New Graduates from ANERA’s Vocational Training in Lebanon

January 30, 2014 | Beirut, Lebanon – ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) is pleased to announce the graduation of 53 Palestinian youths from vocational training programs in Catering, Aluminum & Glass, and Plumbing. The graduation ceremony took place at Nahr El Bared Center of the National Institute for social Care and Vocational Training (NISCVT).  The vocational training program is made possible, thanks to funding from Reach Out to Asia (ROTA).

Palestine Refugees in Lebanon suffer from a high unemployment rate and low-wage job opportunities due to restrictive national labor laws and limited education opportunities. ANERA is working in partnership with community-based partners to deliver relevant and adapted vocational training for more than 200 youths in Nahr el-Bared and Beddawi refugee camps.

Most of the youth enrolled in ANERA’s courses have dropped out of the formal education system. The vocational training gives them a second chance to prepare for the job market and a successful future.

The graduates include 20 catering students at the Women’s Program Association, 18 plumbing students at ISCVT, and 16 students in aluminum & glass work at the National Association for vocational Training and social Service (NAVTSS).

The training lasted from eight to 11 months and included technical teaching, sports, enhancement of numeracy, literacy and life skills, as well as community services and a two-month internship in a local business.   

ANERA country director Samar El-Yassir says the approach represents a pioneering reform of vocational training in the camps: “We encountered many challenges at first. Needs were great and the local training system had many flaws and weaknesses.” She says the new holistic training model has yielded impressive results and became a major success in the camps. “Youths have gained skills that go beyond professional techniques: they improved their sense of responsibility, self-confidence, and capacity to deal with others.”

The 53 graduates are ready to compete in the market place; 28 have already found a job or received a promise of employment. Catering student Manal is optimistic about the future. “Not only did I learn how to bake for hundreds of people, but I also gained math and computer skills that are essential for running a business.” Manal already is getting catering orders for weddings and other events.  “I feel that I am now able to start my own business,” she says. 

About ANERA

For more than 45 years, ANERA has been a leading provider of development, health, education, and employment programs to Palestinian communities and impoverished families throughout the Middle East. In FY 2013, the relief and development agency delivered $63 million in programs to the people of the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Jordan.  For further information see www.anera.org

About ROTA

Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) is a non-profit organization launched in December 2005 in Doha, Qatar, by Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Operating under the auspices of the Qatar Foundation, ROTA is committed to providing high quality and relevant primary and secondary education, encouraging relationships among communities, creating safe learning environments and restoring education in crisis affected areas across Asia and around the world. For further information see www.reachouttoasia.org