NEWTON, MA | November 16, 2005
Education Development Center (EDC) has been awarded a $25 million grant from the U.S. government to implement a program to empower Palestinian youth through increasing their learning and earning opportunities in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Ruwwad Palestinian Youth Empowerment Program, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will help thousands of young Palestinians to gain skills and knowledge that prepare them for active and productive roles in the society.
The program was announced Tuesday in Al Notre Dame Hotel in East Jerusalem with the USAID Mission Director James Bever and representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
The Ruwwad Youth and Community Initiatives Program aims to break new ground by promoting positive youth development through a series of youth-led projects in the West Bank/Gaza region. Ruwwad, which translates from Arabic into “pioneers,” engages youth as resources and leaders, seeing them as catalysts in the development of their communities.
The five-year program includes apprenticeships and entrepreneurships, complimentary education opportunities, youth recreation programs, secondary school civic service programs, national youth policy development and media outreach activities.
“The goal of this program is to inspire young Palestinian men and women to become agents of positive change,” said Ruwwad Senior Technical Advisor Paul Sully, of EDC’s International Development Division (IDD). “We will be working with groups throughout Palestinian society to foster youth involvement in economic development projects and communal life,” he said.
EDC will implement the program with the Academy for Educational Development (AED), East Jerusalem YMCA, Youth Build, and the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC).