Education Above All’s Al Fakhoora programme, this week will see the implementation of rehabilitation projects start in Gaza, working in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA). In November 2014, the Qatar Development Fund donated USD 40 million to support Education Above All’s Al Fakhoora programme. Subsequent to this donation Al Fakhoora signed agreements with, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA).
This time last year during the holy month of Ramadan, Gaza witnessed a 51-day long conflict during which more than 2,200 people lost their lives, including over 500 children and over 11,000 injured people. The 51-day long conflict caused the destruction and damage of tens of thousands of homes, hospitals, schools and educational facilities.
Working closely with UNICEF, UNDP and Al Fakhoora will respond to the current deficit of classrooms in Gaza. Rehabilitation works of damaged schools in Gaza are expected to commence on the second week of July 2015. These will be followed by the rehabilitation of five vocational training centers that are partially damaged and ten universities and colleges. UNDP will also build capacity of facilities for mental health, and employment prospects through ework training and employee mentorship. UNRWA will refurbish schools which were damaged during the conflict by refugees fleeing homes during the conflict.
The Al Fakhoora projects, implemented by its partners, will benefit over 420,000 students, over half a million families, and see over 140,000 people employed locally. The reconstruction and rehabilitation projects include the rebuild of four totally destroyed primary and secondary schools and buildings, 14 damaged primary and secondary schools, 10 universities, and five training centers. 218 primary and secondary schools will be refurbished, and works include the equipment of classrooms with furniture and educational supplies, the creation of child-friendly classrooms, installment of renewable solar energy and generators, water pumps and WASH facilities as well as playgrounds and sports facilities. To address the need for psychosocial support, 11,000 teachers, 407 school counselors, and 200 professionals will be trained in child protection and psychosocial services. Al Fakhoora’s bespoke Leadership and Development programme will engage students through creating civic leadership opportunities empowering them to drive community initiatives. The Leadership and Development programme will benefit over 3,000 children and youth, over 300 existing Al Fakhoora students and will engage over 100 Qatari youth.
Commenting on this week’s meetings with the UN agencies, Farooq Burney, Director of Al Fakhoora, said: “We are pleased to see the progress of the implementation of these joint projects. We aim to put the funds received from the Qatar Development Fund to the best use in Gaza, and by collaborating with partners on the ground, our goal is to build back better and to make a difference to thousands of children, youth and families in Gaza. All programmes are designed with a leadership and development component, to ensure that students, youth and children are directly involved in the reconstruction of Gaza and provide them with lifelong leadership skills”.
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