Press Release

Anera and ROTA Extend Vocational Training Program in Lebanon

August 26, 2012 – Anera (American Near East Refugee Aid) is expanding its partnership with Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) to implement the second phase of its Enhanced Non-formal Education Program (ENFE). The two-year extension follows the successful completion of the pilot training programs in Nahr El Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon.

ROTA’s $800.000 grant will support ENFE’s programs that aim to prepare the camp’s youth for the competition of the marketplace. The vocational program includes improved training services for as many as 200 students, remedial education for 600 elementary school students (aged 6 to 13) and extra-curricular sports and other activities to promote personal development and healthy lifestyles for 2,000 youth (male and female).

The expanded program targets youth in both Nahr El Bared and Beddawi camps for training in useful job skills, such workplace discipline, teamwork and interpersonal communication.

“The ROTA-funded programs empower refugees to improve their marketable job skills, gain self-confidence and acquire the means to support their families,” explained Anera country director Samar El Yassir.
Training sessions cover services such as graphic design, hairdressing, nursing, building trades and others. The program also incorporates sports programs like football, volleyball, table tennis, chess and running, with paricipants including girls, women and youth with disabilities.

“ROTA’s partnership with Anera is increasing long-term opportunities for Palestinian youth,” says ROTA Executive Director Essa Al Mannai. “Not only are we expanding the number of students accepted into the program but we are helping hundreds of refugee families work toward a better future.”

Unemployment and low-wage job opportunities are a major concern for residents of the refugee camps in Lebanon because of government restrictions on available jobs for Palestinians. The challenge of finding lucrative jobs is also complicated by the increased number of drop outs in Palestinian schools and the lack of access to affordable higher education for those seeking professional degrees.

During the pilot phase, Anera and its partners provided vocational training and educational support programs for more than 400 students and capacity-building sessions for more than 50 instructors.