participants at one of the panel discussions at the INSPIRE 2019 Conference in Gaza.

Gaza Strip, 31 January 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme and Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, through its programme Al Fakhoora, organized, in partnership with Al Nayzak organization, the first conference of its kind in Gaza that is headed, designed and presented by youth.  The annual INSPIRE conference aims to empower youth towards positive change and play an active role in their communities.

Fostering a “giving back” approach”, approximately 150 youth between the ages of 18 and 35 will take part in INSPIRE 2019. Around 70% of the participants will be scholars of the Dynamic Futures Programme who completed an exceptional civic leadership programme provided as part of their scholarship through UNDP, generously funded by Al Fakhoora, a programme of Education Above All Foundation (EAA).

Mr Hani Shehada, Head of Al Fakhoora office in Gaza, highlighted that we are at a time where a university degree and traditional teaching methods are not enough. “We had to develop a modern approach that encourages critical thinking, research and analysis in order to enable the generations to come to compete and lead. Thus, we left the leadership seat of this conference to the youth themselves; to design, plan and present. It is because of this shared vision that the Education Above All Foundation is supporting this conference Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Programme; a programme that aims at enhancing the right of education for Palestinian youth through empowering a new generation of educated and inspired leaders to be a model that guides a fast-growing community towards a life of prosperity and development”.

These scholars will share with their peers, the journey of learning opportunities to develop their skills, competencies, knowledge and experiences to invest in their communities. How and what inspired their hearts and minds, and how did they turn this inspiration into action.

Mr Geoffrey Prewitt, UNDP Deputy Special Representative of the Administrator highlighted the significance of education as a human right that allows youth to achieve their potential, realize opportunities for employment, and develop life skills. “Education is central to growth and development and has remained high on the development agenda of the international community: education is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Unemployment among youth in Gaza is over 60%. We have to scale up the investment in creating a movement of education and motivate youth to make social change happen,” he added.

Music side event organized by youth at the INSPIRE 2019 Conference in Gaza

The design of the discussion panels was based on a students’ boot camp prior to the conference. Six panels had open discussions led by inspirational talks from Al Fakhoora students on various topics including developing high impact leaders, sustainability through non-formal education, can social entrepreneurship lead innovation in education, the gap between knowledge and practice, why is media literacy a core twenty first century skill, and finally does intelligence really matter.

Engineer Aref  Al Husseini, founder and Chairman of Al Nayzak affirmed in his welcoming speech through a video message the role of youth in developing the Palestinian community and making social change through their work and innovation. “It is important to equip youth with the necessary skills, particularly innovation through education, to embark on their journey of economic empowerment. I would like to thank UNDP, Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Programme and Education Above All Foundation for their continuous efforts and cooperation in implementing this programme and supporting Palestinian youth and social entrepreneurship”.

Palestinian youth from Gaza played a key role in shaping the conference agenda and the leadership development exhibition of the Dynamic Futures journey featured on the side. The conference took place at Al Mashtal Hotel in Gaza and was attended by Mr Hani Shehada, Head of Al Fakhoora office in Gaza, Ms Mira Abu Al Hanoud, Head of Al Nayzak organization in Gaza; Mr Geoffrey Prewitt, UNDP Deputy Special Representative, in addition to around 300 participants representing youth and local and international donor community.  

 

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 EAA 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 can guide their families and communities towards cohesion and prosperity.

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 Al Nayzak

Al Nayzak is an Innovative Palestinian society organization, capable of producing original scientific knowledge, integrated with sustainable development since 2001. Al Nayzak aims to develop scientific, entrepreneurship, engineering and technological (STEEM) competencies of Palestinian youth and to provide promising socio-economic opportunities, through initiation, design and implementation of specialized programmes that create inspiring and motivating environments for incubation and excellence.

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