Damascus, 10 August 2009
The South African Embassy in Damascus celebrated South African Women’s Day today by donating eleven computers to UNRWA for use by the Alliance Women’s Programme Centre in the Old City.
In a statement, Dr. Stefania Pace-Shanklin, Acting Deputy Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria, thanked the Embassy for the contribution that ‘will go a long way to support the local refugee women who use this centre, particularly those who want to increase their employability by upgrading their IT skills’.
In an intimate handover ceremony, South African Ambassador, His Excellency Mohamed Dangor along with Mrs. Nazly Dangor and members of staff, exchanged stories with local women from the centre on the challenges and opportunities confronting women within Syria and South Africa.
Commenting on the role of the centre to support women’s empowerment, Mrs. Dangor emphasized that ‘women’s empowerment and its relationship to achieving positive human development outcomes can neither be ignored nor underestimated. Development and empowerment are not mutually exclusive.’
Comparisons were also made between the father of modern South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and the Palestine refugee community in Syria, as two peoples working to achieve a sense of social and economic justice for their respective communities.
The Alliance Women’s Programme Centre is a financially self-sustaining community-based organization serving the needs of Palestine refugee and local women in the Old City of Damascus.
For information only -- Not an official record