We work within mainstream education systems believing that economically disadvantaged girls and young women need access to marketable skills, up to date knowledge and recognised qualifications to have the chance of a secure economic foothold in their society. But we believe that education is about much more than this.
Access to good quality education is the key to unlocking the potential of individuals, which in turn brings benefits to their families and communities. By focusing on the educational needs of disadvantaged girls and young women in the Palestinian Territories we are assisting a group that faces many obstacles: social, economic and political. However they are also a group that promises to be ‘part of the solution’ rather than the problem. Evaluation feedback we receive year on year includes many personal testimonials which confirm the power of education to help individuals find a voice, to have ambitions, to recognise their capacity to influence their families and communities for the good and to contribute to wider society.
Our image of these processes is of a tree with roots, branches and leaves. The education input helps the tree ‘flower’: in terms of personal growth, improved economic prospects and social influence. Perhaps not everything will ‘bloom’ for everyone in one generation but the seeds planted will improve the chances for the next generation and beyond.
“It is hard to believe all the things that my family now accept, not just my mother and father, brothers and sisters but my aunts and uncles and cousins as well, that it is OK for girls to have ambitions, to want to study hard, to travel outside Palestine, to work as an engineer. They are proud of me and they say if she can do this why not me, or my daughters.“
Tamara, DSMT Higher Education Scholarship winner 2007, graduated 2012, currently working as an engineer in UAE and supporting the education of her siblings back home
“An important impact of the VTC training (Vocational Training Centre) is that I am more self-confident and I am not financially dependent on my parents anymore. Another very important thing is that I have increased my knowledge in graphic design and I have also improved my social skills.”
Noor, gained a national diploma from the Jericho Vocational Training Centre, 2013
“I’m in the 11th literary grade, and my favourite subjects are Geography and English language, my interests are technological studies and following the news about what is happening in Palestine. My hobbies: fashion designing, drawing, and photography. I hope to be a Journalist and a Photographer in the future.”
Ruaa, one of the winners of a DSMT school scholarship in summer 2014.
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