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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
17 October 2011

Women’s empowerment project builds stronger families and communities

17 October 2011

“The training I received in photography will help me make a much better life for my family, and give my children a chance for a better future,” explained Amani Ali. “I love what the centre has done for me and for other women.”

Amani is one of a group of 120 women who graduated, this September, from an empowerment training course at the UNRWA Women’s Vocational Training Centre in Damascus. Following a divorce, Amani had to single-handedly care for her four children who all suffer from Thalaessemia - a genetic blood disease. Like the other women selected for the course, she found herself socially marginalised and struggling financially.

Najalaa Barham, a widow with four children, took part in the child care training. “I have a new sense of hope”, she says. “Now I can determine my family’s future.” Najalaa is happy to have taken part in the empowerment course and hopes to receive further support as she builds on the skills she has learned.

By providing support for disadvantaged women and teaching practical skills that improve women’s quality of life, the course helps to strengthen families and communities. The women who took part in the course received six months of vocational training in a range of subjects including child care, English, literacy, computing, photography and business management. They also received legal and social counseling as well as cash assistance.

The women’s empowerment project was implemented by UNRWA in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), with funds from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The course is open to Palestine refugees as well as Iraqis, Syrians and women of other nationalities.

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