Gaza is at a record high with 52% of total population unable to find a job (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics). With fewer people employed than ever before, poverty is increasing.

Your regular gifts support our vocational training programs, through which Faraj was able to study Welding and Metal Works. He was a very active and diligent student, and he worked throughout his time in the program, up until he graduated in 2014. He felt that the program had enabled him to pursue his dream, and would say to me “I needed someone to help me break the chains.”

Faraj used his new skills and knowledge to plan and start his own small business as a blacksmith. “Finally, the restrictions were broken and now I am free,” he told me..

Faraj’s blacksmith shop has been successful because of his high quality products and competitive prices. His previous employers are not surprised he is doing well, because he was always professional and dedicated when working for them.

He now employs two full-time and two part-time workers, and dreams of expanding his workshop and to employ more. His state of mind has improved and he now has a good social network. He is responsible for his family as he is the breadwinner.

“Really, I am very glad to work in such a career and I hope in the future to build my life through work and to assist my brothers and family with basic needs and to live with my beloved persons in independence and dignity.” Faraj told me.

I want to say thank you to you for creating these opportunities for the young people in Gaza and giving them purpose and hope.

Mahmoud al-Halimi
Director of the Technical and Vocational Training Department, Near East Council of Churches (NECC)

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Your Support is making a difference:

$351 can help support the monthly salary of a vocational trainer for a class of students in the Gaza Strip. Teaching metal works, secretarial skill, dressmaking or carpentry.

Our local partner the Near East Council of Churches (NECC) is helping transform lives in the Gaza Strip through its Vocational Training centres. Courses in carpentry, metal welding, aluminium and electrical works target 14-16 year old males, who are often drop outs from school. They receive help with livelihoods but also life skills to become productive and caring members of society. The goal across all training courses is to give 250 trainees new skills to gain employment each year.


60% of young people in Gaza are unable to find work. These young men and women dream of learning a skill, looking after their families and making a happy life for themselves. Due to Gaza’s ongoing blockade and continuing conflict, 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 support themselves and their families.


With your kind gifts, Act for Peace’s partner in Gaza – The Near East Council of Churches (NECC) - 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.


The goal of the vocational training program is to deliver highly skilled and competent graduates who are linked to employment opportunities in the marketplace – just like Faraj. The flow-on effect is improved income prospects and greater economic security. Thank you, you are creating much-needed hope for disadvantaged youth in Gaza.


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Over the last few years we’ve received feedback about the amount of mail our supporters receive. We know you are receiving a lot of mail, and not just from Act for Peace. Because of this, we have stopped sending a Peace Mail in July and January, when you are also receiving the Link magazine. We would really like to make sure we are getting this right and would love to hear from you, please get in touch on the phone at 1800 025 101, by email on info@actforpeace.org.au or by mail: Claire - Act for Peace, Locked Bag Q199, QVB NSW 1230


More ways to take action

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