The European Union and partners launch the Youth Empowerment Program in Palestine

Ramallah/PNN/

Celebrating the European year for youth, the European Union and partners launched today the EU-funded Youth Empowerment Program at the Youth Village near Ramallah with young Palestinians, Palestinian Authority officials, and representatives of civil society organizations.

The Youth Empowerment Program is an EU initiative that supports economic empowerment and promotes the socio-economic engagement of young Palestinians. The program consists of three main projects to be implemented by the Belgian development agency (Enable), the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), and Sharek Youth Forum.

These projects expect to reach over 8000 young Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in the next three years. They are designed to contribute to two main objectives: the first is to facilitate a stronger connection between skilled youth/promising entrepreneurs and the labor market through capacity development and entrepreneurship skills programs, including internship, job placement, and on-the-job coaching.

The second is aimed at promoting youth socio-economic engagement of youth in the society through leadership programs and the establishment of a Youth Advisory Panel for Palestine.

During the launching ceremony, the implementing partners briefed the audience, particularly the young people, on the components and activities of each project. The partners highlighted the learning and training opportunities that will be made available for the young beneficiaries during the three-year implementation of the program.

“The Palestinian society has been continuously described as a ‘young society’, with people under 29 comprising 30% of the population. Knowing that the young people in Palestine face many challenges affecting their economic, social, and health wellbeing, we are joining representatives of the young people today to celebrate the European Year of Youth, and the launch of our newly established program on youth empowerment.

The potential and capabilities of young people, in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or Gaza are remarkable. We see young people excelling in every aspect of life, and we are proud to be able to contribute to youth empowerment in all sectors”, said the European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff during the launching ceremony.

Enable is happy to be part of this important initiative to Empower Palestinian youth, including young women, to become active citizens with better socio-economic opportunities by providing them with the skills and entrepreneurial mindset necessary to find sustainable employment and promote the engagement of youth as future leaders in the society. We believe that partnering with the EU and other local and international organizations is key to maximize results.” Christelle Jocquet, Resident Representative of Enabel in Palestine.

We need more youth around the table where decisions are made. We need their perspectives, their wisdom, and their energy. UNFPA has long experience of working with and for young people, and we are profoundly aware of their enormous potential to make positive change. We are therefore excited to get started together with young people from across all of Palestine, and deeply grateful to the European Union for their belief in young people to make a difference” said Kristine Blokhus, UNFPA Representative.

“Sharek works to develop and empower youth as active participants in the civil society and encourages youth to participate in Palestinian political, economic, and social affairs. As it is the duty and commitment of Sharek to promote youth development, engagement, education and expose them to various experiences, Sharek still seeks new partnerships. We are delighted to take part in this partnership, which to our vision, can result in unprecedented benefits to the Palestinian youth. Over the course of the last 11 years, the Tamayyaz program had gained the necessary experience to locate and tackle employability challenges the Palestinian youth face.

We believe that the Tamayyaz program, with its new design, will support 4500 young people from 12 partner universities and vocational training centers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in being well-prepared to enter the marketplace.” Sharek’s Team

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