After years of occupation, siege and recurrent wars, many people living in Gaza struggle to access education and employment. To help at-risk youths increase their chances of getting a job, our local partner, the Near East Council of Churches (NECC), offers vocational training in areas such as refrigeration and air-conditioning.
Amal* and Siham* are both first-year students in the vocational training program offered by our local partner in Gaza, the Near East Council of Churches (NECC).
You might remember NECC from our emergency appeal in May last year, when we raised funds to help them provide urgent psychosocial support to children impacted by the bombings in Gaza.
They are a deeply passionate and long-standing local partner who support some of the most vulnerable neighbourhoods in the Gaza Strip, through health care services for parents and young children, as well as vocational training for at-risk youth.
Mentored by their teachers, Amal and Siham are learning important skills and knowledge in refrigeration and air-conditioning, with the goal of one day finding employment.
Because after years of war and blockade, employment in Gaza is incredibly hard to come by.
As Amal explains,
“The employment status in Gaza is difficult, and not similar to any part of the world. The unemployment rate is the highest ever.”
With many families in Gaza living below the poverty line, most can’t afford tertiary education. Aware of the challenges the local community is facing, NECC targets their vocational training program towards at-risk youths to help them turn their lives around.
“My family cannot afford the cost of studying at the university”, says Siham, “so I decided to be trained in this centre. I study here and I am working to open a business for me and my family. And to assist my family with their basic needs and to be independent. I want to start a career.”
We all deserve the opportunity to educate ourselves, the freedom to start a career, and the peace of mind to provide enough for our loved ones.
Thankfully, with your support, NECC is supporting individuals like Amal and Siham to access these opportunities.
“I want to say thank you very much for the people in Australia, we appreciate their efforts. They supported us with everything”, says Siham.
*Names have been changed for safety reasons.
You can continue supporting local organisations like NECC in Gaza by becoming an Act for Peace partner.