Recent Graduates Get Help To Start Their Own Businesses

Recent graduates look over their new startup kits. Photo by ben.gray@lwfjerusalem.org

Twenty-six students and recent graduates received equipment to help them start their own businesses during a ceremony Thursday morning 7 June 2018 held at the Lutheran World Federation’s Vocational Training Program (LWF VTP) in Beit Hanina.

Tasnim Abu Sbeah, a student in the LWF VTP catering department, received a baking kit including a stand mixer and oven. “This has been my dream since I’ve been little and I think that with this equipment I will achieve a huge success,” she said. She will bake pastries and sweets starting at home and hopes to open a small shop for herself as her business grows.

Through the project “Promoting East Jerusalem Innovation and Sustainable Economic Development Through Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” implemented in partnership between Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) and the TVET League and funded by the European Union, the graduates received start-up kits for their new careers in mechanics, carpentry, hair styling, ceramic arts, photography, multimedia production, mobile phone maintenance and catering. Twenty-two of the participants were graduates of the LWF programs.

The ceremony was presided over by TVET League Chairperson and LWF VTP Director Yousef Shalian and COOPI Country Representative Tiago Maymone.

TVET League’s membership includes nongovernmental nonprofit organizations that have been engaged in the education and vocational training in Palestine for decades. “The TVET League and its members, including the LWF VTP, are committed to serve Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem to cope with the economic and political situation that they are facing,” Mr. Shalian said,

 “The participation rate of females in the labor force in East Jerusalem is only 6 percent, and because of that, such an appreciated support from the EU is important to help the females to be self-employed,” he said.

During his speech, Mr. Maymone said, “the overall goal of the COOPI project, which this event is a part of, is to contribute to strengthening the resilience of East Jerusalem residents by fostering the development of youth and women professional skills and by promoting a more dynamic and sustainable market.”

At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Shalian, Mr. Maymone, and Ms. Samah Jaouny, Program Manager, EU East Jerusalem Program, delivered the start-up kits to the graduates and wished them a successful future.