YWCA of Jerusalem: “First, we give them hope … and then a job”

Posted on Jun 16, 2017

Every story is unique. This is the certainty with which the YWCA, the Christian Women’s Association (Palestine section) has been working for years to promote equality and employment.

Christian Media Center

“Knowledge is the tool for social engagement in a democratic environment.” This is the certainty with which YWCA, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), has been working for years by taking ownership for themselves of the motto of the world movement “to empower women, to promote equality” (Empowering women, Promoting equality).

Executive Director – YWCA – Jerusalem
“YWCA is a membership-based female association. Established in Palestine in 1893 and formally registered in 1918, its main objective is the development and appreciation of Palestinian women to achieve a free and democratic civil society.”

With its headquarters in Jerusalem and other locations in Ramallah and Jericho, as well as in two different refugee camps, the association uses the collaboration of local, national and international organizations and works in different areas.

The building houses a kindergarten and a childcare for children from 3 months to 4 years of age and offers several training courses.

Director of Vocational YWCA Training Center
“The Vocational Training Center helps young men and women find a job. We train them in the trades that are in high demand in Jerusalem and continue to follow them until they find a place. The employment rate is very high, 70% for men against 19% for women in Palestine.”

Student – YWCA
“Here, we learn to get back on our feet, to manage an office, to connect with people … This place gives us practical, and not just theoretical skills, such as typing, English, accounting …”

The center offers several professional specialties: office management, modern kitchen, graphic design, photography and video making, plus programming for the Android technology. It also offers the possibility to learn different languages. One of the most popular classes is, moreover, the Hebrew language class.

Student – YWCA
“I want to learn the Hebrew to be able to talk to people and answer their questions. This course is very useful and will last a year.”

Student – YWCA
“I am studying office management and the Hebrew language, because this is the language we need in the workplace. That is why, in my opinion, you need to know this language. This is a great association: it helps the students improve their level of education and skills and encourages them to be independent.

“Every story is unique – May Amireh emphasizes – whether it is a divorced woman, a girl who had difficulty in college, a boy with learning problems … everyone needs to be looked at, welcomed and valued for their own unique individuality.”

Director of Vocational YWCA Training Center
“The purpose is to first give these young people hope that they are absolutely capable of being successful and therefore the opportunity to find a good job, so they will stay in Jerusalem and will not consider leaving this land. First, we give them hope … and then a job.”