Group photo of 120 Al Fakhoora university students in Gaza celebrating their graduation, with support from UNDP and Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, through its programme Al Fakhoora. © UNDP/PAPP

Gaza Strip, 19 February 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme and Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, through its programme Al Fakhoora, marked its tenth-year anniversary with the graduation of its fifth batch of 120 undergraduate students, in partnership with Save Youth Society Organization.

The graduating students academically accomplished their Al Fakhoora scholarship; a flagship programme designed to offer talented young students in Gaza with learning opportunities that meet today’s global market challenges with quality and innovative education, and inspire a new generation of young people who are civic- minded, intellectually able, and professional to become community, business, and leaders of the future.

Farooq Burney, Executive Director of the Al Fakhoora Programme, Education Above All Representatives, shared: “Through our Dynamic Futures scholarship programme, these students have been on a remarkable journey of learning, self-development and growth. I believe this programme has equipped them to reach their full potential, no matter their future path. I would like to congratulate them and their families for their commitment and perseverance in completing their studies. “

Teaching, business, engineering, nursing, arts, media, law and human sciences, along with market skills, are among the diverse specialities acquired by the 120 students (63 women and 57 men)  coming from the different Gaza governorates. Over 15% of these students were immediately offered jobs in the local market either as lecturers, being top students in their faculties, or in international organizations as best students, or named as winners of highly competitive awards.

Tanseem Haniya, an honours degree Al Fakhoora student, spoke on behalf of her fellow graduates “Today, we graduate with pride and responsibility. We are very grateful for being Al Fakhoora scholars. Through this exceptional programme, we were provided with a set of very competitive educational and leadership skills that will enable us to support our families particularly within these harsh living conditions. We are full of hope and determination to contribute positively to our community and share our knowledge and skills with our peers. Our appreciation to Al Fakhoora is immense”.

More than 500 people, including students along with their families, education policy makers, and representatives of international and local organizations, academics and community figures, as well as several media outlets attended the graduation ceremony held at the Heavens Hall in Gaza city on 19 February 2019.

UNDP Head of Gaza Office at interim, Iman Al Husseini, highlighted that the ceremony is a result of a long-standing partnership that began in 2009 to empower Palestinian youth and their families to become active members of society and the leaders of tomorrow. “Creating enough job opportunities for the large Palestinian youth population entering the labour market is a major challenge, particularly in Gaza. Education is a great engine for development and by giving youth access to quality education they become our partners for change. They bring hope and innovation to lay the ground for transformative change that contributes to the global agenda,” she added.

Mr Eamd Darwish, Chairman of Save Youth Futures Society, affirmed in his welcoming speech that Education Above All Foundation in Qatar, UNDP and Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Programme continue to be strategic partners in achieving quality education and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. “ I thank them for their support of these ambitious young people in the Gaza Strip through skilling and activities that match their aspirations and strongly prepare them as professionals and intellectuals  to contribute to their communities,” he added.

Within this context, Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Programme marks its tenth anniversary since it was founded in 2009.  To date, Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures programme, with the support of its stakeholders, has awarded over 970 undergraduate and international masters degrees for Gaza’s youth. This strategic programme has enhanced the quality of education, provided student services, leadership development and economic empowerment for Palestinian youth, enabling and  inspiring them to become a generation of change-makers ready to invest in a more promising future.

 

For further information, please contact:

Ms Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org or Shahd El-Swerki in Gaza at Tel. +972-8-2822167 – e-mail: shahd.el-swerki@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.

 

Notes to Editors:

About Education Above All (EAA) Foundation

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global education foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The Foundation envisions bringing hope and real opportunity to the lives of impoverished and marginalized children, youth and women, especially in the developing world and in difficult circumstances such as conflict situations and natural disasters. It believes that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies, as well as a fundamental right for all children and an essential condition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, visit educationaboveall.org.

About Al Fakhoora

Al Fakhoora, a programme of Education Above All Foundation, works to promote the right to education in conflict and post-conflict states, by unlocking a new generation of marginalised youth to become educated, professionally skilled and inspirational leaders of the future, who are able to guide their families and communities towards cohesion and prosperity. Working originally in Gaza, Al Fakhoora has now expanded its programmes across the region, into the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq, as well as locally in Qatar. ​

About UNDP

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. For more information on UNDP’s work in the West bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, visit www.ps.undp.org.

About Save Youth Future Society

Save Youth Future Society, founded in 2001, to develop the potential of young people and to strengthen Palestinian communities through quality youth services to inspire a generation of change-makers ready to invest in a more promising future. SYFS strives to create a space that fosters human beauty and strength where every young person is cared for, as well as challenged to achieve their full potential.

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