DOHA: Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has undertaken $664,240 (QR2,416,460) vocational training project for people with disabilities in the Gaza Strip, in partnership with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
The project is implemented through Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children (ASDC).
It is funded by the GCC Programme for the Reconstruction of Gaza and Qatar’s Al Fakhoora Foundation (Education Above All), under the supervision of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Lasting from May 2015 until this April, the project aims to provide vocational training for young men and women with hearing, visual or physical disabilities to help them find jobs, earn their livelihood, and interact effectively with the community.
Sustainable interventions for socio-economic empowerment of people with disabilities are implemented through vocational training, internship opportunities and micro-business projects in the areas of furniture making, hairdressing, sewing, embroidery, upholstery, jewellery making, car mechanics, cooking and baking, professional photography, short filmmaking, graphic design, wood carving, and Braille language.
Based on a ‘disability database’ prepared by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and QRCS in a prior stage, criteria were used to select beneficiaries. A total of 215 people with disabilities in 18-35 age group were selected to attend vocational training courses, of whom 100 will later be offered internships and another 44 will receive micro-business grants.
The project also targets 200 representatives of public and private sectors, micro-business enterprises, employment agencies and vocational training centres; 1,764 family members of people with disabilities and 30 graduates in the fields of disability.
A comprehensive needs assessment was carried out to ensure all facilities at Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children are adapted to serve people with disabilities. Other activities include organising marathons and murals on International Day of People with Disability.
QRCS Secretary-General Saleh bin Ali Al Mohannadi said 60 percent of the project has been accomplished.
“The overall goal of the project is to reduce poverty in Gaza and raise the quality of life for people with disabilities, their families and communities by improving their socio-economic status, employability skills and job creation, eventually supporting the local Palestinian economy.
“The project’s rights-based approach encourages and reinforces changes in society’s attitudes towards people with disabilities by raising awareness about their right to schooling, vocational training and employment,” he added. The project is part of a major joint programme between QRCS and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to develop and rehabilitate Gaza’s disability services and integration, with $5m funding from Al Fakhoora Foundation and IDB.