Families and friends gathered in December to celebrate the graduation of 66 young men and women from a 10-month vocational training program at the National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training (NISCVT) in Nahr El Bared.
With support from Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), and in partnership with American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), NISCVT organized intensive vocational training sessions during the past 10 months that has benefited more than 66 young men and women. Training included AutoCAD and graphic design, and plumbing and sanitary works.
The graduation ceremony offered a message of hope for the youth who have been struggling with various social and economic challenges. Gaining new skills is vital to helping the camp’s youth find a way to support themselves and their families.
Many of today’s graduates had dropped out of school and found that vocational training could help them regain self-confidence and faith in the future. Others are complementing their current studies with vocational training in order to gain more skills that can help them get better jobs.
ROTA and ANERA have partnered together to work on a comprehensive program to enhance non-formal education for youth in Nahr El Bared. In addition to the training project at NISCVT, the program includes work with more than 25 youth on community projects, support for 6 vocational training and remedial education providers to enhance their capacities and services. More than 300 children and youth, and 40 instructors are benefiting from the program.
“Our partnership with ROTA’s and NISCVT is very important to us. We share the same goals in addressing issues that affect education for youth in marginalized and impoverished communities. Palestinian youth have been marginalized for a long time and they have been a priority group for ANERA for more than 42 years. Working with our partners will definitely assist the continuation of what we have started,” said Samar El Yassir, Country Director of ANERA in Lebanon.
Attending the ceremony were local and international NGO representatives, ROTA Board Member- Mrs. Nora Jumblatt, ROTA International Program Specialist Rania Abou Mosleh (Lebanon Office), ANERA Director Samar El Yassir and the ANERA team and NISCVT Director Kassem Aina with the NISCVT team. They all joined parents and friends for the festivities which included music, speeches, reception and an exhibition of student projects. In addition to certificates, graduates received tool boxes.
“ROTA and our partners have delivered on our promise to provide high quality, relevant training for the youth of Nahr El Bared,” ROTA Board Member Mrs. Nora Jumblatt told guests at the graduation ceremony. Now we hope to replicate the success of this pilot project in other areas.”
Kassem Aina, director of Bait Atfal Assumoud added, “Thanking words are not enough to appreciate our work and partnership with ANERA and ROTA. It resulted in preparing a group of youth to get ready and face difficulties in life. Their work brings them closer to their country. It will help them continue to hold on to their identity and to their rights and above all these rights, the right to return to occupied Palestine.”