International Youth Day 2021: Empowering Youth in Palestine & Lebanon for the Future

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August 12 marks International Youth Day. Youth make up the majority of the populations in Palestine and Lebanon and are central to many of our program successes. Anera recognizes that youth hold the key to a better future.

Unfortunately, youth in Palestine and Lebanon have borne the brunt of conflict, military occupation and economic collapse. In Gaza, for instance, 70 percent of young people are unemployed — one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the world. In Lebanon, young people are living through one of the worst economic crises to face a country since the 1800s — making access to educational and employment opportunities extremely challenging.

For Syrian and Palestinian refugee youth in Lebanon, the economic collapse has made life even more difficult for them and their families. Many refugee youth have dropped out of school to support their families.

To combat these challenges, Anera implements a variety of youth-focused programs to promote education and employment in Palestine and Lebanon. For instance, online education and work, particularly in coding, is one of the ways Anera reaches youth and helps promote employment in Gaza amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Anera’s programs also focus on combining education with cash-for-work in the production of urgently needed items for communities in both countries. Students are paid for this vital work thanks to the support of Anera donors.

In honor of International Youth Day 2021, below we are featuring videos, stories and reports that highlight some of our program successes promoting youth education and employment in Palestine and Lebanon.


Youth Education & Employment Successes in Palestine & Lebanon

For refugee youth in Beirut, Lebanon’s Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, everyday life is a struggle and job opportunities are hard to come by. One of Anera’s local partners in the camp provides a safe space for youth to get a vocational education, job skills training and sense of community. Anera in partnership with UNICEF, is able to provide vocational courses at the space for refugee women and youth while also paying students for much-needed work performed during trainings.
Nabil is a student in an Anera plumbing course in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. The skills that he and his classmates gain will mean they can earn much-needed income after they graduate.
In Gaza, young Palestinian women are finding jobs installing solar panels — providing the power to pump and clean much needed water for local farmers.
Anera is employing students in our vocational education classes on cooking to can and freeze vegetables for families in Lebanon who are struggling to put food on the table in these difficult times. We buy the fresh produce from farmers in the Bekaa Valley and immediately preserve them. Then we take them to locations throughout the country for distribution. This project is a win-win-win: the students learn skills and earn wages using them, the farmers sell their produce, and food-insecure families get nutritious food to eat.
Anera’s nursing scholarships offer Palestinian youth in Lebanon the chance at a better life. Youth unemployment is 3 to 4 times higher than the average in Lebanon. For Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, the reality is even more stark. 72% of Palestinian young adults live in poverty. This scholarship program covers all costs, from registration, tuition, uniforms and books through to graduation.
Despite the challenges of 2020, Anera worked closely with Palestinian refugee camp communities in Lebanon to improve public health, personal and environmental hygiene. This vital work continues into 2021.⁣
In the Khirbet Rouha area of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, Anera coordinated youth volunteers to fan out and plant 1,500 trees that were generously donated by the Association for Forest, Development & Conservation.
Young people who studied in Anera’s electrical maintenance course in Saida, Lebanon get hands-on work experience fixing faulty wiring in Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp.

Meet Four Anera PLUS Coding Graduates

Anera’s People Leveling Up Skills (PLUS) program is a career accelerator giving young people the technical skills they need to begin successful careers. Students go through a 20-week training in full-stack software development followed by career mentorship. At least 75% of students are women, refugees, lower-income or come from other vulnerable populations.

The program produces professional software engineers by giving students market-ready, adaptable coding and people skills. Graduates are placed into well-paying tech industry jobs with Palestinian, Turkish, Saudi, French, Czech, UK, Canadian and U.S. companies. Currently, Anera PLUS has a 92% job placement rate within a year of graduation.


Youth Program Success Stories


Anera On-the-Ground Report


Past International Youth Days Celebrated by Anera

International Youth Day 2019

In 2019, we featured a short video of young girls playing soccer in Gaza at the Anera-built Al Mosadar sports center.

International Youth Day 2017

For International Youth Day in 2017, Anera focused on the topic of “Youth Building Peace.” — sharing the profiles of youth working towards peaceful co-existence in their communities through Anera programs.

International Youth Day 2016

In 2016 Anera introduced its online audience to a group of inspiring young people who were participating in Anera vocational and job-skills-training courses.

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